I’m a wedding, portrait and event photographer based in Cresskill, New Jersey, about ten miles from Manhattan. I’ve been photographing weddings since 2002, mostly in NJ, NY, CT and PA, and occasionally farther away. While photography keeps me very busy, I’m also a husband and a dad. My wife and I have two sons.
Background and name
I’m originally from Korčula, an island on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. My unusual name is derived from the word zlato, which means gold. When I was little, I lived in Stockholm, Sweden for a few years before moving to New Jersey at the start of first grade.
How I started in photography
I’ve always been a visual person. Before photography, my greatest passion was drawing. My love of photography started in high school as I photographed for the school newspaper and yearbook. I spent many hours developing film and creating black & white prints in my home darkroom. I still love black & white photography, although I do it digitally now. Check out my portfolio of black & white wedding photography at this link.
I attended New York University for a year and took a portrait class with a photographer in Manhattan. I then transferred to the University of Chicago where I majored in philosophy, and also took classes in photography, aesthetics and the history of art. I then attended Cornell Law School where I earned a J.D. degree. While at Cornell, I photographed various events and had a solo exhibit of my art photography. After law school, I worked as a lawyer but continued photographing for fun.
How I began photographing weddings
In 2001, I was inspired by the work of Denis Reggie. He is the photographer who, more than any other, transformed wedding photography with a more natural style known as wedding photojournalism. Denis is known for his extraordinary list of notable clients, including Oprah Winfrey, Vera Wang, Kenneth Cole, Mariah Carey, James Taylor, Don Henley, Alan Greenspan and Andrea Mitchell, Rudolph Giuliani, John Kerry, Paula Abdul, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Mario Cuomo, among many others. In 2002, I traveled to Denis Reggie’s studio in Atlanta for a 4-day workshop on digital wedding photography. After the workshop I began photographing weddings part-time. In 2004, I left law practice and have been photographing full-time since then.
What makes my photography different
I value authentic moments and authentic emotions above all. For me, the magic of photography is how it draws from reality and transports us to a time, place and feeling — more vividly than our memories do. Our memories of events sometimes even merge with our photos of those events. As a result, authentic documentary photos hold a special value for me. While I value portraits very much, I put extra effort into the unposed photos.
Authentic, artistic, inspired. I strive for all three:
Authentic: I love photos that authentically represent the way things looked and felt, without being over-stylized. Wedding photography has had many trends that came and went. When I look at wedding photos of past generations, I see that the photos that captured real moments tend to look timeless and beautiful, while photos that were over-stylized with effects tend to look dated. I hope you’ll see in my photos a natural style: creative, but not forced. I feel that photography works best when it is “the art of real moments” so I generally practice wedding photojournalism (link). When shooting, I’m genuinely unobtrusive, not directorial. I have a low-key, quiet personality that fits in easily at a wedding or other event. I try to be an attentive observer — capturing real moments as they happen.
Artistic: I also love photography that is consciously artistic and not necessarily a dry representation of reality. The rules of photojournalism (no Photoshop, etc.) don’t apply in wedding photography. So there is room for artistic interpretation and for emphasis on beauty, aesthetics and style over just plain factual storytelling.
Inspired: I’m inspired by my subjects being themselves. I’m also inspired by various arts, including photography, painting, movies, music, fashion and architecture.
When doing portraits I am in a different “mode” than when doing photojournalism. Portraits generally involve some direction, or at least collaboration with subjects. But even when giving direction I try to maintain an awareness of the spontaneous and unplanned. My direction often has to do with moving the subjects within the setting and the lighting. Direction may also relate to efficiency, style and meaning. I try to avoid anything that looks cheesy or awkward. Although portraits make up a small portion of wedding photos, they’re important for family historical purposes. I’ve written a page about portraits at weddings — with many examples (link).
Please see reviews by previous clients at these two links:
Once you have been a client, please follow up and leave a review on these sites. The above links should take your directly to my page on those sites. Thank you for your reviews! Client reviews helped me earn this distinction or 2019:
Photography other than weddings and portraits
I photograph various special events, including bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, birthdays, corporate events and charity events. Since 2013, I’ve photographed many openings and events at Milk Gallery in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. The gallery has exhibited the work of noted photographers in photojournalism, art and fashion, and attracted many celebrity guests. My page titled Art & Fashion Events (link) shows some of this photography. I also do personal photography.
I occasionally offer personal photography lessons (link). In 2011-2013, I helped author and fashion designer Carolyne Roehm transition to digital photography. Ms. Roehm is the author of more than ten books on topics such as gardening, interior decorating, flower arranging and party planning.
