Brian Nejedly is a local photographer who works with Aroundabout Local Media on cover shoots. He’s been shooting weddings since 2004 and has documented the big day for more than 400 couples. Nejedly has shot weddings all over the United States and has even made the journey to Mexico and Jamaica, which he considers his second home. He shared some photography tips for couples preparing for their big day, as well as things to consider when planning a destination wedding.
What are the most popular photos requested?
I honestly get very few requests aside from particular family photos to make sure certain groups are highlighted. I think couples see my portfolio and know that I will take all of the shots expected, plus a bunch that were not expected.
What are the shots you recommend?
Get sunset photos if your location offers a sunset view. Get a natural, unposed photo of the couple laughing together. Get a photo just walking together. It’s great to see natural movement as people might appear stiff if they are all posing.
How can couples choose a great wedding photographer?
Couples need to choose someone whose work stands out to them visually and emotionally. Do you like the types of photos this photographer tends to capture? Do you like their overall lighting style and color (or black and white) treatment? Also, recommendations from past clients are essential.
What equipment is used at weddings?
A good photographer should have a variety of lenses to cover any scenario. Zoom lenses are convenient, but I prefer fixed lenses that offer a wider aperture. That’s how you get that nice bokeh (background blur) that really makes your subject stand out. That technique also makes flash less necessary when shooting in darker environments. I also use a mixture of off-camera flash and LED lighting. I am not a fan of using only natural light. Use what you need in order to get the best result.
How much time should you book?
My shortest shoot has been less than an hour to cover only the ceremony. My longest has been a full day of about 12 hours. I spend six to eight hours at most of my weddings.
When in the planning process should you contact photographers?
If you have a particular photographer in mind, book them as soon as possible to make sure you get them for your date. If you’re looking around, you should start looking for your photographer right after choosing your venue. Some venues offer their own, or your coordinator may have recommendations for you.
Which do you consider the most photographic wedding location?
Almost anywhere can be a great location. Beaches are nice because you have a simple backdrop of sea and sky. The background should be relatively simple and not distract from any of the subjects you’re shooting.
What should be considered when choosing a destination?
Cost is key. Destination weddings can be less expensive for the couple, but they do cost guests more to attend. Ease of travel also is important. Choose somewhere you can get to easily, with direct flights and minimal ground transportation at the destination. What may be simple with a single family may not be so simple with a large group. Finally, look at the availability of accommodations. Does your chosen location, like a resort, offer accommodations for everyone? Or is there a place nearby? And is this a place your guests would actually enjoy for a few days? It’s nice when everyone can stay together and get to know everyone better.
How do you pick a photographer for a destination wedding?
Do your homework and choose vendors with experience and multiple reviews and referrals. You may feel like you are choosing an unknown vendor far from home. The way you get to know them is by asking them questions and by reading what others have to say about their work.
How can you take advantage of local scenery and culture?
Do a day-after-the-wedding photo session at a local location or even do a “trash the dress” shoot at a nearby beach, waterfall or river.
What’s your favorite type of venue in north Georgia?
My favorite type of north Georgia venue is one that offers a scenic backdrop and is structured for holding events. It also helps when the venue provides an indoor option in case of rain. A historic home, estate or farm location usually offers a variety of backdrops to work with.