If someone told me that I would have my photo displayed at the exhibit after only applying twice, I wouldn’t have believed them. Especially due to my particular direction in photography.
For a long time, I viewed my photos as not good enough for something like that. I regularly followed various photo competitions, saw the winning photos and I felt like something was still missing. I didn’t feel ready but then again, how do you ever know if you are ready?
Sometimes, you just gotta throw yourself out there and hope for the best.
It is one thing to work with people who know you and your style and another thing completely when you are observed by professionals who have been photographers for years and who you admire.
When I saw the add for the competition, I read what it was about and didn’t think for a second about applying. I read the terms and conditions and just went for it.
The competition was focused on literary works, and I, as an avid reader, couldn’t resist. A symbiosis between literature and photography, is there anything more perfect?
The task was to portray a character from a selected literary work, and my first thought was: “Russian writers”. Raw, realistic and just a touch mystical.
Sounds like a worthy challenge, don’t you think?
Since I have always been drawn to dark stuff (in case you haven’t already noticed), this was a logical next step. I dove back into Russian literature and read everything in order to find my ideal character to whom I could give life through photography.
Anna Karenina was my choice and I already had a perfect person for her. I didn’t even need to ask twice, so Katharina, thank you!
Despite various problems along the way, like dodging trains and almost losing all our stuff, everything ended even better than expected. The photos were ready and were sent that very same day. Of course, true problems occurred when it came to choosing the photos to send since you could only send four, and I had at least thirty that screamed Anna.
All in all, after many hours of choosing, I finally had my four photos to submit. Al that was left was to sit, wait and hope for the best.
Beside the inspiration from the Russian novels, I was greatly inspired by Russian photographers because, when you see their photos, you know right away from which corner of the world they are. I wanted to give my photos a piece of Russia to better portray the story (which turned out to be exactly what was needed).
When I received the e-mail with the list of winners, at first, when I saw that my name was not there, I just closed it. But when I went back later to check it again, I found the second link and there was my name among the chosen ones.
Of course, I read it again and again and sent screenshots to my friends to confirm because I just could not believe my eyes.
I don’t have to point out that for the next week I was completely insane and just couldn’t wait to go to the exhibition at the City Library in Požega to see my own photo and the all others.
I have to admit that I had hope, but I still didn’t know what to expect. The judges were professionals and photographers whose work I admire and to get a green light from them, especially from Damir Hoyka, was a great honor.
I believe that competitions are a stepping stone for many artists. Those feelings of pleasure and pride when you see your photo at an exhibition next to photos of already famous photographers are indescribable. Even while I am writing this, I feel like I am back there, and I am experiencing everything again.
I tell you; it is a special feeling. I can only imagine how those on the world level feel.
Of course, it took time for everything to settle down, and I still get chills when I think back at that time.