JRP: Please welcome Fashion Photographer Bojana Tatarska to James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you Bojana for sharing time with us.
Bojana Tatarska: Thank you James for this invitation.
JRP: Where do you call home Bojana?
Bojana Tatarska: Paris is my home, although after 15 years I still somehow deliberately feel like a foreigner in France. I like the feeling of always being a foreigner, a stranger, since you stay forever different. You are an object and a subject of fascination.
Somewhere though in my unconsciousness home is also Bulgaria of my childhood. A place of fairy tales, mysterious voices, blooming roses, and memories. From these two communicating “homes” emerges a strange world. Foreign to itself, neither here nor there, where I try to develop my creativity.
JRP: How did you get involved with photography? Do you have any formal training or assisting in your background?
Bojana Tatarska: I use to model for a while and gather with lots of friends who were young photographers. I would be watching them take pictures sometimes trying to suggest ideas and solutions to situations. A friend once during a photo shoot passed me his camera saying I should do the shoot myself and left me alone with the model. I was terrified but pretended I knew exactly what I was doing. No, I didn’t have any formal photo training, I knew nothing technically but I knew I had visions I wanted to see externalized.
Later on my training consisted of reading photo books, taking advice from friends, and most importantly practicing!
JRP: Name two photographers that have inspired and influenced your photography.
Bojana Tatarska: Why two? It will be very difficult to choose between the “father figures” such as Avedon, Penn, Jeanloup Sieff. The contemporary Sorrenti, Sims, Lindbergh. I have also been quite inspired by many other photographers such as Diane Arbus, Francesca Woodman, D’Agata, and Ueda.
JRP: Do personal projects figure in the development of your vision and technique?
Bojana Tatarska: Absolutely, consciously mostly in the creative process, but in the technical one too.
JRP: Do you have a team that assists you with your projects? If so what roles do they play?
Bojana Tatarska: I like to work “light“. The usual team during a photo shoot consists of my assistant, make-up, hair stylists, stylist, and model.
JRP: What would I find in your camera bag for a typical assignment shoot?
Bojana Tatarska: Canon 5D Mark II, 3 lenses, a red lipstick.
JRP: What do you prefer … working with artificial or available light? What are your most often used light modifiers?
Bojana Tatarska: It depends on the subject. While working in studio I go for flash generators (and I’m not very attached to a specific label). I’ll usually work with an umbrella, soft box, or a beauty dish.
JRP: Please describe your digital work flow and the software you use?
Bojana Tatarska: I’m using Adobe Bridge and Photoshop. Some subjects inspire more or less post prod work but I don’t do it systematically.
JRP: When you look through the viewfinder what is the most critical moment in the capture of your image?
Bojana Tatarska: I’m trying to pay attention to many factors such as the framing, the composition, the clothes but mostly that it feels “real” even if it’s a very dreamy story.
JRP: Name a shoot or project that opened your eyes to the distance you’ve come as an artist.
Bojana Tatarska: It’s a personal project that took me back to the land of my very early childhood in a small town of South Bulgaria. It was not meant to be a photo project it was a life saving project. After many years of traveling and living in different countries around the world I needed to find the landmarks of where it “all” started, and I happened to have my camera with me.
JRP: In today’s economy how does one maintain their creative standards?
Bojana Tatarska: Well It depends on the approach. If by today’s economy you mean just lower budgets I don’t think that money makes one more creative. Some of the best photo works I can think of were done with nothing but a small camera and light.
If we are talking about the tendency of the industry being more commercial if one wants to be really creatively free one should do personal work. Just be patient until you find the team and support who seem to share a similar vision of creativity and expression. I guess that ever since I started photography I’ve only known this “economy” and I just deal with it.
JRP: If not photography what would Bojana Tatarska be doing with her time?
Bojana Tatarska: I’d probably be a psycho-therapist, or a creative director, or a movie director.
JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?
Bojana Tatarska: “Just do it“.
JRP: What advice would you like to share with other photographers?
Bojana Tatarska: I’d like to quote Bukowski by saying …
“If you’re going to try, go all the way. Otherwise, don’t even start. This could mean losing girlfriends, wives, relatives and maybe even your mind. It could mean not eating for three or four days. It could mean freezing on a park bench. It could mean jail. It could mean derision. It could mean mockery, isolation. Isolation is the gift. All the others are a test of your endurance, of how much you really want to do it. You’ll do it, despite rejection and the worst odds. And it will be better than anything else you can imagine. If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”
JRP: Thank you Bojana for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been a pleasure talking with you, and I wish you continued success.
Bojana Tatarska: Oh it’s already finished? Just as it started to get interesting! 🙂
JRP: To view more of Bojana Tatarska’s photography please follow this link: www.bojanatatarska.com