Interview with Ninjacast: Top Tips for Multicultural Weddings, Destination Shooting & Documenting an Arranged Marriage
Even tough plenty of people think that being a photographer is extremely easy and simple, everyone from the photography industry are very aware of the traps this job can bring. One of the most often one is working at the venues with very bad, or no light at all. It is easy to arrive at weddings with bunch of additional lighting equipment, but what to do when you are traveling as a destination wedding photographer and the number of your luggage bags (read: equipment) is limited?
There is a piece of equipment I never leave without, no matter where I have to travel and photograph...
I seem to make a habit of staying up all night in Cyprus. Not that there is anything shady going on, mind you; it is all about the photography. :)
Night shoots are by far the most difficult. Getting that perfect shot and timing the lighting of the flash just right can be a pain, but when you do get it, the shot makes for an amazing photo. That is why I was really excited to try out a new piece of equipment, the The Phottix Mitros+ TTL Transceiver Flash. Flashes are super important to photographers in order to properly illuminate subjects and maintain a good light balance, so I was eager to see what the Phottix could do.
As I am a Phottix Pro Photographer for Croatia, I opted to use it in a series of shots in our pool to test out the new equipment. The Phottix Mitros+ is a hot shoe flash that lets you use it either on the camera or, if you need your lighting elsewhere, you can detach it and use the Odin, Phottix’s award-winning TTL flash trigger.
For this shooting, I used Mitros off the camera, placed aproximatelly 45 degrees angle from the model, triggered with Odin for some close up shots. The weather was hot and humid (as usually in Cyprus), so thankfully my handsome model Wilco did not have to freeze to death in the pool. :)
With Phottix's high speed sync feature, I was able to use a higher shutter speed without sacrificing the flash needed for proper lighting. It is very simple to use, even for beginners, and the flash recycle time is absolutely amazing.
Wilco was very patient and understanding about the whole process. Photo shoots can sometimes take awhile, and this one took a little longer since I was testing brand new equipment. He splashed around in the pool for 5 minutes just to get the second shot right. Thank you, Wilco! You are amazing! :)
Overall, the Phottix Mitros+ TTL Transceiver Flash in a combination with Odin trigger was a huge success. You can see every crystal clear drop of water and every subtle ripple in the photos, and aside from the flash, the set was almost completely dark.
I thoroughly enjoyed working with this flash and would definitely recommend it to every photographer. It is an indispensable piece that should be in every photographer's toolkit.
Make sure you stay tunned for new shootings with Phottix equipment and lots of behind the scene materials! :)
As I mentioned in my previous blog post, being a wedding photographer means that sometimes I end up playing other roles as well, a coordinator being one of them. However, I can not be everywhere at once. This is where a day-of-wedding coordinator comes in.
1) Having an experienced person running the show gives you peace of mind.
I have seen firsthand the results of brides having relatives or friends attempt to juggle the tasks a wedding coordinator. They end up feeling overwhelmed, and they are not able to enjoy the wonderful experience a guest should have at a wedding. For your wedding, you need someone who knows exactly what they are doing so that your big day is free of any hiccups or worries about things going wrong.
2) You'll have more time to spend with your guests.
Nothing is more stressful for the bride than constantly being called away every twenty minutes to fix yet another problem. Having a wedding coordinator means you don't have to lose time chatting and spending time with the ones you love.
3) No wrangling.
Leaving this task to a friend or relative is absolutely out of the question. When it is time to take group photos or have the maid of honor do her toast, no one wants to spend half an hour trying to find the missing persons. Your day-of-wedding coordinator will have everything well in hand; after all, it is their job to know where everyone is and have them at the right place at the right time. Leave the wrangling to the expert, and you won't have unnecessary stress, and neither will your guests.
4) Assist bride with putting on her wedding gown.
This can be very difficult to do, especially when the wedding dress is bulky or has multiple layers. Although family and friends can help the bride into her dress, adjusting all the little details to make sure it's put on correctly is sometimes over their heads. The wedding coordinator will help ease the process, making sure it is not time-consuming or stressful for the bride.
5) Making sure the dance floor is clear.
