I have a new interview prepared for you. Today we have with us Maruša Kovač from Slovenia, who captures the beauty of nature through photography. Maruša is one of my favorite artists and photographers. You must check out her Instagram profiles; they are truly wonderful. As she told me, she is searching for unique perspectives, nature’s hidden gems, and places that make you feel alive. Her work is a reminder of a deep connection with nature and the beauty found every step of the way.
Let’s get to the interview!
Art meets nature: unveiling the vision of Maruša Kovač, photographer and artist
You can find Maruša here:
1. Hi Maruša, what does photography mean to you?
For me, photography is art. And as an artist at heart, I cannot stop creating. To be able to express myself through many mediums of art is like breathing to me. I wanted to be a painter, but destiny decided I would never be a trained artist. I wish I knew it back then, but it was a blessing in disguise.
Creativity had to flow somewhere, so my art made a natural shift to photography. Just think about it: until recently, to capture a moment, a painter would spend days at a scene, using a camera obscura to sketch it, trying to get the right shapes and colors, which was basically just a long process of what cameras do today.
Now I can “paint” that moment in less than a second! Don’t get me wrong; art won’t die, but it will evolve because it can finally express something never seen before, something beyond what cameras can capture. So, for me, photography is a chance to make any moment an eternal “painting”.
2. What inspired you to become a photographer? What were your first steps?
My photography started with sunsets. It’s a funny story, actually! When I was a kid, I adored sunsets—all these sun rays and colors—and the best of all was that it was a different one every day. My family owned a digital camera; I think it was able to store around 400 photos, and I completely filled it with sunsets because I wanted to look through them again and again.
They quickly had enough of this and bought me my own camera to collect hundreds of sunset photos. (laughs) It was a simple digital camera by Sony, and what I loved about it the most was that I could shoot everything slightly underexposed to capture brighter details and then later lift the shadows a bit without losing any information in the photo.
Pure gold! This little machine got me inspired to notice all the beauty around me and experiment with different types of photography. In many years, it captured countless memories and adventures.
3. Are you a professional or an amateur photographer?
I’m an amateur photographer, or, better said, a hobby photographer. And I actually like it that way, because once a hobby becomes a job, it oftentimes takes the joy and fun out of it. What I usually see happening is people trying all they can to do their best and outrun competition, but what they forget about is taking the time for experimentation, being playful, and creating with zero pressure.
Purely out of creativity and child-like curiosity. Without it, you can quickly get into a burnout, and these take some time to recover from and to find the joy to create again. So, even though photography is a big part of my creative expression, I’m keeping it as a hobby.
4. What kit do you shoot with? What would an upgrade look like?
I’m a mobile photographer. This is usually a shock to people! But for me, it was a very natural transition from my old digital Sony camera to my phone camera when following camera quality. Smartphones today have crazy-good cameras! I shoot with the Huawei P30 Lite, and it still does the job even though it’s four years old.
What would an upgrade be? A phone with better camera quality. I don’t think I will buy an actual camera in the future. I have tried taking photos with different camera brands and different camera lenses before, so I understand the hype when it comes to these epic moment-capturing machines. If I had to switch to something else, I would experiment with drone photography.
5. What is your favorite subject to photograph?
Nature! I feel very connected to it, and I hope that my photography brings it closer to others as well. I appreciate nature deeply, and it has always been my biggest source of inspiration. But it’s not just the vastness and power of nature compared to us little wandering humans that interests me; I like to capture the little details and different weather conditions as well.
There is almost an element of playfulness to it, as the ambient is constantly changing. I want the story behind the photo and the dialogue between people and the natural environment to shine through.
6. How would you define your photographic style?
My style has changed through the years and crystallized into a clearer vision. Right now, I would define it as very natural, dreamy, creative, vibrant, and, in a way, also very simple—almost minimalistic. There’s very little dynamic, so it feels like time stops in photos.
I would say that creativity is the most helpful tool in my photography because I always search for a unique perspective, which usually happens unintentionally by me just playing around with what the location has to offer.
7. Which editing software do you usually use?
For photography, I use Adobe Lightroom, but when expressing my artistic side through collage artwork, I use Adobe Photoshop. But I don’t mix the two; I let photography stay photography and art stay art. I’ve been using them for many years, and once you get used to it, the technology really starts working for you, and the process becomes very fast.
When editing, I use my own presets, which I developed over the years, but I also acknowledge that every photo and lighting are different. My edits are kept minimal and as natural as possible. I usually see the vision for the photo in the moment I capture it, and that’s what I follow.
8. What would you do differently if you would start again?
This is a difficult question. The process was unique to me, and I wouldn’t be here without it. But if I started again, I would do everything with more confidence in my skills and value my uniqueness.
I think the biggest difference would be in editing my photos; experimenting more with my editing style could bring me much sooner to the very natural and dreamy look that I go for now.
9. 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?
Yes, there are so many! I mostly read self-development books, and my rule is that if a book won’t change my life, it’s not worth my time. If I had to choose my top 5:
- The Alchemist (Coelho)
- The Prophet (Gibran)
- The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari (Sharma)
- Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus (Gray)
- and Eragon (Paolini), that was my favorite book series as a teen.
I’m currently reading: The Gene Keys (Rudd), Eat That Frog! (Tracy), and The Wim Hof Method (Hof). Would it shock you if I admitted that there are currently 93 books waiting in line for me to read? (laughs)
10. What was the best advice you have ever received as a photographer? Do you have any advice for other photographers?
The best advice I ever heard and the one that has shaped my photography ever since was, “Don’t shoot it how it looks; shoot it how it feels.” Something that also shifted my perspective a lot was my understanding that photography is actually painting with light.
It puts you right back to the fundamentals. My advice is: “Photography, just like any other form of art, is a process of experimentation. Value the stage of the process you are in right now and don’t limit yourself; try to express your creativity through different art mediums. And please, don’t increase the saturation and clarity in your photos to the max!” (laughs)
11. Top 3 mobile apps on your smartphone?
The most used or the most useful? Of course, my number one app is my phone’s camera! It allows me to create and capture moments wherever I go. The most used app on my phone is Instagram, as it takes me at least two hours a day to get through everything happening there. And lastly, the most useful app on my phone is Notes. Whenever an idea comes to mind, I can quickly write it down or even sketch it—it’s super handy.
12. Your last vacation?
In the last three years, I’ve actually been exploring Slovenia a lot more. It has so many hidden gems! My last vacation over the Slovenian border was a road trip all across Hungary in April. New cultures, architectural styles, culinary experiences, and unique landscapes never cease to amaze and inspire me.