Top Slovenia interview: Katja & Simon Photography

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How old were you two when you first knew you wanted to be a professional photographer? And how did you first get Into the profession?

Honestly, we never dreamed of becoming wedding photographers. We met while in college and both of us were studying something completely unrelated to photography. We always thought we would get jobs within our professions. Everything sort of started by accident. We took a few photos at a cousin’s wedding and everyone was excited about how great the photos were, so we said, “Let’s just give it a try”. We were 25 and 29 at the time and it took us a couple of years to figure out what and how we want to do this. The only regret we have today is not starting sooner.

Why wedding photography?

We believe in what we do. In essence, we capture beautiful memories on one of the most important days of peoples’ lives. We didn’t see it that way when we first started out, but through years of experience and after our own wedding, we now see how the value of such photos only grows with time. We used to think it’s all about the beautiful, editorial-style photos, detail shots, and gorgeous scenery. But now we know it’s about the little moments in between – the hugs, the kisses, the tears, and laughter.

Why is it important to have a good wedding photographer?

It’s not just important. We believe it’s necessary. Imagine how important your childhood photos are to you. Maybe you don’t look at them that often, but when you do, you see all those beautiful memories in your mind. Your wedding photos are even more important; you spend the day surrounded by the most important people in your life. 30, 40, or maybe even 50 years down the road, you’re going to be grateful you have these beautiful images to remember these moments and people. We see wedding photography not as a luxury, but as a lifetime investment.

How do you two differ from other wedding photographers on the scene?

We’re just ourselves and we give it 110%. Not just on the day of the wedding but through the entire process, from the first email until we deliver the finished wedding book. We know it’s a bit cliché to ask, but what’s most important: light, camera or eye? We would say it’s the eye – and the creative mind behind it. The light and the camera are just tools to convert the image in our heads into a photo.

What’s the most common mistake that amateur photographers make?

Probably focusing too much on the gear instead of learning the skill. We know because we made the same mistake when we first started. Looking back today, we wish we invested that money into learning instead.

Any tips on how to shoot couples?

Focus on the couple and their energy and respond to that. Some couples are shy and nervous, some are all about fun and adventure. Most importantly, try to make them relaxed and comfortable. It’s almost impossible to hide people’s feelings in photos. Where’s your favorite place to shoot weddings in Slovenia? We love outdoor weddings and mountains, so anywhere around Triglav National Park.

Everyone seems to be an amateur photographer these days, which we can relate to because everyone also seems to be an amateur writer. How has this affected professional photographers?

It depends on who you ask. Social media, especially Instagram, have changed how people see the process, so taking that into account, we believe they understand better that sometimes taking good photos is not as easy as it seems. We believe (or hope) that they value professional photography a little more. On the other hand, we still hear an ‘I can do it on my own” or a “my cousin is going to take some photos with his new camera”. Usually, they end up with bad photos and have to pay a professional to redo them. Unfortunately, a wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event and re-doing wedding photos is just not possible.

When you two are on holiday do you still take a lot of photos?

Honestly, not as many. We take one camera with us, but we take fewer photos than we did years ago. Sometimes we let a pretty scene go by and have an intimate, family moment together instead of focusing on the camera and composition.

Do you think that taking or not taking photos changed your experience of a place?

When we are taking photos, we often take a more analytical look-around to think about the buildings or the landscape, how the light is changing, how people are moving… We tend to see more details this way and it surely changes our experience of a place. But we still want to enjoy just being present, so we try to limit our use of the camera.

Photo / Text: Katja & Simon Photography www.katjasimon.com @katjasimonphoto