You want that first dance to be a glowing special moment. All eyes are on you as you gaze lovingly into your partner's eyes. The last thing you need are misbehaving children tripping you up or stomping around you, ruining this moment. The wedding coordinator will keep the dance floor clear and make sure that everyone, including the little ones, are respectful of this precious moment.
While I am capturing the precious moments of the bride and groom's big day, the wedding coordinator is orchestrating the smooth flow of events from behind the scenes. The day-of-wedding coordinator is an essential addition to your bridal team.
Here are five reasons not to skimp on your coordinator budget:
Too many people do not realise there is indeed a way to do just that - not all engagement sessions need to be staged, to be set up after the question has been popped, used only to commemorate the event once the initial thrill has passed and the couple can pose calmly together. On the contrary, one can hire a destination photographer to go “incognito” and act as a secret engagement photographer, blending into the crowd as I did and then springing into action just as you pop the question to your beloved.
Capturing that moment is so important; in many ways, it's equally as important as creating lasting images of you and your love saying “I do”. Never again will you and your partner stand on the cusp of such a well of emotion - love, anticipation, fear, shock, awe, and delight - as that moment when you cross that first bridge of agreeing to truly commit your lives to one another. As beautiful and touching as weddings are, they are most often a “sure thing”, where the commitment has been planned, the vows have been written, and each person is ready and willing to set the relationship in stone as an eternal bond. The engagement*, on the other hand, is where it all begins - and the look of knowing, for the very first time, that someone wants to spend the rest of his or her life with you, can never be recreated.
* Book your secret engagement session until 31st of December 2015 and get 10% discount on any engagement package. More info at
I felt on that day like I captured something too precious to be described in words - the moment love comes to full bloom, the moment it overflows its cup and spills into the souls of all those around it, a wave of joy rippling out through the great sea of humanity. I wished in that moment that every couple could preserve the memory of such beauty, create lasting impressions of something so perfect and so fleeting, so that it might never slip away.
Being a destination engagement photographer is not all about planning, about carefully-staged shoots set in tranquil gardens and luxurious hotels. On the contrary, often the best gifts come to us photographers amidst the hustle and bustle of life, on busy streets crowded with strangers caught up in the whirlwind around them.
Recently, my work took me far away from sunny Croatia, into the foggy heart of London, one of the largest cities in Europe. Naturally, I could not resist doing some exploring, so on one fine Saturday when the sun broke through the clouds, crowning buildings and shimmering along the Thames, I went out for an adventure.
As on any fine summer day - rare in rainy England - the streets were packed with vivacious people, with tourists, families, young people, and of course, couples. The atmosphere was akin to that of a great carnival, with everyone out to worship the sun and revel in the joyousness of being alive.
I was therefore not surprised to hear lovely music emanating from Piccadilly Square: All Of Me from John Legend danced on the breeze, amplified by the voices of a choir which stood on the steps before a beautiful young woman.
Years spent working as a destination wedding photographer - along with having been born a romantic at heart - has given me a keen eye for love unfolding, so I immediately noticed the nine red roses in her hand. “Ah ha!” I thought; “Someone is about to get engaged.”
Everything after that moment happened in a flash of emotion and inspiration: As the lyrics crooned, "'Cause all of me loves all of you", a young man stepped out in front of the choir, and my camera found its way into my hands. Astonishment and tears dawned on the face of the bride-to-be as her handsome prince knelt down before her, professing his devotion for all the world to see. “Yes!” was of course the heartfelt answer to his question, and thunderous applause erupted all around - along with tears of joy dampening the faces of total strangers - as my shutter click-clicked away.
There are times in everybody's life predetermined for big changes. For me, this year was like that. I started searching widely the true essence of my being, simultaneously growing and learning how to be the best I can be.
Here are things 2014. taught me:
- Letting go is okay.
- The sun always rises (and it is always beautiful).
- Life is a map to a hidden treasure, just follow your heart!
- There is music in everything.
- Trees can grow through rocks.
- Simplicity, patience and compassion are the greatest treasures.
- Everything comes in the right moment.
- Some of the best days of my life haven't happened yet.
- My inner child is still ageless.
This is my 2014. in review...