The wedding photography industry is booming, and so is our photographer here, Irina Groza from Cromatica Photography. From, Bucharest, Romania, Irina and Robert Trica from Chromatica have since amassed a strong portfolio of wedding albums, ranging from colourful, vibrant pieces to their signature monochromatic touch of sheer beauty and emotion. Here, we get in touch with Irina to enquire more about Cromatica and understand what brings her passion and creativity to life.
Q: How did you end up being a wedding photographer, and what made you choose photography as a career?
A: Although I’ve always been very interested in photography and cameras, nobody has ever imagined that a girl like me could become a photographer. As a kid, all the photographers I met or heard of were men. Moreover, in those days photography was considered a perfectly acceptable hobby, but not a serious career. And a wedding photographer was not even a real photographer, but generally a man with a camera, making some money at weekends. My family and friends were pretty sure I was going to become a lawyer or a teacher. And they were partially right, because I did become a (very happy, passionate, dedicated) literature teacher.
But after years of studies which were not related to the visual arts and starting our careers in different fields, my best friend Robert and I started to study photography. Just for our own pleasure and curiosity! The first surprise was that we totally fell in love with photography, which became increasingly important to us. We were quite addicted! The next surprise was to discover that people were somehow attracted by our passion and started to encourage us, to pay us for taking photos and eventually to make us accept that, despite our main jobs and career plans, that was definitely a path to explore. They were calling us photographers when we wouldn’t have dared to think that about ourselves. The craziness of falling in love with photography and that strange, unexpected wave that was pushing us forward were changing our direction, not a rational decision. Now Robert and I are married and have a 9 year old son. We’ve photographed together over 150 weddings and many other events. We know now that the wedding photographers can be real, complete, brilliant photographers and we work really hard to become such photographers one day.
Q: In your whole career, what has been your most interesting/extravagant/outrageous wedding so far?
A: Just as my best photos are my future photos, the most interesting wedding is always the next one. The truth is I’ve never thought “wow, that was the most interesting/extravagant/outrageous wedding” because none of them was just that, but rather a surprising mix of very different moments, feelings and people. And people are the most important element, of course. Every wedding is as unique as the combination of people who attend it. So I don’t label the weddings, I don’t compare them, I just keep myself curious and enthusiastic about the next one, because it’s my job and my joy to photograph it with fresh eyes and an open heart.
Q: What gear do you use, and which equipment do you use the most?
A: Robert and I work together. In our rolling bag there are two Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 24mm f/1.4L II, Canon 35mm f/1.4L, Canon 85mm f/1.2L II, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, Sigma Art 50mm f/1.4, 4 Canon Speedlites 600EX-RT and many other things. The lens I use most is the 35mm, I think it’s the most versatile of them. But the 24mm is great at parties, the 85mm is perfect for portraits, the 70-200mm makes wonders in natural light, so I really use all of them. There is one exception though, the 50mm lens, which is used just by my husband.
Q: How would you describe your wedding photography style and approach?
A: I don’t know what would be the name that best defines my photography style. Someone may say it’s photojournalistic, but I wouldn’t be so sure. I capture real, authentic moments, but then I carefully edit the photos.
When photographing, I look with love at people and with curiosity at the most common things. I want to be really close to the people I photograph and feel connected with them, but at the same time I try to melt into the background and make them forget about me. I don’t alter reality to make it beautiful, but search for the beauty that is hidden everywhere. I love to discover, document and play. I permanently look for those things that other people won’t notice. That means a lot of fun, moving and experimenting with angles.
Q: What were your early influences? Any photographers you looked up?
A: I think my influences come not only from photography, but from all the visual arts. Even now, when I check my photos I always ask myself: if I were a painter, would I choose this composition, these colors, this angle? But I look up to many photographers from all over the world, of course. I’ve always loved Elliott Erwitt’s humor, Sebastião Salgado’s meaningfulness, Jose Villa’s colors. Their work has been influencing me in so many ways till now, giving me direction and then helping me find myself as a photographer.
Staying true to their passion and to their principles, Irina and Robert have succeeded in becoming one of the most successful couples of photographers in the Romanian wedding photography industry. With many internationally awarded photos and hundreds of happy clients, you can be one of them, just log on to their website to see more of their works.