Tomislav Marcijuš was born in the beautiful Croatian city of Osijek in 1990. Heavily influenced by the work of Andrei Tarkovsky, Tomislav finds the inspiration for his wedding photography aesthetic in modern art from both Croatia and The Balkans. The color palette in his wedding albums is very different from that of traditional wedding photography. Instead of using vivid, digital color, Tomislav chooses instead to take inspiration from the color scheme of classic film photography. His works see cooler, more muted tones mixed with a dreamy and nostalgic style of photography that makes his works so recognizable.
The philosophy behind his style is one of appreciation and a passion for all forms of photography. Without his love of capturing special wedding moments, the emotion that can be seen in Tomislav’s work would be sadly missing. Luckily for couples across the globe who appreciate Tomislav’s style, he can capture the beautiful moments of a wedding in new and unique ways, forever preserving those tender moments in his beautiful wedding collections.
The beginnings of his career
In 2015, there was a big creative shift in the wedding photography industry. At the same time, I was doing administrative work and still experimenting with film photography when I had time. My love of film photography started in 2010 and has been growing ever since. As I was not satisfied with my job at the time, I wanted to somehow turn my hobby into a new career because photography has always been my passion. Even though I love and respect many different forms of photography, I have never preferred only one particular direction.
A wedding is where many things happen on the day and, without any experience, I saw that there was a lot of space for a photographer to try new styles of wedding photography and still satisfy the client’s expectations. I saw that I could document emotions, play with portraits, and take interesting and spontaneous photographs. I also realized that by playing with light and shadow, this style of photography could be more interesting than any other in the industry at the time.
On using a sense of nostalgia in his pictures
Creatives and artists are the ones who change the world and make it more beautiful, but you cannot erase some parts of yourself – they are with you forever, like where you come from. I was born in a part of Europe that unfortunately has not written a nice story in the last few years. I think you see this reality in my photography because, as an artist, I never run away from something but instead try to show what I see in the most honest way. This emptiness, nostalgia, and melancholy affect my private work the most, and I also convey a small part in my wedding photography, but only in a unique and respectful sensibility that suits my followers. Of course, when it comes to a wedding, smiles, happiness, and fun are always in the foreground, but it’s interesting to spice it up with some moody photos playing with light and shadows. It is always necessary to enrich what I do with some juxtaposition; sometimes to show the balance of life, and sometimes to intrigue people, even just a little bit.
On using both digital and film photography
I started taking photos on film many years ago and some of my first cameras were a Praktica and a Zenit 11. These two cameras give a dreamy look to the photos they capture and that is why they have stayed with me so long. I was one of the first photographers in this area to set out to photograph weddings on 35mm and Polaroid films. I used to separate these photos in the galleries on my page, but I realized that I want the photo to look good, no matter what camera it was shot with. Due to the chaos of this whole year, there wasn’t that much space for me to take many wedding photos at all. My last two personal projects "City of Wellness" and "Adriatic Nostalgia" were photographed on film and I was satisfied with that. This year, I had the time to dedicate more energy to my private projects.
His wedding photography process
I don’t think I have a set process because I simply love the part when I get to be involved in a wedding and capture beautiful photos. I also really enjoy editing the images that I took of these special moments. Having presets and a signature color palette helps this process, as I already know my vision for the photographs. Once you’ve edited them all, delivered the photos, and printed the material, it’s still not the end of the story. I try to spark and develop a good relationship with someone when I photograph their special day. The process is always more important than the results and my personal goals for that wedding album. The point is not to get to the perfect picture immediately, but to learn at every step of the day and capture the emotion of the event.
His other photography projects
I always like to say that photographers or any kind of artist should not be limited. You have one life and all of this time, but it is up to you to explore it. My private work was mostly influenced by the environment. I had to separate this influence more into my non-wedding work, the work that forms part of my artist statement.
I love photographing weddings, couples, and people, but I don’t think this is where you show every aspect of your artistic nature. You can apply some details of your life to commercial work, but not every aspect. My private work tells a special story and I am very happy and proud of that. It was this year that I devoted myself mostly to private projects because for once I had enough time and it bore fruit. I don’t think seeing your name in various publications is always the most important thing, but it can be nice sometimes to have a little confirmation that you’re on the right track. Through my personal work, I examine the relationship between people and the spaces in which they exist. You can see more of my personal photos on the website www.marcijustomislav.com.
My goal is to show the beauty of simplicity and highlight something that we see every day, but often do not notice its beauty. I like to photograph people who are wrapped up in their minds; absent and sometimes lost in space. I always want to convey the atmosphere of the moment, not just simply capture the moment. For this reason, I always introduce the observer to the space in which I find myself. The environment in which I grew up left me with a fair dose of nostalgia and an unknown sensibility that I convey in each of my works. By showing something personal and applying it to the outside world, it brings its own melancholy signature that you will find in all my captured spaces and people.
On being named as one of the top 30 photographers by Rangefinder Magazine
That recognition was just a confirmation of my work and acknowledged that I never gave up, which I believed from the very beginning. I live in an environment that has never acknowledged my work and has always been skeptical of everything I have done in my life, but despite that, I have always persevered and believed in myself. My sense of confidence plays a big role in that. Self-confidence is one of the most important things in an individual’s life and without it, you cannot make life decisions properly.
My clients haven’t changed and the number of requests hasn’t increased as a result of this recognition, but it hasn’t decreased, and that is a big achievement considering how this year played out. When you win an award that is recognized across the world, there will always be people who have an opinion on it. But happily, I am the same person I was before this award.
His love of weddings
When you work, you need to be honest in what you do and show your true self as much as you can. When potential clients feel the sincerity and great dedication in your work, this attracts them to the idea of using you as their wedding photographer. Many couples have told me that they are most enchanted by some unknown sensibility they sense in my photos. I think this comes from an artistic aesthetic that I transfer into everything I do. I also see weddings as both a fun and a serious day, which helps when crafting my shots.
I love showing my work on my social networks, and my clients love seeing their pictures on my feed! I also follow fashion photography and I enjoy putting it in the context of a wedding. In the end, I end up with an arty, spontaneous, elegant photo with high-fashion elements. In my area, this is not very commonly seen and because of that, the number of clients that respect this vision is smaller. This is why I get only couples who love my vision and don’t try to change it, and thus, I never have dissatisfied clients.
His picture color preferences
Many wedding photographers began with using bold and warm colors, thinking that it gave their pictures the feel of being captured by film. As I mentioned before, I started taking photos on film, but I never got the same results when developing it. They are never as warm in color as digitally captured photographs. They always have a cool tone and color palette, which I decided to transfer to my digital photography and editing process. Everything I watch, from movies to series, I apply the same real coloring that is most similar to what we see every day.
When you want to get a photo that looks bright and vibrant but has that darker tone, it’s a big challenge to correct it. When we talk about a wedding, I like to document it in black and white because it gives my photos a great sense of the atmosphere in moments that don’t necessarily need color. At the same time, using pastel colors and dreamy aesthetics is something that gives the whole wedding album a special touch. I do enjoy that sometimes my photos have a darker tone because I realized that people are most intrigued when something is a little dark and atmospheric.
The perfect wedding shot
I have to admit that I love aesthetics and that it is very important to me, even in my personal life. In this industry, a lot of people work on one wedding and they all try to give their best to that event, but do not carry a signature style. Everyone has room to create and I think the most beautiful thing is that every wedding can be special and different in its own way because as individuals we are all different and these differences need to be more widely accepted in society.