“Don´t forget those emotions” is the wonderful motto of Luka Zanic and his wedding prints on Hahnemühle paper. The Croatian photographer points out that there is a important difference between photography and printed fine photography – wether in small format on our Hahnemühle Photo Cards or on Hahnemühle FineArt Inkjet Leather Albums to last for generations. Luka creates outstanding prints and recorded the results in insightful videos we love to share. Several times we reported on his work and ask him to take part in our Blog Special on the “Month of wedding photography” in May. Enjoy our Q & A session and the linked videos.
I loved photographing when I was just a kid, didn’t know anything about photography back then, but I enjoyed shooting the stuff I liked, nature, my friends, just anything that was interesting. When I was in my 20’s I realised that camera is not only a tool to capture but also an instrument for expression.
How did you come to the world of Wedding photography?
A friend of mine was a great wedding photographer and he was recovering from surgery so he asked me to help him shoot a few weddings. I love the strong presence of emotions at the weddings, I like to be able to collect those very important moments and I love to do it unobtrusive, looking from the side, like a fly on the wall. Besides the weddings I love shooting interiors which is a completely different type of photography than weddings, purely technical, static and stress free. I find editing an interiors shoot a very relaxing process, almost like yoga.
Which of your project/motifs opened the door to the professional market?
It was a gradual ‘growth’ in my case. When my daughter was born I sold my guitars which were my expression tools from then and I started doing more and more photography. It was a chance for my right oriented brain to express without waking up the baby. Becoming professional came on its own, people liked my photography and they called me to shoot their weddings and their real estates…
Do you have a photographer idol or who inspired you most?
I have a lot photographers that play a big role to my photography world, so here’s few: Zack Arias – I love Zack Arias! He made me realise that it is not about the gear but about photography. Zack made me learn to use what I have to make it work and he made me love using strobes. And I love Joe Mcnally – his portraits and his use of flashes. Marko Marinković is for me one of the best wedding shooters in the world. A great example of what a wedding photographer should be, how his photography should be and how you should run a wedding photography business. And two iconic manes: Henry Cartier-Bresson – I love his sense of timing, made me learn to think ahead and Richard Avedon – really deep portraits, not all smiles.
At weddings I try to blend in as soon as I can, try to make people unaware of my presence because that is how I can capture their true emotions. When people are too aware of the photographer, they tend to act and pose and that is not what I like to shoot.
What is most challenging about shooting a wedding?
Wedding photography is very hard work. Sometimes I shoot 15 hours and it is hard to keep focus, especially by the end of the night. Therefore it is very important to be prepared, to have a good rest day before, to try to keep yourself in shape and to watch your diet. Also I try to keep the gear weight to a minimum. I used to carry all my gear, DSLR’s, lenses, lights with me all the time on a wedding and I have noticed that most of the time the gear was more in the way than it was helping my photography. I have recently replaced all my Canon DSLR’s with a new Fujifilm system and I feel that my photography has moved up on a next level.
Which importance has the printed presentation of your artwork?
Photography really is something different when printed. I love to show my clients how a nice fine art print looks and how it feels in the hand. A lot of my clients love the paper so much that they order the prints to give to friends and family after the wedding.
Which is your favorite Hahnemühle paper and why?
I really love all of the Hahnemühle papers, each has its own character and every photograph suits a different paper. But if I had to select just one, than it would be Torchon, soft and textured, I love it! When it comes to albums I recommend Hahnemühle´s Inkjet Photo Albums with soft leather cover and precious fine art paper to print on one side or double-side. And I love these Photo Cards from Hahnemühle! Printing these is so much fun. The Photo Cards are a great goodie for wedding photographers looking for something different to offer as part of your wedding package. The prints are protected in the nice looking alu box and the heavy fine art paper is so nice to hold in hands for me and my clients.
Do you have a dream of a project you would like to realise sometime?
I would love to visit New York and spend some time on the streets meeting and photographing people. Maybe to do a wedding shoot there, that would be nice. Also, I would love to visit Hahnemühle factory to meet the people behind the best photo papers in the world and to see the production process.
I have no big business plans. My biggest plans involve my family, I have two kids, five and eight years old and I love to spend as much time that I can with them. I think of photography as a beautiful and important passion, even though I do it to make a living.
Thanks for your time, Luka.
More on the photographer: http://lukazanic.com/
Enjoy four more Q&A by
Jared Windmüller from Brazil
Sanya Jogia from UK
Florian Commaille from France and
Jen Huang from the USA