Interview: Tijana Jankovic-Jevric, photographer
Tijana Jankovic-Jevric (1981) lives in Belgrade. She studied Cinematography and Media Production. Tijana is the founder of LookerWeekly.com webzine as well as its Editor in chief. Like a photographer she creates as Miss Stills. Her work was published in numerous digital and print media in Serbia, and intenationally has been reckognized as the best advertising – beauty photographer in 2018 at Moscow International Photo Awards.
- Hi Tijana, how long have you been working as a photographer now?
It sounds so unbelieve to me, but the fact is it has been on and off for 20 years now. I was only 18 when I enrolled in the film school to study cinematography. We were shooting on film back then! (smile) We had digital video cameras, but photography was done on film. So, we had had to be very careful and thoughtful before we would press the shutter, each and every time. I was the 20th century! (smile) I’ve focused my resources in developing freelance photography business strongly in last 6 years, though.
- What inspired you to become a photographer? What were your first steps?
I’ve always been in love with arts and crafts. Ever since my early childhood. I believe the very first reason, not the only one (I’ve had many more along the way), was my encounter with Russian film camera Smena 8. I was 14 back then. I took 36 photos of my class mates. Some of the pics came out pretty nice or, let’s put it this way and be honest, they were sharp and well exposed. It was good enough to encouraged me to contemplate on the idea to study photography some day in the future. Which I did!
- Are you a professional or an amateur photographer?
A full time professional. This is my job and I’ve been formally schooled for.
- What is your favorite subject to photograph?
Without any doubt – people! I like to portray people either with a camera as a photographer or to interview them as a journalist.
I do photograph almost all genres, because it is what a professional photographer does. A photographer photographs! Albeit, on this occasion I’ve chosen to share with you my portraitures.
- What kit do you shoot with?
I’ve chosen Canon a long time ago. Currently using my trusty Canon 6D with various lenses and the lighting. I am a petite woman and this model is perfect for my grip. (smile)
- How would you define your photographic style?
Neat and artistic, journalistic and cinematic. I owe it a lot to my cinematographic and journalistic background. I love to read, write and picture stories. I am always in search for an interesting narrative, even in the simplest of the shots. There has to be something going on.
- Which editing software do you usually use?
All photo selections and general RAW editing is done in Lightroom, and final magic touch is done in Photoshop.
- John Wanamaker said: Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I do not know which half. Do you gain your clients by advertising or in another way?
A word of mouth is the way I get in touch with new clients. Although, attracting a client would be just one part of the equation. The real deal is to make a client come back to you again.
- How does your typical working day look like? What do you do when you are not working? How many hours/days per week are you working? What do you do in your free time?
It depends if I am on the set, at the event or working in postproduction. Some days I reserve for meeting my clients or developing new ideas only. It is very dynamic, and that is the beauty of this profession. The entrepreneurship is the lifestyle, so even when you are not working physically your mind is always on, 24/7. Hence, I advise anyone who would like to take up a new hobby to choose photography and to enjoy it fully without any pressure to make it a profession. Just relax, do not worry about fancy equipment and take a long beautiful photo stroll.
- What would you do differently if you would start again?
Be more courageous.
- A professional photographer is also an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have many things in common. They read a lot. What about you? What are your favorite books?
I’ve read a lot, and I read almost on daily basis, and often times a few books in parallel, either in English or in Serbian. I am back to classics these days. Kafka, for example.
- What was the best advice you have ever received as a photographer? Do you have any advice for other photographers?
If you want to be really good at something you need to work hard, and in 10 years from now you will master it. This applies to any profession, I believe.