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Is Wedding Photography Art? with Caroline Opacic Photography

Is Wedding Photography Art? Caroline Opacic, Wedding Photographer, chats to us about the art of Wedding Photography and how YOUR Wedding ideas are YOUR art!

Listen to Caroline on the Wedding Espresso Awesome DIY Wedding Planning Podcast…


Caroline Opacic Wedding Photography


James: [00:00:03] Hi Caroline thank you for sparing the time to chat with us today. 

Caroline: [00:00:06] Hi James thank you very much for having me. 

James: [00:00:09] Oh it’s a pleasure to have you. So you are Caroline Opacic. Have I pronounced that right? 

Caroline: [00:00:15] Yes you have! 

James: [00:00:15] Wedding Photographer! Awesome! So you are perfectly positioned to answer this question for us now. Recently Rachel and I had our very first wedding prints made from our wedding from four years ago. 

Caroline: [00:00:31] Lovely! 

James: [00:00:33] I’m a very big kind of audiovisual guy. So we’ve had slideshows for years, which we’ve watched, on our anniversary, but this is the first time that we’ve actually printed up some whopping great big massive pictures from our wedding. And it was actually based on… The idea came about from a Q and A that we had with another Wedding Photographer who said that he loves to have his life front and center, in his life, so that he can see it every day. And we thought what a fantastic idea. So we printed up our first wedding photos. So the question that we have for you today is,

“is wedding photography art?” 

Caroline: [00:01:10] I think my obvious answer would be yes. Earlier I looked up the definition of art and basically it’s the application of creative skill, and imagination, to produce work which is primarily appreciated for beauty and emotional power. Which I think, I hope, if you would ask any wedding photographer, they would say that’s what they do. Or at least if, you know, you’ve chosen the right Wedding Photographer, you’d hope that’s what they would say. 

Caroline: [00:01:44]

So I think the two sides of that is, you’re making art that’s for the beauty. So as a wedding photographer I think you’re not just shooting aimlessly throughout the day. You are trying to create something that’s beautiful.

Whether that’s through the lighting, the composition, the subject obviously. Anything like that, it’s all about getting that art. Which can often be hard on a wedding day because it is spontaneous and you kind of go with the flow. You can’t plan for a wedding really, you know, what’s going to happen, because anything could… 

James: [00:02:14] Happen at any moment! 

Caroline: [00:02:15] Exactly. So you have to go with the flow. But within that flow you do make decisions throughout the day that contribute to art. So that’s the beauty side of it.

And then there’s obviously the emotional side of it, which I think is mainly what drives me in wedding photography, is you are capturing those moments of the day, where you know, as a bride and groom, you may miss that throughout the day.

And wedding photography is about getting those little moments and saving them or treasuring them. But like you say, you’re having life, you know that should be captured, and that is why I think wedding photography is art, in a short and simple way. 

James: [00:02:52] Excellent, yeah. So if we dig into that a little bit more then, I think from my perspective,

when we were looking for a wedding photographer, what we wanted specifically was a photographer that had a very artistic style. We looked for that specifically.

And so we decided that we’d have two prints made up. And you can imagine from two hundred and fifty wedding images, you know, which two prints and we going to put on the wall. This is a big decision and we eventually settled on our group photo, which I think from my perspective, I wouldn’t necessarily classify as art. It’s more, from a wedding photography perspective, it’s more function, it’s like we had a group photo. And then we have a picture of just Rachel and I. One of our couple portraits which we would classify as art because it was taken in a very artistic way. So I think you know on a wedding day, the photographer really is playing dual roles, aren’t you?

You’re kind of recording the event for sure, and then there’s also the opportunity to go off and make art. Perhaps with the couple when things aren’t so spontaneous. 

Caroline: [00:03:59] Yeah absolutely. I think the reason why you pay for a photographer, rather than you know, you get your mate to do the photos, is you want that creativity from them. You know they know what’s going to happen on the day in terms of what to expect. They know what works well. They know firstly how to position you guys, so how to get you guys comfortable in front of the camera. And that in itself is creating art because then you get your real emotions. Yeah I mean I totally think that you have to balance the function.

You have to get those set shots, the group shots, you know the first kiss. But there’s a way of doing that that is very creative. And then during the portraits you can then push your creativity, whether that’s through the lighting, the environment or anything like that. 

Caroline: [00:04:46] So I think finding a photographer who is passionate about being creative is very important rather than just doing the functional. 

James: [00:04:57] Yes of course, which is perhaps a very old fashioned way of looking at wedding photography? 

Caroline: [00:05:01] Yeah. I think so, but I think the benefit as well of doing documentary style wedding photography is that you can be more creative and you are going with the flow. But it’s not just rigid. You can kind of have the flexibility and the freedom to say I want to try this. Let’s go for it. It works, or it doesn’t work. But at least we tried something fun and creative. 

James: [00:05:23] So on the subject of art then, I mean I’ve just covered prints. Have you ever had anybody make up like a coffee book album, a coffee book? 

Caroline: [00:05:33] Yeah. 

James: [00:05:36] I’m looking for the right word, coffee table book? 

