New Travel Adventures: Photographing a Destination Wedding in Croatia

It’s funny how I thought travel photography was my calling when I started this blog over six years ago. As it turned out though: I’m actually a terrible travel photographer. Because I really don’t like shooting landscapes.

When you look at my blog content from the last years, it’s easy to notice how I constantly shy away from the big, scenic frames — I always rather focus on details like pretty coffees with blurry backgrounds.

I mean, seriously, who comes home from an Iceland road trip with tons of photos of random gas station coffees, but didn’t even take a single image of an Icelandic horse?

I’m grateful this blogging journey has taught me that I don’t like photographing landscapes or wild life. It’s just not me. Instead, I came to realize: I like taking photos of people.

Moments among people are so individual, so fleeting. I adore the melancholy of portraits — an interpersonal moment preserved that will never happen again. Or like Susan Sontag put it:

“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”

As an introvert with a wallflower-mentality, observing people and becoming aware of a room’s energy are what I spent most of my life doing. And there’s honestly no better place to people-watch than a wedding.

It took me awhile to understand what fascinates me about weddings — as it’s certainly not the romance. But I get it now: Weddings are a human panopticon.

Nowhere else you get so many fleeting emotions at once. There’s love and joy, of course, but also so much more, because families are always complicated.

With my recently discovered fascination for observing and photographing the full range of human emotions, I’ve been shooting a couple of weddings every year all over Germany since 2015.

But one of the weddings I accompanied in the summer of 2018 opened my eyes for a combination that appears shockingly right for me: Getting to travel to photograph people!

When L and B from London asked me to photograph their destination wedding on the island of Hvar in Croatia, I was beyond excited. I love Croatia, but I certainly hadn’t (and haven’t) seen enough of if yet — and a trip down to the Dalmatian Coast to take photos sounded like a dream come true.

Granted, more than 20 hours in transit were a little exhausting, but Hvar certainly made up for it: The island is absolutely stunning (how can water even be this blue?) and the wedding at a local beach club was simply surreal.

Although I spent less than two full days on the island of Hvar, I feel like I saw a lot of it: We took photos in among blooming lavender on inland hills overlooking the Adriatic Sea as well as in the nooks and crannies of Hvar’s gorgeous old town.

L and B were amazing and we had so many good laughs (some weird moments happen when you’re taking wedding photos in the middle of a tourist destination, in high season, on a Saturday, while a Croatia World Cup match is on).

The entire event was basically a non-stop pinch-me-situation, but my favorite photos were taken shortly before sunset. We squeezed a mini photo session in-between starters and the main course, because the light was too good. I just adore these images!

B had taken off his jacket, L had taken off her shoes, they were relaxed seeing how well the event was turning out — and they just started dancing without me even saying anything. In this light!

This night was certainly a moment that made me realize how this might just be what I’m meant to do: Swooning over a June sunset on a Croatian island while taking photos of people who are feeling all of the feels. What an experience — I’m super thankful L and B trusted me and gave me this amazing opportunity!

Have you ever been to a destination wedding?