Today, we can meet a lot of self-taught photographers. Those people who did not make photography studies but who learned by themselves the technics. They are increasingly numerous simply because of the multiplication of tutorials on Youtube, diverse contents for beginners available on the Internet, and workshops.

This week we met one of them: Jovana Rikalo, Fine-art and Portrait photographer who started by studying Law before falling in love with photography.

Discover her story and her pictures in full-resolution in this interview!

### A few words about you? Where are you from? How did you start photography and when?
  • My name is Jovana Rikalo and I am a self-taught fine art and portrait photographer based in Serbia. I've always loved photography. As I was studying law, on the second year I bought a new camera, and started exploring photography a little bit more. At that time I discovered an amazing photographer: Tim Walker and I was inspired by his work. I wanted to try to do something and to give myself a chance to at least try to make something. I was taking random pictures of myself, nature and my friends to capture memories, mostly just for fun. I didn’t start taking it seriously until 2013 when I bought a better camera and realized how passionate I was about photography. Then I really started growing. Taking photos every day really pushed me to learn the tricks behind the editing process. Also, I was learning through youtube and I was watching online tutorials as well.

How do you describe your style as a photographer?

  • Surreal whimsical and dreamy. I love telling stories with my photos but also taking portraits and fashion shots. I love creating something unrealistic in a realistic world. I want, when people see my photos, to ask themselves if it is real or not? I love making realistic manipulation with my images.

  • I also want them to see the beauty of the whole scene and that surreal feel.

About your fine-art series, how do you find your creativity? Your inspirations? Do you draw first what you would like to photograph?

  • Before I take photos, I imagine in my head what image should look like, I imagine one situation I would like to create, character and I always write my ideas on paper, it's easier, sometimes I draw what I want to create with that idea. After creating the scene, I will look for the models and stylism. I love shooting long dresses to get that dreamy look. I am always looking for unique beauty, bright eyes, big eyes, freckles, etc.
    After that, I must find a location which will fit the whole scene and props.

What is your best memory from a photoshoot?

  • There were a lot but let's say one from last year when I shoot a couple in a big 3-meter balloon on a field, that was a challenge. Also, my latest shoot with a circus bike on a field. I love these type of shootings and I am planning much more in future.

What is your favorite photography gear? If you xhave to choose one lens what would it be?

  • I have a Canon 5D Mark III camera and a 85 mm f 1.2 lense. That is my favorite lens because the depth of field is amazing, the subject really pop out and you can make a wonderful portrait, especially when you shoot outside and on natural light, you can get that dreamy effect.

Are your pictures really different before and after using your favorite postproduction solution? What do you use?

  • I use Photoshop for post processing.

  • It depends on what I want to achieve. If I want the more natural feeling, I won't be using post production that much. Most of the time, for my fine art series, I spend hours and hours in Photoshop because I have to make a whole new composition using multiple layers. Also, I love playing with the colors, that's the hardest part, choosing the right color palette for the photo. I am more into pastel colors.

*Read On: Hear the fabulous story of the multifaceted self-taught photographer CharlyHO

What would be your goal as a photographer? Do you have some projects in mind?

Yes, I am planning a lot of interesting projects in the future, I will open my studio and publish a book. I am working on it :) And also travel more and meet different people and cultures.

To see more of Jovana's work: