I was browsing through my “likes” page on Stocksy and I realized that practically 1/3 of the photos I’ve liked were shot by Jovana Rikalo. Jovana is a law student from Zrenjanin, Serbia, which I have never visited but I can conclude from her portfolio that it is a magical fairy-tale land full of beautiful people.
I have a huge photo-crush on Jovana; everything she shoots is gorgeous and it’s no wonder that her work is almost always featured on Stocksy’s curated page. Jovana was nice enough to let me post a bunch of her images and to answer some questions.
If you would like to license any of her photos on Stocksy, you can use her code to get 20% off: JOVANARIKALO20.
What is your story? How did you get started in photography? Do you do photography full-time?
I got into photography about 4 years ago and I am completely self-taught. I started taking random pictures of myself, nature and my friends to capture memories, mostly just for fun. I didn’t start taking it seriously until the autumn of 2012 when I bought a new digital camera and realized how passionate I was about photography. That’s when I really started growing. Photography became my greatest love. Taking a photo everyday really pushed me to get more innovative and to learn the tricks behind the editing process.
No, photography isn’t my job yet, I am a student still. I am studying law.
How did you get into stock photography?
I saw that some of my friends were making photos for stock sites. That was a year and a half ago I think. I remember that one of my friends said to me: “hey, there is a new stock site called Stocksy. I think you will fit perfectly there because they want photos that look like yours, you have their ‘style.'” I was so happy and even happier when I passed the tests and became a member!
What (or who) inspires you?
I have a few photographers that inspire me like Brooke Shaden, Rosie Hardy, Amanda Diaz, Oleg Oprisco… They are very talented and I really enjoy looking at their portfolios. Also, I get inspired with things that happen or happened to me everyday and in the past.
Can you walk me through a typical photoshoot, from an idea to post-processing?
The moment before I go out to take pictures I imagine in my head what type of picture I want to create, what character. It can be an event from my past, some situation that happened to me or a fictional event. Any idea I have I write down because that way it’s easier for me to make up a story which I later on present through my picture. When I decide on an idea I go out looking for suitable model that will help convey the whole story. After the photoshooting I spend most of my time in Photoshop in which I process the pictures and finalize the whole story. I spend a lot of time, sometimes up to five or six hours, working until the photos are finished. When it comes to pictures, I am a great perfectionist. I love it when everything on the photo looks perfect and nicely embedded, just as I imagine it.
You frequently use animals in your work. How much of this is done in camera, and how much is digital manipulation? How do you plan these shots?
Most of the animal images I use in my photos, are photos that I took. I always bring my camera with me and when I spot the bird or other animal, I take a couple of shots and save it in my PC. And these photos are always there when I need them. Sometimes I plan shots with animals and I know exactly what to photograph, but sometimes the idea comes when I am editing photo in a photoshop.
How did you do the girl with the rats? (My favourite!)
She has a rat as a pet and I shot him a couple of times in a different poses and added in PS later.
Do you have a favourite photoshoot that you’ve done?
Yes, my favourite so far is “Lost in time” photoshoot. The model is my muse, beautiful model Vanja and I took these photos at Kamena Gora, I traveled 400 km away from my city to find a perfect location there, beautiful tree, symbol of Kamena Gora village. The place is so peaceful and beautiful.
And my favourite photo I have made is “Guardian”, the bird on girl’s head.
Any favourite images or photographers on Stocksy?
Oh, Stocksy is full of great images and photographers and I can’t pick just one, really. So many talented people out there and I am verry happy that I am the member of that great community. Here are my favourite images in a gallery I made.
Thank you Jovana for answering my questions and letting me share your work!