One of our notable contributors, Branislav Nenin, is full of wisdom and experience in the stock photography market. He’s a photographer that knows what to shoot, when to shoot and exactly how to execute big concepts and ideas.
There is an ease and a sense of comfort that translates through his works. Branislav works a lot with models and understands the market. At the essence, it’s all about keeping it simple. Today, he shares some tips, advice and stories about his work that every photographer will find interesting.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and how you started photographing.
I’m a 26-years old graphic engineer who fell in love with photography while studying in Novi Sad, Serbia.
I started with photo editing because I didn’t have any equipment of my own but as soon as I got the chance, I bought the basics and started creating.
Throughout my studies, I was shooting my friends and different kinds of events, always trying to improve my skills and make my photos look more professional and more real. Because, you know, it’s all about stealing a moment from reality and making it last.
My first job was in a graphic design studio where I actually learnt a lot about clients’ needs when it comes to photography. Sometimes, we used stock photographs for different campaigns and sometimes, I had to take photos myself and make them look stock-like. That’s where I learnt the most.
In one moment, I felt I was ready to leave my everyday job and to start a new adventure.
What’s your favourite part about being a photographer?
What I like the most about this job is that it allows you to meet and spend time with a lot of great people.
Additionally, I can organize my day the way I like – sleep, drink coffee or just hang out with people all day and then work all night if I want. However, I normally spend the entire day in a coworking space in my hometown, working all day long. In one word, it’s the flexibility that I like about this job. Of course, what gives me strength and inspires me continuously is the creativity of my everyday work and that breathtaking moment of reaching the final result.
Much of your work is about working with models, do they guide your photoshoots sometimes? In other words, is your work process quite spontaneous because you work mostly with people?
Yes, I guess you could say that people contribute greatly to the spontaneity of my work. They don’t necessarily guide my photo shoots but their suggestions are always welcome. Usually, I plan a part of the shoot, and leave a part for a model to express him/herself the way he/she wants. After all, the most important thing is to create a relaxed atmosphere which will result in photos that are spontaneous and that the viewers will believe in.
From your experience, what kind of photographs sell best on stock platforms?
I would say that the bestsellers need to provoke a pleasant emotion. When I say that, I don’t necessarily refer to emotions such as joy and happiness, but to a balance between colours, to moderate post-production, etc. Keep it simple – that’s my recipe. In my case, medical and business topics are best sellers.
How important would you say it is for a photographer to follow current trends?
Following trends brings money, of course, but I don’t follow them blindly. I follow my intuition and my creative impulse and even though sometimes my photos are not (so to say) ‘trendy’, people recognize their value. And maybe one day, they will actually become trendy, who knows? 🙂
Are there some trends that never go out of style?
Yes, I think that some themes will never go out of style, but the photographers’ approach to those themes constantly varies. When I say that, I refer to the way people dress and look, the way of the light is used, the way of editing, etc.
What is your work process like? Could you take us from start to finish of one of your photo shoots?
I choose the theme, I think about the models who could fit into that theme, and notify them of the location and the dress code. Usually, the selected model sends over his/her photos in different clothes and I choose what I want. When I finish the photoshoot I proceed to color correction, retouching and keywording.
Once the photos are ready, I start with my uploading plan.
Do you have a favorite photograph? If so, what’s the story behind it?
It’s a photo of the Kotor bay in Montenegro, taken in 2017. Starting from the beach, it took me and my friend 5 hours to reach the place where the photo was taken from. We didn’t plan to climb that far at all, but it was worth it big time. Check it out, don’t you agree? 🙂
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while working as a photographer?
If you want to succeed, you have to work. Do your best because someone out there is working harder than you right now.
Maybe not every face is suitable enough for stock photography, but it’s not all about stock – the idea is to catch the person’s soul and make good memories.
Do you experiment with other mediums and what can we expect to see in your portfolio?
I’m planning to include video files in my portfolio, and I’m interested in food photography, double-exposure, and drone photography, so you can expect that in next few months.
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