Iconic nudes, eccentric portraits, and kinky snapshots.
There’s a fine line between mockery and appreciation of the grotesque. Serbian photographer Marija Radosavljevic has made walking that line her signature style. Her portfolio is flirtatious, raw, and humorous; her stories celebrate the beauty of everyday life extravaganza… lust and laughter are not mutually exclusive!
Poring over her portfolio, we meet with iconic nudes, eccentric portraits, and kinky snapshots. Here’s what she told us about her creative approach.
How did you discover your passion for photography?
When I was a kid my parents had all kinds of family portraits, I started realizing this as a teenager by going through piles of photo albums. But somehow there was a gap, and I missed that little documentation of all of my phases in life, so I started documenting everything, almost like a self appointed mission.
How has your relationship with photography developed over the years?
Like any other relationship in life, I guess. We all have our ups and downs. Love-hate periods … Even when you love doing something there are days during which you just don't feel it. Sometimes you need to push yourself, but sometimes it’s also good to let go. You learn from it and I think that every period of my path is readable, at least to me—where I was at a certain point with photography, in terms of ideas, and even emotionally … everything! It's like any other thing through which you grow, that you live and love. I didn't expect it would bring more, but early on I began to love the whole process and get more involved.
Your photos are natural, raw, and a bit provocative—can you tell us where this style developed from?
I used to take pictures of my friends, mostly because knowing someone makes things easier. I try to get something from the person, it's not just about the picture … I always want to represent beauty in the form I see it. Also, it's really important to pull some energy from the person or the people you are shooting. The aspects that you mentioned are there, they are all part of me, so I like to mix them with aspects of the person that I’m shooting and things always turn out differently … That's the beauty of it. (I am not alone in that.)
Where, what, and who would be in your dream shoot?
I don't think I have a specific dream scenario. Things come to you in form of ideas, something inspires you … a movie you've seen, an album you've heard, sometimes it’s the lady at the cash register. It's always changing. At times you are not even aware of what it was that got you to think and see things a certain way.
What does photography as a medium mean to you?
It's my language, that's how I communicate with the rest of the world.
How do you keep your ideas and work fresh?
We all have different directions and sensibilities so I just believe you should be true to yourself and do what you feel. Also developing new ideas means never stopping and stepping outside out of your comfort zone. That's the only way to push yourself!
How do you challenge yourself these days?
I think you caught me in a really tricky phase of my life, the fact that I’m going through so much at the moment is really the biggest challenge that I’m facing, and currently extends to every aspect of my life and work.
Can you tell us about some of the good, bad, and down right ugly things about being a part of the photo industry?
The good things include meeting new people, new places you see, the fact that every project is different, and that it never gets boring. One of the bad sides of being part of the photo industry is that often people underestimates photographers, their effort behind something, which results in a a lot of offers to do things for free, in exchange for exposure and promotion!
How would you describe the relationship between music and photography?
Music is one the most important "side aspects" of my life, so I definitely see a strong connection between the two. Depending on what mood you are in, you can associate different feelings with the same image by simply changing the music, or the other way around … Music and photography have always gone together so there is a really obvious connection, at least when it comes to me.
In which way can they complement each other?
As I said, you can make something look different in any way just by adding some sound to it. Music and photography give birth to stronger emotions together, feelings you can go back to more easily, just by playing a song or seeing one image. It sends you back to that specific moment.
One track turning on your inner cinema?
So many of them, but if I was to consider the present and what I listen to these days I would pick: Alessandro Cortini - Luna, Regis - Documents, Occidental White - Should I Care, Yves Tumor - The Feeling When You Walk Away.