Caroline: [00:05:38] A coffee table book! Absolutely. I think that’s a really nice way of remembering your day because if you’re doing a print, that’s lovely, but it can be, like you say, difficult to choose which photo to get. And a coffee book table… Sorry coffee table book. 

James: [00:05:57] It’s a tricky one isn’t it? It’s throwing everyone out! 

Caroline: [00:06:01]

That’s the perfect way to kind of capture that whole day in more than one or two photos and that will actually tell the story of that day, which will last forever.

Yeah. If I was married, I would totally get one. But prints is also an absolutely gorgeous way to celebrate your wedding photography. 

James: [00:06:18] Mm hmm. Rachel and I didn’t order an album at the time of getting our photography finished. And we thought we’ll probably put one together ourselves at some point. But you, as a wedding photographer, will be aware that when a bride and groom says that to you, that means we will never get it sorted out, ever. It’s quite revolutionary that we’ve had some printed up. But like I said I did make a slideshow out of them, you know, put on music from the day. So we did have that.

But I think we came at it from the perspective that a traditional wedding album is a lovely thing to have, but it’s also very big and it’s very heavy and it’s very difficult to actually enjoy.

One person can kind of look at it, because it’s so intense. But I think the coffee table book idea is a cool one isn’t it? Because it’s lighter. It’s smaller. 

Caroline: [00:07:12] Absolutely. It’s something you can just pick up, leave it out and pick up. 

James: [00:07:17] And maybe not be quite so precious about it with fingerprints. 

Caroline: [00:07:21]

I mean let’s be fair, wedding albums are very expensive. So a coffee table book is way more flexible. But I like the idea of a slide show as well because that’s really easy to share any way you like.

You know, you can have it on your computer and if you’ve got five minutes to look back at your day, it’s a lovely way of doing it. And I think that’s why wedding videography has really taken off as well. 

James: [00:07:44] That’s a totally different perspective. Yes. And also art! 

Caroline: [00:07:53] Oh absolutely. I would totally agree.

I think weddings in themselves are art because people put so much effort into the look.

And you know that’s one of the good things about being a wedding photographer. You get to catch all of that, the other couple’s creativity. You get to use that in your own art. So that’s lovely. 

James: [00:08:15] So we’ve just got one fun quick question for you, just to round things out, and that is…

“what’s the most surprising or unusual thing that you’ve ever come across at a wedding?”. 

Caroline: [00:08:26] Oh that’s a good one. OK. The most unusual in terms of experience was a bridesmaid initiated a human pyramid, just after the first dance. So we had about six groomsmen and six bridesmaids. So bridesmaids were on the bottom and then the groomsmen got on the top and the groom got to about four people high in this wedding reception. And as a photographer you’re thinking one, this is an amazing moment. But two, this could go really terribly wrong. 

James: [00:09:01] And be an amazing moment! 

Caroline: [00:09:03] Yeah I mean it was amazing. So that’s the first thing that springs to mind. That’s a good question. 

James: [00:09:11] Yeah you might have to dig deep. 

Caroline: [00:09:13] Yeah. I’ll let you know if anything else comes to mind. I think a lot of my couples have really awesome quirky weddings, so it’s hard to pick one.

I’ve got a vintage fairground theme coming up next month which I can’t wait for. It will be a bit different too. 

James: [00:09:32] Yeah. I love the way I’m thinking, you know, I think back over our 10 year career as wedding filmmakers and I’m thinking about all the amazing places, and the unusual kind of circumstances that you find yourself in. You start out quite innocently, oh I’m going to film weddings, and then the next thing you know, you’re doing the most amazing incredible things, with the most amazing and incredible people. And I think like you said, I think the best thing that’s come out of this little chat actually for me, is the fact that you said that the couples themselves are creating the art. They’re putting so much imagination and creativity in. It’s happening more and more and more. You know, weddings are becoming more and more personal to people. And it’s fantastic, because like you say, they are setting the scene for the art and being able to celebrate life as art. I think it’s incredible. I love it. 

Caroline: [00:10:19] Yeah.

I think the more personal weddings get, which is definitely a trend I think, the more it leaves open to people having fun and coming up with their own creative ideas for celebrating it.

So I can’t wait to see what people come up with really and then to capture all of that. 

James: [00:10:35] Super. Well that’s been great. Thank you so much for spending time with us today. 

Caroline: [00:10:39] Thank you. 

James: [00:10:40] Yeah it’s been great. 

Caroline: [00:10:41] Let’s do it again sometime. 

James: [00:10:43] Yeah. Let’s do it, let’s do it again soon. 

Caroline: [00:10:46] Thank you very much! 

James: [00:10:46] Thanks so much Caroline, we’ll speak to you again soon! 

Caroline: [00:10:48] No worries. Bye. 

James: [00:10:49] Take care. Bye for now. 

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  • Reply
    March 15, 2019 at 11:28 am

    Thanks so much for having me guys! Was lovely to chat 🙂 x

    • Reply
      James Pearson
      March 15, 2019 at 11:59 am

      This was a super topic Caroline! Thanks so much for sharing your time, wisdom and energy with us 🙂 Looking forward to next time!!!

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