This week I welcome Gordon Jovic. Gordon is a wedding photographer based in Australia. His imagery is inspiring and creative and he definitely knows how to capture unique moments in time. He was voted one of the top 10 Australian wedding photographers in 2008 by Australia's Capture magazine. Gordon certainly has an eye for artistic imagery and is a photographer that will keep pushing the boundaries of our awesome profession. I'm proud to call him a friend. Look forward to shooting a wedding together soon.
Hi Crash and thank you for the interview.
Tell us a little bit about Gordon Jovic?
I’m a family man have 2 teenage kids and currently reside in Australia. I discovered wedding photography in 2004 really by coincidence which has changed my life completely for the better.
Where is home?
Currently Sydney, Australia way down under.
If you could live anywhere on this awesome planet where would you build your dream home?
It would definitely be in the U.S. California or Florida I love America and the easy going attitude that most Americans seem to have.
What is your current state of mind before we continue with the interview?
I’m probably a little tense so much is going on at the moment both with my career and in my private life. However, I’m really enjoying this interview!
Did you go to school to study photography?
I took part in a few short courses but can’t really say I took much in. I do things my way and have from day one always done my work instinctively. Personally, I believe you can learn settings, shutter speeds etc but schooling won’t give you a creative eye which is what you need at least for weddings and portraiture.
How long have you been a photographer?
Professional full time since 2004.
How long have you been a wedding photographer?
Since 2004 when my life completely changed.
What or who got you started in wedding photography?
It was all just a coincidence really and I still wonder about how it happened. Someone had stolen my camera which was expensive but not an SLR. Then something inside of me told me it was time to buy a more advanced camera, so there I was with my pay check buying a camera I really didn’t need. I can recall driving home with the camera feeling guilty to have just spent my entire salary on a camera. The following week I wanted a larger lens and went to the city and bought a 200mm lens. I took some shots of my daughter at home and it just blew me away. I was hooked. When I look at those first shots even today they are still good so I felt that I had some kind of natural gift for photography. I shot my first weeding about 10 months later.
How would you describe your style?
It is definitely artistic. Most photographers can tell my images apart from others meaning I have my own unique style which I am proud of.
However, I believe I can adapt to whatever my couple want from me. For example some couples love art while others prefer candid and natural images, I feel I can do both well. Colleagues tell me my images are very clean yet powerful. I love capturing emotions on camera especially during the ceremony.
How many weddings do you average per year?
I used to shoot too many and burnt out. At the moment I’m shooting around 40 or so per year.
Do you have a few recent images you can inspire us with?
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I use Nikon cameras and original lenses. I prefer small cameras so I actually use the D700 instead of the larger D3. I personally think couples feel more at ease if your camera is smaller.
What is your favourite photography accessory, other than your camera?
Spot lights and reflectors.
If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
I would of course use an all round lens which would give me a wide perspective angle to a zoom. That way I could cover most angles.
What lighting equipment do you take on a shoot?
Video, spot and flash.
Can you describe how and when you use flash, video light, reflectors and natural light during a wedding?
I mostly use reflectors for light fill. Video light is not as important as it used to be since new cameras have incredible ISO capabilities. I ‘m not using video light as often as I did a year ago. I use spot lights to create low key images providing my couples want that kind of shot.
What is your favourite computer/editing accessory, other than your computer?
Photoshop with some self created actions and filters.
How important is Photoshop in your final images?
It is just as important as getting the perfect shot in the first place. If done correctly it can transform a nice image into a stunning shot. I feel too many photographers over retouch their images which make them look too artificial. Photoshop can also easily destroy images if not used correctly.
What is your most used Photoshop tool, plug-in, action set etc.?
I use self created actions and filters. The healing brush tool is used a lot to clean up marks etc.
Are you a MAC or PC lover?
I love neither in fact I hate computers because they too often have a mind of their own. I am currently using PC’s.
Do you plan on buying any new equipment and if so what do you have your eyes on?
Ah……. Yes you can unfortunately, never stop buying products because new items hit the market all the time. Probably a new monitor soon my computers are all very new.
I finally feel I have mastered my Crash-Art workflow, can you briefly describe for the readers your photographic workflow after a wedding?
First step is to back up my files. I back up on a dual hard drive, external drive and DVD’s. I guess you could say I take extra precaution I want multiple copies of my RAW files backed-up. Next step I colour balance in light room and convert to JPEG. Then I work the images until they are ready for the wedding album.
