Interview: Matic Hladnik, Photographer

Good morning, shutterbugs!

How are you? I am feeling very sporty this weekend. Yesterday, I posted an article and photo gallery from Hangar-7 in Salzburg, and today it’s time for a new interview. We have with us sports photographer Matic Hladnik, who comes from Kranjska Gora. I found him on Instagram, and I immediately liked his pictures.

I am also a sports enthusiast, and sports photography is a real challenge for me. Sometimes you only have a moment and one click. If that goes wrong, there is no second chance. Or, you do have one—the next World Championship or Olympics. 🙂

So, let’s get to the interview. Who is Matic Hladnik?

Matic Hladnik is a twenty-year-old Slovenian photographer based in Kranjska Gora. He currently studies photography in the capital city of Slovenia, Ljubljana. He used to be a ski jumper but ended his career in March 2022. That is why he loves sports photography. Now his passions are photography and trail running.

How Matic Hladnik Found His Passion for Photography: A Journey of Sports, Nature, and Self-Discovery

You can find Matic here:

  1. Hi Matic, how long have you been working as a photographer now?

I have been photographing for three years now. Till recently, I wasn’t really working as a photographer, in terms of doing that for a living or making money of it, until this winter, when I was shooting the FIS Nordic World Championship for the Tourist Info Centre of Kranjska Gora.

  1. What inspired you to become a photographer? What were your first steps?

I remember that I always wanted to have a camera since I was just a little boy. Maybe some of the inspiration comes from the fact that I have always had a wish to be part of the Olympic Games because I used to be a ski jumper but never made it to the top athlete level. So I can still go to the Olympics, only as a photographer, since that wish never expired in me. As I mentioned, I always wanted a camera, even more so when I was making my first photos with the camera on my phone every single time I went outside to enjoy nature. One day I decided that I would upgrade my really basic equipment and buy a used camera. I was “hooked,” and two years later I am studying photography.

  1. Are you a professional or an amateur photographer?

I don’t consider myself a professional photographer yet. I am still learning and getting my education, so from my perspective, I am not professional, but others might think differently and say that I am.

  1. What is your favorite subject to photograph?

Without doubt, my favorite thing to shoot is sports or any sort of action photography, but I also enjoy very much landscape photography. My passion for shooting sports probably comes from my love of sports, especially winter sports.

  1. What kit do you shoot with?

Currently I am shooting on a Canon 70D with my favorite 70-200mm lens, but I also use a lot of 24-70mm lenses. Hopefully, I will soon change it for the mirrorless system.

  1. How would you define your photographic style?

I wouldn’t say that I have found my style, at least not yet. I usually do either really dark or really bright photos with some more contrast colors.

  1. Which editing software do you usually use?

Now I am using mostly Lightroom and sometimes Photoshop, especially when I want to do something more complex. I think that it doesn’t really matter what software you are using when you know how to shoot and can get good exposure with the right balance most of the time. But if you don’t get it right, you can edit those things with your phone in the default editor in your phone’s gallery.

  1. 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?

I have never been advertising myself because I don’t consider myself a professional yet, and I think that I should finish my education first and then start thinking about how to promote my work and how to advertise it best. But if I get a chance to advertise myself in the meantime, I will most definitely use any kind of opportunity.

  1. 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?

As I said, I am still a student, so I don’t have a full-time job. In the summer I work in tourism to get some money for equipment or to go on a vacation somewhere, so I will one day go shooting around the world. In my free time, I do all kinds of sports activities or go to nature. If it is possible, I will not miss a photo-shooting opportunity.

  1. What would you do differently if you would start again?

Maybe I should answer this question in a few years, because for now I wouldn’t change anything. I believe that the most important thing when you start is to just enjoy photography.

  1. 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 am not really a fan of reading because I am not able to sit for long, so I just have to start moving around and doing something. But if I find a book that really gets to me and I really fall in love with it, then I can read it without any problems. I like to read short articles about photography and sports or watch videos online about how to do something that interests me.

  1. What was the best advice you have ever received as a photographer? Do you have any advice for other photographers?

Probably the best advice—or maybe that is not really advice—is that you don’t need the best equipment to be a good photographer. You can get almost the same results, if not even better ones, without professional equipment. For some specific shots or types of photography, you certainly don’t have a choice, and you do need a 600mm lens, which is a very expensive one, but otherwise, if you are a good photographer, you can also do amazing shots with cheap and basic equipment. You can look at this in the way that this is just better for you because you learn to do amazing photos in a harder way, so you get much more experience than others might. So yes, that would also be my advice to other photographers.

  1. Top 3 mobile apps on your smartphone?

Well, I have never really thought about my favorite mobile apps. But if I had to choose three, I would choose Spotify for sure; I can’t go anywhere without music. Then Unsquared, so I don’t have to cut panoramas to post them as multiple photos in one post, and Revolut, so I don’t have to carry my card with me.

  1. Top 3 websites?

The top three websites for me would be WeTransfer, so I can send quality photos. Berkutschi, so I can read what is happening in the ski jumping world, and probably Pinterest if I need some inspiration for what to shoot.

  1. Your last vacation?

I don’t really go on vacations, but in the future I will try to travel to places around the world as much as possible to see new things, meet new people, and experience other cultures and ways of life.

Photo gallery by Matic Hladnik

Kamil Stoch, Planica 2023
Kamil Stoch, Qualification WC Planica 2023
Simon Ammann, Planica 2023
Simon Ammann, Individual Competition WC Planica 2023
Halvor Egner Granerud, Planica 202
Halvor Egner Granerud, Mixed Team Competition WC Planica 202
Stefan Kraft, Planica 2023
Stefan Kraft, Individual Competition WC Planica 2023
Sara Marita Kramer, Qualification WC Planica 2023
Sara Marita Kramer, Qualification WC Planica 2023
Cross-country skiing, Planica 2023
Cross-country Skiing, Individual Sprint Quarterfinals Classic Women WC Planica 2023
Sweden staff cheering for Calle Halfvarsson, WC Planica 2023
Sweden staff cheering for Calle Halfvarsson, WC Planica 2023
Joannes Høsflot Klæbo, Planica 2023
Joannes Høsflot Klæbo celebrating win at Men’s Sprint Finals Classic, WC Planica 2023
Jules Chappaz and Paal Golberg, Planica 2023
Jules Chappaz and Paal Golberg batteling for »2nd and 3rd place at Men’s Sprint Finals Classic, WC Planica 2023
Johan Haeghstroem, Planica 2023
Johan Haeghstroem Men’s 15km Individual Free, WC Planica 2023

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