HOW DOES IT ALL WORK?
Not sure which package to pick or wondering how does it all work? Here are some helpful thoughts and guidelines (10 min read).
Although you can find out more about expected number of photos in my Q&A section below and get a decent insight in number of locations to be visited with each package, I’d like to note that the final result greatly benefits from our time together. Longer packages shouldn’t be solely considered due to extra locations (although they are worth!) but also as a big quality boost – for more angles and more great shots.
As a little intro let me say few words about my style.
I really love taking lots of candids and I am always there to provide posing tips. I do my best to not spend to much time on a single spot, it makes it more interesting and dynamic.
If we are walking down the crowded main street I’ll probably give you some generic guidelines and advise just to keep walking and ignore me for the next few minutes. During this time I’ll be at the distance, walking in front or behind you, taking candids.
Then when we reach some particular spot of interest I’ll give you my input on where and how to stand, maybe to hold each other’s hand, or hug, kiss, or where to look. But, I won’t be perfecting the pose in a time consuming way as I prefer natural looks. And, based on experience I know what works good on every spot, so we’ll never get out of ideas.
But the truth is, you will very soon get the drift and my involvement is going to be needed less and less. A simple ‘Wait for me here, while I climb on those rocks’ will often be just enough. We could spend a minute to set up a pose, but nothing will work like a simple ‘I want to see a Biiig hug!’. If you’re after romantic atmosphere, at quiet places I’ll distance myself even more, hoping that you will for a brief few moments forget about me. And of course, I’m always providing tips & ideas for every spot, but the best results will come from your true selves.
TIPS AND PREPARATION
Do your best to arrive on time. My shoots are very carefuly planned and 5 min late start can mean a lot of difference in regards of light. Depending on the month, sometimes 10 min late start can mean we’ll completely lose sunlight on some spots. Why is this just a tip? Well, if you’re a bit late (life happens) I will still do a full shoot. I never book shoots back to back, although sometimes ‘life can happen’ to me as well and I might have some other obligations afterwards. I usually arrive 15 min before agreed time, but there would be no advanteges if you did the same. If you’re using clever transportation apps (they work great), planning extra 3-5 min will do wonders.
If possible, arrive empty handed. Candids are best taken while walking from A to B and it’s much easier to do so if you’re not carrying a backpack. If you plan on switching outfits this won’t be an issue as you’ll probably book 2+ hours so we’ll have plenty of time to move around.
With that said, I am used to carrying two backpacks (it’s not heavy for my back but it can be difficult to balance everything while carrying two cameras on my sides). Also sometimes women’s purses match colours of my shoes which is a bonus 🙂
But, anyway, you will have some basics with you, like wallet, phones, sun glasses, maybe a pair of flip-flops (yes, that’s an option! Although for one hour probably not needed) etc. Things like this, minus flip-flops, I can put in my backpack compartment and give my best to remember to give it back to you after the shoot 🙂 Once or twice I had to run back as we all forgot about it.
Another option is a simple cloth bag (or simply a purse) which I can safely attach to the outside of my backpack or carry it over my shoulder without balancing issue of a second backpack.
In terms of preparation, there is no need for any. On my photos you’ll see some dancing – very often we’ll just fake some, but some of you might blow my mind with your moves. Dips really look great!
Do you care? 🙂 Based on a hundreds of shoots, I’d guess 3 out of 10 people do, and they would prefer to not have strangers looking at them while posing. And that’s their opinion when we meet – after 5 minutes that thought vanishes and we don’t even notice strangers exist. If you’re sitting in a bar with friends, and you’re having a good time, usually you don’t have a clue what topic is discussed at the table next to you. And no, it’s not magic, nor my skill and I don’t even talk about it. I mention this here just to calm few rushing minds, as, it’s safe to say, over 80% of my clients say it’s their first shoot ever!
In conclusion, bluntly said because Dubrovnik is very popular destination, late afternoons are more crowded then early mornings, which brings us to:
TIME OF THE DAY
On the other hand, would you like to have most of the photos with or without people in the background? Now I’d say the odds reverse, and 7 out of 10 would prefer having clear backgrounds with nice sights, sea and sky. ‘Why?’ is probably easy to guess, e.g. honeymoon shoot vs vacation shoot, but in my personal opinion people bring life to photos (I had few shoots during 2020 summer and, oh boy, that was a ghost town).
So, what I recently did was to acknowledge my clients’ wishes and I started suggesting more early morning shoots (6:45 am start). I am not a morning person and that was a tough decision! The result was very surprising. I was aware that light should be pretty similar, nice and soft, that we’ll be free of crowds, but what I wasn’t aware of were some light pockets in just the right places, and beautiful lighting in general on some popular spots.
Now, I know there is more to it other then ‘light pockets’. If you’re considering your shoot to be one of the big highlights of your Dubrovnik visit, for the best results I will recommend morning – with exception of Romantic escape package, which is not solely Old town based and finishes with the beautiful sunset. On the other hand, if you can’t make it in the morning (various ‘logistics’, ‘vacation should be – vacation’…) or I don’t have available morning spots, there is no need to worry about it because late afternoon works just as well. Photos you can see on my website are probably 50:50, mornings and evenings and, and I hope they are all charmful.
