Wedding Photography in Croatia

Wedding Photography by Damir Plavotic - Wedding couple in oldtimer car at Croatia beach.

 

Croatia is today a very popular wedding destination, attracting more and more couples from all over the world. Low prices, fantastic cuisine and friendly people play a big part in this story, but the main reason for the popularity is the gorgeous Adriatic seaside. The entire coastline is full of amazing wedding venues, all of which guarantee unforgettable wedding photos.

Croatia Wedding Venues

One of the largest tourist attractions in Croatia is Dubrovnik. “The Pearl of the Adriatic” is also one of the most popular wedding locations. Dubrivnik’s world-famous Old Town offers endless opportunities for perfect wedding photos, with marble streets, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. Another hugely popular wedding location is the Island of Hvar. From the pedestrian cobblestone streets and the architecture of the old town, to the wonderful beaches and pristine sea, this island is indeed a dream-location for wedding photography. And of course, there is Istria, where you can choose between seaside locations for romantic beach weddings, mainland locations with picturesque rural scenery and vineyard-covered hills reminiscent of Tuscany, or you can go full-fairytale and have your wedding in the enchanted fortress of Grožnjan.

Although I enjoy working in the mega-popular locations I mentioned above, I just love to work in locations that offer a bit more privacy. There are secluded beaches perfect for intimate sessions on islands such as Rab, Pag, and my favorite – Vis, untouched nature and medieval villages on the Island of Cres, and a wide range of other fantastic locations throughout Dalmatia, Istria and other parts of the Adriatic coastline.

Wedding Photography by Damir Plavotic - Wedding destination oldtown Rab at Island Rab viewed from a port.

 

Wedding Photography and I – How it All Started

Every truly important thing that ever happened in my life, came to me quietly and spontaneously. And although I may have rejected some of those things at first, because I could not find a “rational” justification for them at the time, they kept coming back until I finally accepted them. Eventually, I learned how to stop resisting, and today I accept those special “gifts” with gratitude. And this acceptance is never a product of an elaborate thinking process. Always pure instinct.

Weddings were no exception

Doing wedding photography in Croatia was not exactly my dream job when I was a kid. Honestly, it would not have made my top 10 list. I’ve always been passionate about photographing people, especially their emotions and I’ve always appreciated photojournalism. However, as a kid, I thought I was “too cool to do wedding photo shoots”. It seemed to me back then that all the wedding photo albums were full of basically the same, clichéd photos. I rejected the idea without even considering it. What I wanted was to be original and spontaneous, I wanted to be able to experiment and venture outside the box. In all honesty, I didn’t know what it was that I wanted (Arctic Monkeys already had a drummer), I just wanted it to be cool and authentic. And then one of those life-changing things happened. I was presented with another gift. I met the girl of my life. This girl is now my wife and a huge source of inspiration and support in my life and work.

Wedding Photography by Damir Plavotic - Wedding couple at Dalmatia beach kissing by the sea in sunset.

 

My First Wedding Shoot – or how I became a wedding (crasher) photographer

Soon after we got married, I got a phone call from one of my closest friends. He just wanted to let me know that he was getting married in two days, about 600 km away from me. He also told me that there would be just the two of them, plus the two witnesses. No guests, no ceremony, no bands, wedding cakes, barrages of confetti or bizarre traditional rituals. Oh yeah, and no professional wedding photographers.

Even though I wasn’t invited, I immediately grabbed my camera and my wife, we got into our car and just like that – we showed up. Ok, I admit, I was a total wedding crasher. I didn’t really think about it back then, I just improvised. After exchanging some awkward pleasantries upon our unexpected arrival, I took some photos of the young couple. I proceeded to photograph the whole thing, spontaneously, without making a big deal about myself or the camera. Whenever I felt something was worth shooting – I shot it.

In the end – the bride and the groom just loved my wedding-crashing gesture and they adored the photos! They especially liked the natural, casual feel of them. It was like looking back in time, seeing those moments of joy exactly as they had happened. There was no posing and the shots show genuine moments of love and friendship. The newlyweds were so thrilled with the results that I got their permission to share the photos on some social networks. Pretty soon I got the first offer to photograph another wedding, professionally, and that’s how I got started… I finally accepted that wedding photography not only can, but absolutely has to include those elements I was looking for as a kid – authenticity, originality, creativity and of course, recognizable elements of the artist’s unique, signature style.

Wedding Photography by Damir Plavotic - Wedding party in garden.

 

Wedding Photography as a Profession, an Art Form and a Lifestyle

I found out that I love my job. As an added bonus, my wife now assists me during wedding photo sessions. She is an accomplished architect (you can check out some of her work here), but she also finds great joy in helping me out as the second shooter in the weddings. She also provides priceless assistance in the organization, design and other technical aspects of the business. Most importantly, Antonija is also a huge source of inspiration for me and I can always count on her to get me unstuck if I run into a creative block. In short, we are a great team because we love each other and we love what we do. We get to travel and work together, and visit the most beautiful Croatia wedding venues to photograph young couples as they celebrate the happiest event in their lives!

 

Wedding Photography by Damir Plavotic - Wedding couple going out from church in Istria after wedding ceremony.

Having my wife by my side made me appreciate the fact that every wedding couple tells a unique story that deserves to be remembered and documented. I know how much those photos from our wedding on Malta mean to my wife and I when we look at them now, years after they were made. I want to offer the same opportunity to other couples – to be able to re-experience the joy of the big day for years to come. Every bride and groom have something special about them – the way they hug, the way they hold each other, the way they kiss… My goal is to rescue all those wonderful, yet fleeting moments from oblivion and document them for all eternity, just as they are – sometimes happy, sometimes emotional, but always unique and too precious to be forgotten.