I use Queensberry albums, what wedding albums do you supply your clients with and do you design them yourself or outsource the design?
I use an Australian album brand not only are the albums very good but I get exceptional service from the company. They makes sure all my albums are just the way I want them and offer a personal touch which I find is very important with both the printer and album firm.
How do you feel about cropping an image?
Sure if it will make an image look better then cropping is fine by me.
I choose photographers for these interviews because their work really inspires me and gets my creative juices flowing, hence the interview.
What gives you ideas and inspires you to create such amazing imagery?
Good question! It’s also hard to answer. But I think it’s self satisfaction. I love nothing more than to sit back and look at a beautiful shot which I know my couple is going to love. I am ambitious always wanting to do well at award competitions etc so that is another reason. But the best and most important thing would be the enjoyment of watching my couples browse through their wedding album when they come in to pick it up. Just watching their facial expressions is worth all the effort.
What has been your most memorable assignment and why?
I can’t really pin point one in particular. A lot of my couples are quite excited to have me shoot their wedding so I love that feeling and such couples always will remain memorable to me.
If you could shoot a wedding with another photographer who would it be and why?
I wouldn’t mind shooting one with you Crash! I think it would be really cool because you have seen and know so many great photographers it would be interesting to view your thoughts and ideas.
Do you have an assistant/2nd shooter that accompanies you on wedding assignments?
I use an assistant that is there for me. As a general rule I believe second shooters just get in the way and make the couple look in different directions which can ruin a great shot. Someone once told me that “ Two photographers are better than one but one great photographer is better than two average ones”, I couldn’t agree more.
How many images do you average per wedding and how many do you usually present to your clients?
I shoot and delete as I go. I instinctively know when a shot is good and when not. All up I probably shoot about 2000 plus frames. The couple usually end up with around 800 images give or take.
Where would be your dream destination wedding?
For my style of imagery it would have to be Italy or any place that has old buildings. I think I would freak out in Venice. I’m looking forward to shooting there soon.
How do you make the bride and groom, bridal party etc… feel relaxed in front of your Nikon D700?
Ah… this is in my opinion very important. A good image is an image where my subject has natural body language. The couple must be at ease and the way I do this is hard to put in writing. I somehow make my couple see me as a friend not someone that is there charging money to take photos. They really need to feel totally relaxed with me. That’s how I get those intimate images.
Have you ever had anything go wrong at a wedding and if so, how did you handle it?
I have had cameras jam, equipment stop working but I always have back-up so it’s no big deal. Sometimes brides are late but no I haven’t experienced anything major.
What are your favourite three images you have shot recently? Can you describe their creation in regards to location, lighting, composition, camera settings etc, also your thoughts when creating the images and what they mean to you?
OK these images are new so they are favourites today during this interview but images for me are like new clothes to most women. They love new clothes and continuously look at them in the mirror. After each wedding I typically have new favourites which I will keep looking at until the next wedding comes round. These particular shots are from my last wedding. I have used natural light in all of them no flash, video light etc. A beautiful image to me is one that is simple yet grabs your attention. It does not need to be too retouched to be beautiful an emotional expression captured is beautiful for eternity. I love real moments.
What do you feel is the most challenging thing about photographing weddings?
The responsibility involved in recording those special moments and I guess my expectations are high. I want each wedding to be better than the last one. I always think album not image. My goal is to create an album of the day so that I’m on edge from start to end that’s challenging. You should never simply relax if you want to create something special and should always take risks.
What do you think of the wedding photography industry at the moment and where do you see it in 5 years from now?
It’s changing and will keep changing due to incredible technology which keeps coming. I think the average photographer will struggle as more people enter this field each year. But in my opinion there will always be leaders in the industry that will continue to create new styles of images and set new trends. It should be quite amazing in 5 years time.
A wedding photographer who inspires you?
There are a few who I admire and will often peek at their websites. Jerry Ghionis, David Beckstead, Jim Garner to name a few.
It’s almost that time of year for a Taylor family portrait. Is there any photographer out there that you would be stoked to say - he took my portrait?
It wouldn’t be a wedding photographer there are a few fashion photographers that I would like take our portrait. Perhaps Yannick Derry.
A website and/or blog you visit often?
I often visit the websites of Jerry Ghionis, Marcus Bell, Gino Lucadamo they seem to add new stuff on a regular basis.
