I’m Zlatko, a wedding, portrait and event photographer based in Cresskill, New Jersey, about ten miles from New York City. I’ve been photographing professionally since 2002.
- I’m a full-time photographer and I love making meaningful photographs.
- My work includes: weddings and other celebrations, portraits for families and individuals, and photography of business events and launches.
- I have an authentic artistic vision, with emphasis on real moments and emotions, simple and easy portraits, and timeless photos without excessive effects.
- I mostly work in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut, and occasionally farther away.
I’m also a husband and a dad, and a member of Professional Photographers of America.
I’m originally from the island of Korčula on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast — a Mediterranean region where olives and grapes flourish. It’s also the region where the Dalmatian dog originates. My unusual name is derived from the word zlato, which means gold. When I was little, I also lived in Stockholm for a few years, before moving to New Jersey at the age of six.
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 one year and took a portrait class with a photographer in Manhattan. I then transferred to the University of Chicago where I earned a degree in philosophy and also took classes in photography, aesthetics and the history of art. I also attended Cornell where I earned a J.D. degree while continuing to do photography.
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 world-renowned clients. 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. I love good portraits, but I love unposed photos just as much! That’s why so many of the photos in my Wedding Portfolios are unposed moments.
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. When shooting, I’m genuinely unobtrusive. 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 showing of facts.
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).
Other types of photography
In addition to personal photography, 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’m a member of Dwellsy Lightbox, a resource for professionals who provide photography to real estate agents and property managers.
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.
- Brides New Jersey
- Manhattan Bride
- The Knot New York Metro
- The Knot Weddings New Jersey
- The Knot Pennsylvania
- Modern Bride New York
- Modern Bride New Jersey
- New Jersey Bride
- Greenwich Magazine
- Hollywood Soapbox
- ABC News Nightline
- Style Me Pretty
- The New York Post
- Business Insider
- (201) Magazine
- Contributor to Milk.xyz, an online showcase of innovative talent in fashion, music, art and film
- WeddingWire Couple’s Choice Awards 2014, 2016 & 2019
- WeddingWire Rated (link to 20+ Reviews)
- Brides New Jersey Editor’s Choice Award
- Morven Museum and Garden Preferred Vendors List
- 10 Amazing Photographers Who Use the Olympus E-M1 2014
I’m based in Cresskill, New Jersey (red pin on the map), about 10 miles from northern Manhattan.