Owner Michael Lopacki discusses why he loves wedding photography, and how he guarantees to make your day stress-free.
When you first meet with Michael Lopacki, owner of Michael John Photography, a BOLI preferred vendor, he wants to know all about you. He wants to know about your plan for your wedding day, why you fell in love with your venue, and what you’re excited about. “I really get to know my brides first,” says Michael. And that’s how he rolls – always putting his brides first above everything else.
How It All Began
Michael says he got started in wedding photography when his friend asked if he could be her assistant for the day. He picked up a camera on the job, and the studio she worked for liked him and hired him. In 2019, Michael decided to start Michael John Photography. He felt it was time to really connect with his clients. “Coming from a high-volume studio, things get lost in the mix,” he says. “When you’re the head of the company, you get very close to your clients. You know so much about that. It becomes a lifelong friendship.” Over the span of his career, Michael says he has likely shot 1,000 weddings.
Ever since his daughter was born, Michael says his favorite part of weddings has to be the father-daughter dance. He explains that those moments now hold a special place in his heart, as he often imagines what it will be like to one day dance with his own daughter at her wedding.
Getting To Know You
Michael likes to meet with brides face to face – though the pandemic did change the way those initial meetings go. A Zoom call is best, as Michael really wants to learn all about you! “I think it’s important that we vibe with each other,” says Michael. “I want to make sure I can provide to them what they’re looking for.” Once he learns about you and your big day, he can explain what sort of timeline you would have on your wedding day. “It’s super important to know that a wedding photographer knows how to control your day,” says Michael.
Michael John Photography offers a variety of packages, and all of them include an engagement shoot.
It’s About Having Fun
Ultimately, Michael says he wants his brides to relax and have fun on their wedding day. “That’s the most important part. It’s a wedding, this is not work,” says Michael. “I don’t want my clients doing any work. I want them to have fun, laugh and have the best time of their lives. That’s really what it’s all about for me.”
Michael says he really likes moment-based photography – which helps with the having fun part! “I love to capture someone in the act.” Of course, he says, he makes sure to get all of the formal shots. But, even during those formal poses, Michael likes to bring out your natural effect, make you smile and enjoy yourselves. “It makes it more of a candid approach.”
Favorite Places on Long Island
If you’re at a loss of where to take your engagement photos, Michael has just the spots for you! And in true Michael fashion, he wants to learn what kind of person you are so he can suggest the perfect location. Beach person? He might suggest a beach on the North Shore – something that’s a little quieter. He also likes to take couples to Planting Fields Arboretum in Nassau County or Peconic Herb Garden in Calverton.
But what about wedding venues? The Vanderbilt Museum is one of his favorite places to shoot. “It’s just beautiful. It can be winter or summer, it just always stands out. But his favorite wedding venue is Flowerfield. “That’s where I got married, so I’m very biased.”
“It’s Going To Be Smooth Sailing”
Saying brides are nervous on their wedding day is an understatement at times. But Michael ensures that if you leave it to the professionals, everything will be taken care of. “We know how to help figure things out for you guys. We don’t want you to worry,” says Michael. He adds that no matter how big the bridal party is or how many locations you plan to take photos, he’s going to plan it all out for you. “We’ll figure it all out prior to the wedding day, and then it’s going to be smooth sailing.”
If you haven’t figured it out yet, Michael John Photography is here to cater to your every need on your wedding day. “My clients always come first for me,” says Michael. “I want to make sure they have the best time of their lives. And that it’s a stress-free environment.”
And by limiting the amount of weddings he shoots throughout the year, Michael can ensure that his clients get the best from him. “I feel like it’s a much more close-knit kind of approach to ensure the best quality for my clients.
After the big day, Michael says he loves to stay in touch with his couples. “We always become friends. We’re just in each other’s lives. It becomes a lifelong thing for me.”