So next up in my guest blog series, is the super talented Maja Tsolo. We have worked together on both real weddings and shoots and we actually started our businesses around the same time. Maja and I connected with each other just as we were both breaking into the wedding industry. So it’s been really lovely to have our businesses grow side by side at the same time. Something that always strikes me about Maja when she’s shooting, is that she is so in the zone. She is focused and I tell you this, the woman never tires! Even at the end of the day, after shooting for many hours – she still has energy to keep going. But despite being an energetic person, she’s so calm and steady and easy to be around. I think this is why she’s so good at capturing those meaningful moments, because people almost forget that she’s there – but she definitely is there, quietly photographing those heartfelt exchanges and embraces.
In response to my questions, Maja has shared some really useful advice into choosing your wedding photographer. She’s also given you an insight into who she is and what makes her tick. I genuinely believe you’ll love getting to know her better.
Welcome to the guest interview series Maja. So tell me, when did you start your photography business? Did you do something else before?
I honestly never imagined I would one day run a photography business. I have a Masters degree in Neuropsychology and I worked in psychology research up until I became a mum in 2009. Having had three children in quick succession I found myself in a position where I needed to re-evaluate my career options. Photography was something I always had an interest in and allowed me much greater time flexibility than a standard 9-5 job.
I officially registered my business in 2012, having absolutely no clue what running my own business would entail. It makes me laugh now to think how ill prepared I was. I only shot family and baby sessions at the beginning, it seemed like a natural fit as I was a new mum myself. I have worked really hard over the years to learn all aspects of the business and get to where I am now.
Have you always loved weddings? And what made you decide to photograph couples on their wedding day?
I hadn’t really thought much about weddings until my own in 2007, to be honest. And back then the wedding industry wasn’t anything like it is today, with so many options and amazing suppliers available. I kind of stumbled into wedding photography in 2015 when an old work colleague of mine asked me to shoot her wedding. I didn’t think I was ready to take on such a responsibility and I turned her down several times before she finally changed my mind. I had never even attended an English wedding as a guest before that!
On the day, everything went really well and I was positively buzzing. I loved the atmosphere, all the emotions and the beautiful details. I also loved the fact that I didn’t have to direct much and could just focus on capturing the moments as they unfolded before me. That day was a turning point for me, although it took me another 2 years to fully rebrand myself as a wedding photographer.
I think you have a very distinctive style to your images. How would you describe your style?
Thank you, it is so great to hear when people tell me that they can recognise my images as soon as they see them!
My style is a combination of how I shoot and how I edit. I love capturing natural, relaxed moments and details that give a sense of the wedding atmosphere and couple’s style. When it comes to editing, I also lean on a very natural and clean look. So many couples that book me say they were drawn to my editing tones. I want my images to look beautiful, sophisticated and also feel timeless, so couples will love them for years to come.
Do you have a favourite kind of wedding that you love to shoot?
I’ve always been inspired by nature and beautiful design, so I am a sucker for a beautiful setting and well considered details. But ultimately, weddings are about the couple and their loved ones. When everyone is relaxed and having the best day, there will be plenty of candid, joyful moments to capture and that is my absolute favourite.
What are your unique qualities that your couples are attracted to?
I think I offer a good balance of reliable, organised and easy going, if I may say so myself, ha. I aim to give my couples the best service possible from the day they enquire and I want them to be able to rely on me. In the planning stage that can mean things like answering their emails in a timely manner, gathering all the relevant information or offering advice that will help them make decisions about their wedding. Building that trust ahead of the wedding day is crucial and goes a long way towards getting the natural and relaxed images that I’m after.
While I may be a bit of a nerd, I’m also very personable and energetic and I have a way of putting people at ease. So many of my couples have told me after a session or the wedding day that they felt very relaxed around me and really enjoyed having their photos taken.
What is it about your work that keeps you excited and motivated? And what is your most favourite thing about your job?
There is so much I love about my job – working with wonderful couples and other talented wedding creatives, spending a lot of time in beautiful venues and outdoor spaces, seeing wedding suppliers work together and bring to life the most stunning and stylish settings, the list goes on. But my most favourite part is capturing beautiful, meaningful moments during a session or on a wedding day that I know people will cherish for a long time. It’s always so rewarding to hear back from a couple who absolutely loves their photos.
Do you have a favourite place in the world?
Soča Valley in Slovenia, where I grew up, has become the place I most look forward to visiting ever since I moved to the UK over 12 years ago. The valley lies at the foot of the Alps and the nature there is stunning, plus we get to spend time with family. A close second would be Cape Town for its incredible vibe and seaside views. My husband comes from South Africa, so we have family and friends living there too.
What’s your favourite cake flavour?!
It would have to be lemon and poppy seed. But anything moist and tangy would go down a treat.
Do you have any tips you can share with couples who are looking for a wedding photographer?
There are two main things to look out for – do you like their photography style and are they a good fit in terms of personality. Both are important. When it comes to photography style, have a look at their portfolio and see whether you are drawn to the mood in the photos, the colours and tone of editing. Can you see yourself in those images? Is the editing and the mood consistent throughout their portfolio? Photographers can easily apply their signature style to different venues, locations and types of weddings, so it is not so crucial whether they have shot at your wedding venue or the exact type of wedding before. But don’t expect them to change their style of shooting or editing just for you.
And when it comes to personality, have a chat with them, ask questions, have a look on their social media. Try and get a feel for what they are like and how they work. They don’t have to be your soulmate but you are likely to be more relaxed on the wedding day if you feel comfortable around them.