Today’s photographer interview is with Mark of Mark Jaworski Studios based in Montclair, NJ! Enjoy:
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
I am a professional photographer whose work has been featured in Rolling Stone, 20th Century Fox, Vice, Associated Press, Spin, Billboard and more. My work is split between music photography, commercial photography, portraiture, and wedding photography. I tell myself every day that I have the best job in the world and I am tremendously grateful to be able to do what I love most in life.
Read the full interview after the cut!
How did you get into wedding photography?
I began my career as a photographer nearly a decade ago. At that time I was almost strictly working with musicians. I got hooked up with a great record label shortly after I began, and also started working with The Front Bottoms — a band who I still work with to this day. I then delved more into commercial work and non-music portraiture, and several years later I started getting a ton of inquiries to shoot weddings. I shot my first wedding in New Jersey and fell right in love with the couple, their family, and the overall vibe of the day. Each subsequent wedding I shot was unique and different from the last.
I very quickly took a similar approach to weddings as I do to musicians. Just as I treat a session with a folk singer differently from a punk band or a classical guitarist, I approach a colorful Brooklyn wedding quite differently than I approach a beach wedding in Florida, a farm wedding in Maryland or an old Hollywood style wedding in Manhattan. The last thing I ever want to call myself, or for that matter, for anybody else to call me, is formulaic. One of my favorite things to do is to push my own creative limits, and that’s what keeps me going.
What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
Portraits, without a doubt. It is the time of day when I can really go all out. I bring big lights with me to weddings and love doing really unique and fun stuff with them. This time of the day also allows me to really get to work one-on-one with the bride and groom, to develop a rapport with them and to truly capture the essence of what makes them unique as a couple.
What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
Hmm….this one is going to take some thought, so I may have to get back to you. I have seen some really wild stuff go down on the dance floor and I have plenty of photographic evidence!
What is your favorite venue and why?
My favorite venue isn’t quite a venue. I shot a wedding on a family farm in the Maryland countryside. The farm had been in the groom’s family for many years and both of his grandparents are amazingly talented artists, so there was beautiful artwork everywhere! There are a couple of huge barns on the property, each of which is an art studio. Paintings, sculpture, and plenty of other artwork adorn nearly every square foot of the barns. The ceremony took place in the middle of a gorgeous pasture and the reception was down below in an equally stunning location.
Nikon or Canon?
Canon, but for no particular reason other than it was the brand I first bought into, so I stuck with it.
What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
I would really love to shoot a wedding in Greece. I have family there, and am familiar with the aesthetic and the culture, and most of all it really gets my creative juices flowing. If there are any couples out there who are looking to get married in Greece, take me with you!!!
If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. One of my other passions in life is history. I am a published historian and collector of historical memorabilia, and have a large collection of rare antique photographs from the 20th century. Shooting the Roosevelt’s wedding would allow me to have some of my own photographs in my collection, and that would satisfy me more than nearly anything else.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
Being shy is a serious handicap in this industry. If I could give a few pieces of advice to new photographers, I would say: “Be outgoing, be personable, be honest, be yourself. Be a person, be a photographer, don’t be a salesman.” A photographer is hired to do more than just photograph. I am hired to conduct a photo shoot, so I can’t simply rely on everything to fall into place for me. If I want something, I have to make it happen, and that is the way to get great photographs.
What tips or advice can you give to couples who are looking to hire a photographer to cover their big day?
Find a photographer whose work you truly adore. Avoid photographers who seem overly formulaic, jaded, or downright bored with shooting weddings. Choose a photographer who is genuinely happy to be a part of you and your fiancé’s big day. After all, you will be seeing more of your photographer on your wedding day than you will of many other people. You should find them encouraging, pleasant, and personable.
Thanks Mark! For more information about Mark Jaworski Studios, please visit his WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to his website.
Do you have any questions or comments for Mark? Add them to the comments below!
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