We've interviewed hundreds of artists and photographers through the years but every conversation feels like a discovery. This is exactly what we felt when we spoke with Belgrade-based cinematographer Lazar Bogdanovic. His insight on photography and how his work is like a balance between feeling and thinking is like a breath of fresh air - a welcome and renewing encounter.
Lazar is specific when it comes to describing his photography. Careful, thoughtful, and concise. The same can be said about his well-composed shots. Looking at his photographs is liking peering into his mind's viewfinder where different influences and feelings coexist. The result? Beautiful frames that make you feel and think and ultimately make you want to click on the next page.
Hello, Lazar, and welcome to the Magazine! What do you do and how did you begin your photography journey?
Hey, thanks for the invite. I’m a cinematographer from Belgrade, Serbia. I mostly work on shorter forms, such as TV commercials and music videos. I’ve been interested in photography since I can remember. The moment I first saw a Polaroid of my parents made a huge impact on me and inspired me so much that this fascination is still lasting.
What is film photography's role in your creative life?
I feel film photography rounds up my visual approach to the subjects and objects aesthetically and lets me create the atmosphere I strive for. Film itself gives a sort of magic and deathlessness to a photograph that no digital chip could ever create.
What do you like most about it?
Besides the touch of magic it provides, film demands additional focus on the frame and thought process. In the era of smartphones, we are used to this “burst” style of photography, while film requires a totally different method of thinking and reflection on the frame.
We love the cinematic feel and look of your photos. How did you come up with your concepts?
As I am a cinematographer and work mainly on shorter forms of films, my photography style goes hand-in-hand with the cinematic look I create on films. Many of my photos are the moments I "steal" behind the scenes at the film sets I work on. Other times I work really intuitively on my concepts, a matter of inspiration by the objects and subjects. Sometimes solitude is the guide, other times synergy with other people.
How does shooting with film help you capture the striking moments in your images?
Using film fills the whole photography process with special excitement. There’s the chemistry and there’s the chance of the unexpected. Sometimes I see something that is not interesting to the bare eye but I am curious what the film texture would add to it, how the light reflected, and the grain framed around the motif.
What goes on in your head when you're composing a frame?
It is difficult to explain, it is some kind of metaphysics, a total connection with what lies in the viewfinder.
Do you think that there will ever be a time that you'll stop taking photos?
“Till death do us part”.
If you could have a dream collaboration with any artist or collective group, who would they be and why?
There are many artists from the music industry that I would love to work with, as well as with collectives and production houses such as Stink films, Megaforce, Canada, and Iconoclast whose work really influenced mine. Working with their directors would certainly be a dream come true.
Which do you think matters more - talent or skill?
I see talent as a blooming garden full of beautiful colors and smells and the skill as the gardener who is taking care of the plants and watering the flowers to grow more. I think every artist, no matter how talented, needs to work hard on his potential, that’s the only way towards fulfilling their goals.
What does a perfect day look like for Lazar Bogdanovic?
Every day I feel alive and joyful is a perfect day for me, whether I’m spending it with a loved one, my friends, at a film set, or in nature.
We would like to thank Lazar for letting us feature their work in the Magazine.