ABOUT SLAVA SLAVIK
My name is Slava Slavik and I love to photograph people for a living. Being a wedding and portrait photographer here, in Hawaii, I think I have a dream job.
I’m relatively new to Hawaii. I came in December 2015 to make Oahu my new home, and follow my passion for weddings and portraits here.
I started my photography career in the Czech Republic in 2001, when I worked as an executive for a startup software company involved in photo-management software. I invested in a top-of-the-line Canon DSLR with several lenses, and quickly found passion in landscape photography. In 2002, one of my colleagues asked me to photograph his wedding. Initially, I refused, but for some reason, he and his fiancée trusted me and insisted. The first wedding assignment went well, and I knew I was hooked on weddings and working with couples.
I made photography a full-time business in 2004 when I moved to the United States. Within a few years I was established in the Atlanta area photographing on average 35 weddings and 50 portrait sessions every season. I had many wonderful clients and was consistently awarded honors by the wedding websites The Knot and Wedding Wire, for being among the top 5% of wedding photographers in Georgia.
Beside weddings, I love to photograph posed portraits – either families or professionals. I was honored to photograph editorial assignments with the CEO of AT&T Mobility, and vice-presidents of Coca-Cola, Delta, Home Depot, and GE Energy. I also enjoy creating professional portraits, having photographed a number of real estate agents, lawyers, doctors, and executives.
|Why 11 clicks||11 is my lucky number and I was born on the 11th|
|Hobbies||Photography, running, hiking, design, marketing, and exploring the world|
|On the bucket list||A few really exotic locations|
|Best dining so far||Canoe Atlanta, hands down|
|… and in Hawaii||Wai’olu at The Trump|
|Best wines||I’m a fan of left-bank Bordeaux|
|A person to dine with||Elliott Erwitt, photographer|
|Personal motto||Don’t collect things, only experience|
|Add one odd fact||Be ready for my funny accent|
A Short Interview
Back in the early 2000s, in the Czech Republic, wedding photography was very simple. In essence, anybody with a good camera could impress. When I came to the United States, to Atlanta, I realized, I had to completely rebuild my portfolio and precisely define my style, which is to capture the essence of the relationship between two people, to “paint” the pictures with natural light and vivid colors. Since I moved my photography to Hawaii, I keep challenging myself to add the element of this “tropical paradise” into as many pictures as possible.
I don’t have a formal photography education, but I was lucky to be accepted and allowed to work with one of the top Atlanta wedding photographers at the time, Craig Willes, from 2006 to 2008. In 2010, I had the opportunity to train in Philadelphia with Cliff Mautner, who was named among the top ten wedding photographers in the World by American Photo Magazine. I also like to take part in industry trade shows with rich educational programs like Imaging USA, WPPI or DWF conventions, and various workshops. I might be spending too much time watching the best photographers teaching folks on Creative Live.
In my last few years in Atlanta, I worked on a limited number of mostly large, elaborate weddings that required extensive coordination with other vendors and every part of the event had to be precisely choreographed under mostly predictable conditions. In Hawaii, I expect my assignments to include smaller destination weddings. My help and involvement in the logistics will be essential as most of the couples won’t have a chance to see their wedding and portrait locations before the wedding. My challenge will be to deliver one-of-a-kind pictures while navigating around volatile weather, infamous Honolulu traffic, different permitting regulations and respecting Hawaii traditions and other visitors.
I received several awards based on client reviews, but the biggest appreciation for my work came with a single phone call. It was a father of the bride who was also a full-time professional photographer. He called after he and his wife saw pictures from the wedding of their only daughter, and, evidently moved, with tears in his eyes, expressed his gratitude.