P.S. For lovebirds who are looking for a more private experience with lots of hugs and kisses, I’d say the same thought applies. Afternoons will work just fine, because even during the busiest times I’ll take us to calm spots. If it’s really, really important to you, then let’s start in the morning or take a quick afternoon stroll through the Old town and head out with a car for some panoramic views.
You can never be underdressed for the photo shoot and the look you are after is completely yours to envision. But if you decide to put a lot of effort (and possibly money) into your hair and make-up, wear a breathtaking dress or tuxedo, I am sure I would get a great job done in one hour, but on the other hand I would feel little incomplete (while being dead silent about it haha) because I would be thinking if only we had bit more time to make this and that pose little better, or if we only had more time to visit that spectacular location… Same would apply to wearing multiple outfits or a wedding dress, extra time is recommended.
I am commonly asked about the outfit advice and which colours work. Then I do feel obliged to provide some input, but honestly everything works so feel free to be creative and follow your vision and/or wear what you’re comfortable in on a daily basis. Browsing my website might point you to the right direction.
You can’t go wrong with white and a red dress will make you pop out more. Black is maybe more suitable for the late afternoon look. And orange might give me a little trouble in post production as it interferes with skin tones.
Regarding high heels, feel free to wear them. If you’re not completly sure and think they might slow you down then I’d recommend having a pair of flip-flops to switch for a few 2-5 min walks during the shoot.
Props are not that common, but having a nice hat or flowers to complement your look could look very nice.
Basic formula is quite simple: I take as much meaningful photos as I can (~ 500 per hour) and two other parts of the formula are time spent on location vs number of locations. For reference, top quality photo model might spend 1+ hours in front of the top quality studio photographer, to have enough material to pick a single best photo to represent a product (e.g. dress). Well, it’s obvious that we are talking about different aspect of photography, but it makes it more understandable why time is important. So, here is where photographers like myself do our magic and make best of use of our time together to tell a story with photos, showcase a variety of stunning backdrops and at same time be a local, talkative friend who will capture your true selves.
CHOOSING A PACKAGE
With all the previous info in mind, these would be my recommendations:
Golden hour (1 hour)
– Covers the essence of Dubrovnik
– Budget friendly
– Suitable for everyone
Dubrovnik experience (2 hours)
– Sweet spot to cover all the main spots & sights
– St. Lawrence fortress or the City Walls as a highlight
– Art & detail friendly (just enough extra time for me to express my best)
Extend to 3 hours if at least one of the following applies:
– you’d like to change outfits (can be done in 2hrs, but it’s more comfy!)
– you’d like to visit even more locations such as Rector’s Palace, Franciscan monastery, Komarda
– you’d like to go even slower and have a coffee break
* email me with your thoughts and I’ll send you my best recommendation
Romantic Escape (3.5 hours)
– Covers all the main spots in Old town (1.5 hrs)
– Takes us on a short trip outside of town for some stunning views and beautiful sunset
– Fun half day trip with plenty of time to exchange experiences and get to know each other better
FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN
Lately I’ve been doing lots of family vacation photo shoots. I usually recommend one hour, even if you’re travelling with lots of family members. We’ll give our best effort, but kids might eventually start losing concentration, somewhere around 45 min mark. You’ll know your kids the best and if you have some similar experiences and think they can pull it off, then we could do 2 hours, e.g. with City Walls included. I am quite flexible, so if you decide to end the shoot at 1 hour mark becuase your champion becomes tired, I won’t charge you the cancelled hour.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How many photos can we expect?
It depends, but I usually shoot about 500 photos during 1 hour sessions and deliver 150+ as a minimum. Sometimes I can deliver close to 300 but it’s not something I could promise.
When and how will you deliver the photos?
I set a 7 days deadline to deliver the photos, but usually send them within a day or two. It depends on my schedule and post processing lasts more than a photo shoot.
Photos are delivered via Google Drive link (Google Drive doesn’t compress / downgrade images).
Are photos edited?
All delivered photos are individually edited to match the style as seen on this website.
Can you photoshop some photos, e.g. smooth skin, remove birth marks or scars?
These kind of edits are not included by default as it would take additional time to do it on all photos. I can do up to 5 edits like this for free.
Are photos in high resolution?
I usually shoot on a medium size setting on my cameras with resolution between 4000 – 5000 px which is plenty. Delivered photos are 3000px at long edge. This size is perfect for the web and on screen use and images are not heavy for upload and download. If you plan to have a high quality medium size prints (e.g. photo books) you can let me know and I’ll deliver them in full resolution in which they were captured and cropped. If you plan to do large prints please let me know in advance and I’ll bump up my cameras to full resolution (5.800 – 6.700 px).
What is the best time of the day for the photo shoot?
Early morning, starting at 6.45 am (first light touches Old port at 7 am during the summer) and late afternoon, approx. one hour before sunset.
Where is the meeting location?
For the morning shoot it’s Ploce gate (eastern entrance to the Old town), and for the evening shoot it’s Pile gate (western entrance). I’ll send you a link with exact spot.