Today’s interview is with wedding photographer Bob Mackowski of Open Aperture Photography! Enjoy:

Tell us a bit about yourself and your company

Hi everybody!  I’m Bob Mackowski with Open Aperture Photography in New Bern, NC.  We launched our business in 2010 when I was looking to make a career change away from TV news.  I wanted to use some of the skills that I’d developed over the years while changing fields.  My wife and I were fresh off of our own wedding in 2009 and it seemed like a great fit.
Since launching the business, we’ve grown by leaps and bounds.  We now use three photographers to cover weddings and we’re becoming known throughout the wedding community for our personality and customer service, in addition to our photography (of course).  I’m a Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) and we’ve been featured in numerous publications, print and online, domestic and international.

Read the full interview after the cut!

What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?

The couples portraits are my favorite part of wedding day because it’s the biggest challenge.  I have to make great pictures in a very limited time and overcome obstacles like surroundings, light, etc.

What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?

A few years ago we had a couple that was terrible at communication.  The bride got overwhelmed and stopped returning everybody’s phone calls.  Last we heard, their venue had been double booked and they were looking for another one.  Then she stopped returning calls/emails/etc so we didn’t know where the wedding would be.  The maid of honor finally called us a couple days before the wedding and gave us the info that we needed.  On wedding day, their timeline was a disaster (we would normally help with that) and they didn’t get couples portraits.  What a mess…

What is your favorite venue and why?

You guys are so mean!  That’s like asking somebody to choose their favorite child! I can’t pick just one favorite so here are some qualities that I like to see in venues: Rustic and historic.  On-site rain backup.  Space for all the girls and guys to get ready at the venue.  Picturesque (duh, I’m a photographer).  Friendly, helpful staff. I’m sure I could list 20 more qualities but that’ll give you a good start.  Really, I just want something pretty with staff who will take care of my brides.

Nikon or Canon?

Nikon!  Photographers love to debate the merits of both but, really, they’re both great.  The reason that I’m Nikon is because my wife bought me my first DSLR and it was a Nikon.  As I grew into a professional photographer, I stayed with Nikon because of the quality and familiarity.

What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?

I suppose that I could name any tropical or beautiful destination and it would sound good, but nothing really stands out above the pack. Locally, here in Eastern North Carolina, we’ve shot at most of the best places in our area.  However, the one place we’ve always wanted to shoot around here is the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores.  It’s a challenging location for a photographer (black ceilings, tons of reflective glass) but the payoff of photographing in front of a shark tank is huge.

If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?

You can keep your celebrities, I’ll take my roster of teachers, nurses, and military members anyday.  We’re lucky enough to attract wonderful clients who are laid back, goofy, and appreciate our time and effort.  Those qualities aren’t generally associated with celebrities.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?

Knowing your business is just as important as knowing your camera.  I absolutely love what I do but it also has to support my growing family.  This is a full time career for me, not just a weekend hobby, so it’s critical that I know how my business operates in addition to taking wonderful pictures.

What tips or advice can you give to couples who are looking to hire a photographer to cover their big day?

You get what you pay for.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve spoken to people who didn’t have a photographer, had a family member shoot it, or had a cheap budget photographer.  It never ends well and they always regret it.  Do your research and find a true professional photographer so that you don’t join the chorus of brides who wish they’d done it differently.

Thanks Bob! For more information about Open Aperture Photography, please visit their WeddingLovely Vendor Guide profile or head straight to their website.

Do you have any questions or comments for Bob? Add them to the comments below!