Just a few days ago, we published an article on Senka Music, the Bosnia and Herzegovina based graphic design and photography student who won the Best Photo of Sarajevo award in April 2012.
In the said feature, I shared with you a few of Senka’s photographs: varied images of portraits and open spaces that evoke the same vintage-y appeal and manifest the young artist’s undeniable talent. Senka lends soul to her photographs; each photo is akin to assume a life of its own, eager to tell a story.
Speaking of stories, let us listen to Senka share her story, through this interview.
Please tell us about yourself and what you do.
My name is Senka Mušić and I am a Graphic design and Photography student at The Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. I am passionate about anything that is art, but, at the moment, my main focus is photography. My mood and curiosity often switch my main focus to drawing or writing. Variety helps me to continue my work.
When and how did you get started with photography?
Photography was something I kind of always did, even when I was a child, with basic snapshot cameras. Professionally, I started with photography about 4 years ago. I got my first camera – I inherited an old Zenit EM.
Do you shoot only in film or do you also shoot digital? Why?
Both, depends on the occasion, subject and the client, in the end. I could say that film is more exciting in terms of waiting for the photos to develop and the uncertain results. Also, film keeps you more focused on the quality of the shot itself.
What inspires you to shoot? What are your preferred subjects?
I am driven by my obsession of capturing people, moments and the fear of being forgotten. I capture people I meet every day and moments I think are precious. There is no certain genre of photography I want to put myself into. I tend to capture everything – and everyone, so that they wouldn’t be forgotten.
Any photographers you particularly admire?
I could say that my favourites are Rodney Smith, Philippe Halsman, Ellen von Unwerth and Davis Ayer.
What cameras and film do you use?
I use a Zenit EM and a Nikon F60. For film, I usually go with the cheapest available.
How would you describe your photographic style? Do you follow a set of rules when you shoot?
My work is all about the relationship between light and shadow. I try to embed my visions into simple portraits. Sometimes, they end up as conceptual, sometimes they end up as intimate and personal. Planning is not what I usually do, so the photos lead themselves and I develop the final idea while taking the photo itself. Photography is a constant battle and sometimes it’s hard to find a truce between the eye, the camera and ideas. Combining reality and own visions can be tricky when your medium is a machine or mechanism – the camera. It does give a certain feeling of immortality and every moment seems like captured forever. And then again, reality hits you and you realize that everything is past you. Photography helps me to hold on to precious moments.
Tell us about a body of work, projects, clients that you’re particularly proud of fond of
One project that I am very fond of is an excerpt from a student project “Life and Work at The Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo”. I finished the project, but the details I captured throughout the building itself attracted my attention later. After all the detail photos were collected, I had a new project simply titled “Details” – something that shows the beauty of artistic chaos, in form of leftovers of other students work.
Any cool projects you’re currently working on or exhibits? Any links to promote these? Where can fans admire more of your work?
I have a project in progress, it involves architecture photography, but, as stated, it’s not finished yet. For only photography – Cargo Collective, and for photography combined with graphic design and illustration – Behance.
*Do you have a dream project? Could you tell us about it?
Since I love portraits, I would love to capture every single person I have ever met. I always try to show people that everyone is beautiful and there isn’t anyone who isn’t photogenic. It’s not you. It’s not the camera. It’s all about the photographer and his perception of you. The expression when someone sees themselves on great photos is priceless!
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
I have a really big quote from someone else for that. It is really worth reading and has pushed me whenever I was feeling down.
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.” – Ira Glass
Aside from photography, are there other creative endeavors that you’d like to pursue?
I am kind of all over the place – photography, graphic design, illustration, traditional drawing and painting. I also like to give back to the art community, as I am an art journalist too. Variety is the key to keep myself interested in all fields – all the time.
Any last words?
Get a really bad camera and learn how to take photos.
You heard it fellas! It’s not all about the gear. You may not have top-of-the-line equipment, but you can still learn to shoot magnificent photos.
More of Senka’s work can be found on Cargo Collective