Advice on cameras
I currently use Canon and Sony cameras. I’ve also used Fujifilm, Nikon, Leica, Olympus and Pentax cameras. The cameras in smartphones have gotten so good that they meet most people’s photography needs. But for specialized work, dedicated cameras with interchangeable lenses still offer an advantage. Tell me what you’ll be photographing and I’d be happy to offer some photo gear suggestions! If you buy photo gear based on my recommendation, please use my Affiliate Link to Cameras and Photo Gear on Amazon. If you like to do some bargaining, try my Affiliate Link to Greentoe where you can make a below list price offer on current photo gear. Or buy at a dealer who is local to you!
Zlatko is a phenomenal photographer and my wife and I highly recommend him. Thoughtful, friendly, creative, and accommodating from the very beginning, he was a pleasure to work with before and during the wedding. He bonded with me and my wife, our families, and guests, and made the process all the more fun. His work was superb and we were very pleased with his photos. He will not measure efforts to please his clients, goes the extra mile, and makes everyone extremely happy. Don’t even think about it: go for Zlatko!
I chose Zlatko because I loved the photojournalistic style of his pictures, and had also been assured by my wedding planner at the venue that he was so discreet and unobtrusive. He gave us such wonderful pictures, I couldn’t be happier. Zlatko was really able to capture the energy, excitement, and emotion of the day. Even though I wanted to avoid taking too many posed photos, the portraits we did do of the families came out great and he was able to get the shots very quickly so we didn’t have to spend too much time focusing on them. He was also an absolute joy to work with…always got back to me quickly and was so helpful and professional on the wedding day too. I wish I had another occasion coming up to hire him again!
Al Orensanz, Director, Angel Orensanz Center
Well, I felt like transported to a world of dreams and pure beauty. I never saw our building in this out of this world light and atmosphere… If you created such beauty and purity it means that there is a transcendence there. [Commenting on Rebecca & Jonathan’s wedding photos]
The Knot Magazine
You will be ‘very satisfied’ with this New Jersey pro, who received nothing less than perfect marks from brides. ‘He was marvelous,’ raves one bride, and ‘captured perfect moments.’ But don’t wait to check him out — this photographer photographs 40 to 50 weddings per year and books up quickly.
Ira Berger, Photo Editor, People Magazine
Wonderful wonderful photos… I’ve looked at about 100,000 photos this week (week is still young) and these are clearly the best! By far. [Commenting on Kathryn & Eduardo’s wedding photos]
I was VERY particular about finding a photographer. I looked high and low, and was convinced nobody would ever deliver the elegant, beautiful, timeless photos I wanted. And then I met Zlatko. I wish I could attach photos to this review so everybody could see the beauty of his work. My pictures are classic, breathtaking, elegant, and timeless. In addition, every special, intimate moment that my husband and I had on our wedding day, he caught on film, without us EVER knowing he was there. He works in the background, is completely unnoticeable, and quiet. You will NOT notice him until he delivers you these pictures that will take your breath away. Look no further, this is the best photographer you will find. And as an added bonus, he is as wonderful, sweet, and kind as they come. An absolute professional. He listens and takes to heart every one of your wishes, and will deliver exactly what you want. I have never written a review about anything in my life, but Zlatko is the exception!
Zlatko did a fantastic job photographing our wedding! He caught beautiful candid moments, and was able to capture group photos well (and quickly!). In addition to doing a fantastic job, he was a pleasure to have around on the wedding day. He was easy going, helpful, and right next to me taking pictures all day and night without me noticing. I highly recommend him to anybody looking for a wedding photographer!
Zlatko was an absolute joy to work with! Super professional, polite, and patient! He was also super flexible with timing and locations. He perfectly captured our day – from the special details to candid shots, we are so happy with all of the photos. We would highly recommend him to anyone looking for a photographer!
Consulate General of Sweden in New York
Thank you @zlatkobatistich for beautiful pictures. [Commenting on photos of a special event]
Zlatko is AMAZING!! He photographed my wedding in Rye, NY as well as both my sisters’ weddings. He is professional, responsive on email and phone, courteous and unobtrusive. He is so pleasant, calm and gracious – we absolutely loved working with him. He listens to every request you have and is extremely patient, yet he also finds certain spots, angles, lighting on his own that you wouldn’t even think of – when we got our pictures back, we were in awe. He captured our big day perfectly and even took photos before and during our rehearsal. I can’t say enough great things about Zlatko!
My fiancee and I were referred to Zlatko by a friend who had GORGEOUS wedding photos. We asked him to first do our engagement photoshoot, and from the first 3 minutes of meeting and shooting with him, we were thrilled we had chosen him! Zlatko is professional and definitely passionate about his craft! He is very easy to work with and captures great authentic moments. On our wedding day, we did not see him put down his camera! Highly recommended!
I highly highly recommend Zlatko! He photographed my wedding in September in Westchester and the photos could not be more gorgeous. First of all, Zlatko is extremely responsive and organized so you feel very confident leading up to your wedding. Zlatko has an eye for all of the best spots and lighting so you end up with beautiful photographs. We had Zlatko (without any additional photographers) and he didn’t miss a single shot from first look to ceremony to dancing. Don’t think twice- book Zlatko!
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