The first photographer that comes to your mind and why?
Probably Jerry Ghionis because I like his style of imagery and it’s sometimes similar to some of my stuff.
The last workshop or seminar you attended and why?
Yervant & Buissink in Sydney. I went for the fun of it.
What photographic organizations do you belong to?
WPPI, Australian Institute of Professional Photography, SWPP, WIPM so basically all the big ones.
One way you market Gordon Jovic Photography?
Mainly on the web.
Do you advertise? If so where?
My albums do my advertising for me. You must create beautiful albums which will attract more business. I advertise on two wedding websites but no longer advertise in magazines or at bridal fairs. I guess I’m in a good position. I get heaps of referrals from industry professionals as well as past clients.
How important is an awesome website for your business?
Very important especially if the couple is coming from overseas to marry here. I intend on launching a new website some time soon which will be my second website. I want it to be ahead of time as was my current site when it was launched. I’m kind of a web fanatic.
If not a photographer, I would have liked to be a marine biologist studying the great white shark. What would you have been?
I love aircraft and when relaxing I sometimes use flight simulator. Being a pilot would be a dream job for me. I’m not the 9-5 type of guy.
I realize that each great photographer has a particular penchant or love for photographing a particular subject whether it be nature, portraits, sea or landscapes, shadow and light, etc. as a result I would love to have you talk about and share whatever images you feel appropriate of your own private obsession in the magical world of photography. Ok I am probably a little unusual here if I’m not shooting a wedding I rarely touch my camera. On rare occasions I might take a snap shot of my kids that’s about it. I am a less than average photographer around the house but I excel as soon as it’s serious. So here are a few shots of the kids. These photos are at least a year old I should take new ones.
Is there anybody or anything you would love to photograph?
Yes. Jack Nicholson, David Bowie, Kate Moss, John Malkovich, famous people that have amazing facial features.
When I was 2nd shooting I was picking everybody’s brain, I still am actually. That’s why I love these interviews so much. Every interview I learn something that makes me a better photographer. What advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue wedding photography?
My advice is to just do it. Take risks and experiment as much as possible. Never be too shy to ask your couple to do something if you feel it could be a good shot. After your 3rd wedding you should know deep inside if you’ll make it or not in this industry.
We know that each of us has someone or something, which inspires our life and work. Can you tell us the true basis of your inspiration?
This is a tough question. I guess I just love creating beautiful images it simply comes from my heart.
Is there anything you would have done differently during your photographic career?
I don’t think so my career has taken off like a rocket from day one. I can be very happy about the way things have gone for me.
Name a photographer you would like to take a portrait of?
Hmmm… Crash Taylor when we meet up.
If you could be invisible for one day with your camera...
I’d love to take shots of kids at school during an exam the expressions would be awesome.
I’ve learned the most from…
Experience and making mistakes
What talent would you most like to have?
I wish I were a better businessman
Something you’re still learning?
How to make everyone happy
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
All of my family including our pets. Plus some close friends.
What is your greatest fear?
Sickness, injuries and seeing someone close hurt.
Something that is overrated?
Something you’re saving up for?
A Harley Davidson to simply look at and love.
What item do you wish you had designed?
Probably some leading website such as Google, Facebook or other.
If you could have lunch with anyone who is famous who would it be?
Motocross champions James Stewart or Ricky Carmichael. I love the sport and highly respect these incredible athletes.
Where you'll find me on a Friday night at 9 p.m.?
If not on my PC then watching TV with my cat sleeping on my chest.
Your favourite film (movie) of all time?
2001 A Space Odessy!!! It was 40 years ahead of it’s time when released. No other movie comes even close.
Who would play you in a film (movie) of your life?
First thing you would do if you won the lottery?
Move to the U.S. and buy a beautiful house .
Which five words would your friends use to describe you?
Ambitious, spontaneous, passionate, dreamer, generous.
What ambition have you not yet achieved?
To win the title of Australian Wedding Photographer of the year.
What would you like to be doing in 5 years from now?
Shooting less and teaching others my secrets and techniques somewhere in America.
And the last question, if you had one wish…
It would be to move to the U.S. and continue what I’m doing now.
Oh one more, if someone said ‘how can I be the next Gordon Jovic?’ What would you say?
Come to my workshops which I plan to carry out in the U.S. in a few years time.
Your readers can find out more about me: