ALEKSANDAR JASON - FEATURE
Tell us about yourself. What is your background, and how did you get into photography?
I am a lover of comics, music, movies and of course photography. I see beauty and art in everything and aspire to document it all on my camera. This love is what got me into photography, and I am forever grateful that I am able to turn that dream and passion into my career.
Please provide us with a list of the gear you use on a regular basis:
Depending on what my subject or job is, my gear can range from analog to digital Canon 1DXii, Canon 5DMKIII, Contax t2, Nishika N8000, Rollieflex, 50mm, 85mm, 70-200mm, 200-400mm, 35mm and many other point and shoot 35mm cameras that I have collected over time.
What does your post-production process look like?
Multiple mochas, pug on my lap, TV series on the laptop next to me & a whole lot of Lightroom. I have recently started using a Loupedeck which has made post production a lot faster and smoother!
How has your photography style evolved over time?
I remember the advice from my art teacher in high school, it was along the lines of "photography is easy, anyone can do it - don’t bother."
At the beginning my style was your typical raw documentation - no thought process, just a quick click. Used to use photoshop to play around with curves. From there I moved to Lightroom when my workload got a little bigger and of course my style becoming a little more me. I found my niche/my grading and slowly evolved into what you see now. When shooting weddings, I’ve loved using the LXC presets as they tend to bring out the best in the highlights (mainly the dress) or on cloudy days, mute the greens/browns to my liking.
What are your favourite tools for capturing, editing, and enhancing your photographs?
I do love my Canon 1DXii but a simple Polaroid can open my mind to some amazing ideas - and as usual Photoshop/Lightroom are my most used tools - and I always stick to the LXC presets for weddings as they bring out the best in my location and subjects’ colours.
What is your greatest piece of advice for emerging photographers?
Inspiration can be enemy number one in your personal journey as a creative individual - once you become invested in your inspirations, you can slowly lose yourself and your style. Work smart, work hard and always push yourself to be better. Stay true to your style, because people will want YOUR work, not a carbon copy of your inspiration/influence.
What type of photography do you most enjoy?
I do love almost every style and genre of photography - I’m fortunate enough to be able to say that I’m the club photographer at a professional football club (Melbourne City FC) and the opportunities that I have been given have allowed me to live a dream - so football/sport photography is one of, if not my favorite type of photography.
If type was to mean "Film/Digital" I’d say both - the freedom both allow you to have is up to you, however film would be the best as it will limit your trial and error stage and push you towards a line of confidence in your knowledge and trust.
What are you discouraged about in your work/business? What encourages you?
Originality/carbon copy in the industry is something that always annoys me. I know using presets can be frowned upon in the photography community, but I believe that "filters/presets" have nothing to do with a photographer's point of view and/or style of photography.
Another pet peeve are the terms "content" or "content creator" - it takes away the meaning of actually being a "photographer" - you move away from creating something for yourself or for the world to see, to purely being "content" created for the world - nothing more, nothing less.
Community in the industry is something that truly inspires me, the social media world is evidence of this - groups of creatives meeting each other for the common good of feeling inspired and learning from each other.
When was a time you thought you would/had failed? How did you overcome it?
Early on in most of our careers, there is fear when we leave the 9-5 job and take on our creative paths as a full time thing. We fear the thought of sufficient income and financial stability, and ask questions such as: “Is this going to end badly?" "Am i going to make enough money?" etc.
I remember around the age of 19, I had just graduated from high school and did not know what to do. I was working two jobs to save up for my first camera kit - starting off in the event and music scene I had some sort of a income to positively decide to quit my day jobs and take photography full time. It was around that time where I wanted to move away from this scene and do more for myself, make a name for myself. Paid work wasn’t coming my way and I had thought that I finally had hit rock bottom. Literally sitting in my room with nothing to do; it felt like I had failed.
Step by step, I built up my portfolio, and new clients/leads were rolling in. Over time I knew this would all work out, and almost 10 years later I have reached a point in my life where I know those days made me who I am now. Without failure there is no success - bad times come with good times and vice versa.
My best advice for every creative would be, "Stay true to yourself, don’t get inspired by others too much, and make time your friend.”
What defines success for you as a photographer? If you never achieve that, will you still be satisfied with what you do?
Success is a word used too commonly for some sort of social status - personally for me it’s to either inspire others or of course to inspire myself —to be the best version of me.
Ideally I would love to leave some sort of mark behind, to be able to know that my work and dedication will be remembered. And in today’s social network generation, it will definitely be a lot to ask for as there are a lot more of us to be seen. So the hard work starts now.
How often do you travel, and how did you get started in this line of work?
I travel across Australia every few weeks for photography related work, although travel for pleasure would be every few months. I had the pleasure of visiting New Zealand for the second time earlier this year. Kenya and Tanzania were the latest two countries I have visited alongside my wife.
I have been fortunate enough to have built a folio of work and a list of clients that have allowed me to work across the globe. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing my first international wedding in New Zealand, and just recently locked in a wedding for a London based couple - it all depends on the work needed.
What is your favourite place you've visited and why?
New York! Why? Well, same as everyone that has visited that city - there is no where else on this planet that makes you feel so small. It almost created this energy with everyone running around on the grind - needing to be somewhere. New York City is by far my favorite place I have visited.
How do you get all of your editing done? Do you travel on the road?
I usually like to have a nice clean desk, set out a list of things I need done and head straight into the catalogue I need to grade and export. Weddings take a while to go through, so I set myself a goal to finish between 1-3 days. Sometimes something will influence me mid-edit, that I could completely start all over again because of one minor tone/colour grading that I wasn’t happy with.
Then there are times where I’d like grab the Macbook and sit outside in a peaceful spot playing some of my playlists that feature David Bowie. Colour-wise, I’m a huge fan of murky brown tones - I do enjoy a good muted green, and many who know me or my work understand my frustration with anything blue. And funny enough, my kryptonite is a sunny blue sky day. On the road I tend to shoot and avoid editing, I feel if I head straight into an edit - I would be too heavily influenced with whatever I did earlier that day or any recent work. I give myself time to let my work breath.