Tomislav Marcijuš, International awarded and contemporary photographer based in Croatia. After graduation at the Architectural-Geodetic School, he began to experiment with the film and analog cameras. He found himself in visual arts and turned his hobby into the business. After that, he launched his studio called Marcijuš Studio. Analog photography made it possible to discover his own style and applies it to various types of photography. Documentary and artistic approach is the way it photographs destination weddings, portraits, editorials, travels, architecture, and various personal projects. You can follow his photo stories on the most popular Croatian website Design Blog.
What are the rules of your photographic work?
I like to be left to my feelings, and I don’t want to be intrusive and push something if I see that not everything is going according to plan. It happened to me that I had visions on a set or on the street where I wanted to capture something and that vision never entirely happened to me. Now I study very well what I need to do if it is about clients, and I try to indulge in situations completely. It is also a similar principle when I work for myself and my projects. The worst thing is always to have high expectations that sometimes are higher than your capabilities.
Is there a particular combination of techniques and tools that you think makes the difference?
I don’t think it matters in your work, and you shouldn’t make a difference or that it tires you out. That’s what most artists will always say, but that is true! It is a matter of one’s own perception and approach. Either you have that something, or you don’t. The camera is just a tool to help you realize your vision. I can’t imagine not having a digital camera in some situations, and sometimes I can’t work without analog cameras.
Tell us about an experience that changed the way you work and make you grow.
There are a few things that defined my way of working to become recognizable. I’ll try to combine everything into one part because there is a lot that is not related to photography. It is essential to be open-minded and pay attention to roadside signs. Sometimes one trip can change your world. That’s what happened to me.
Ten years ago, I traveled alone to the famous Exit Festival, where I first saw so many different people in one place.
It was then that I felt a kind of freedom and saw so many differences between people for the first time. I realized that everyone has the right to do what they want as long as it doesn’t negatively affect other people around them.
In parallel, I researched the internet and entirely accidentally discovered Lomography and started experimenting with film, and that story continues to this day.
My way of working was influenced by the environment in which I lived and took daily photos in a not exciting place, and I, for that reason, learned to show the beauty of banality.
Was there ever a difficult situation? How did you react? Tell us.
If you a doing a job you love, bad moments result from various things like injustice or relationships between colleagues.
It is expected that in the beginning, it bothers a person and that you sometimes react too bad, but you accept the world around you and try to work as much as possible on yourself and your work because that is the only way to win.
People who are not focused on themselves do not have enough work and have too much time. Try to take photos 5-7 days in a row, actively and for several hours.
You will see progress, and things that bother you go into oblivion because you are preoccupied with yourself and positive things.
If you may not have many inquiries for a photography job, you should take a camera and set the job by yourself. It is not easy, but it is necessary.
How do you relate to the environment and the subjects you portray?
For me and my work, the atmosphere of the space means everything to me. If a photo doesn’t have an atmosphere or something you can’t feel, its purpose is lost.
When I photograph people, I photograph from a certain distance trying to capture people in their minds, absent like in a dream.
When my photography is not related to the commercial part, I like to be imperceptible while taking photos. I always want to convey the atmosphere of the moment, not just the captured moment. For this reason, I always introduce the observer to my photographs.
I also ask you to share a bonus trick among your secret techniques.
At first, I took photos according to my feelings, and I didn’t follow any technical details, equipment, or tips. I think it’s okay because that’s how you develop your instinct for photography and your style. When I started taking photos ten years ago, not everything was available, and I am delighted about it.
When I have space during a photoshoot, I can often play with light, various objects (prisms, pieces of glass, a piece of the plastic bag) to get natural effects.
I like the elements that sometimes surround me because I can create an interesting composition in a photo with them.
Among other things, I often play with framing, and I also like the image to be incorrect. Each of them has its charm.
I also love to finish the film, then take it out in some dark room and put it in another camera to get more interesting double exposures from the two cameras.
Tell us about your equipment. What kind of cameras do you shoot with?
I use both analog and digital equipment.
Of the analog cameras, I’ve been using the Nikon F100 the most lately because it helps me do well on commercial projects with clients who see their visions on film.
The Olympus mu II, Zenit 11, Polaroid SX-70, and digital Nikon Z6 are also part of my equipment. Sometimes, I use almost everything when I’m shooting, and in that, I found a challenge that keeps me going and makes my whole job interesting.
I also take photos with my mobile phone, iPhone XR.
Are there any books you would recommend?
The photographic books, these are “On photography” – Susan Sontag, Rays of Light – Man Ray, Dora Marr (Tate Publishing), Edges – Harry Gruyaert.
Also, I have a few books that I would like to recommend to everyone in general, and they are not related to photography.
Those are The poetics of space – Gaston Bachelard and the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude – by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, which is excellent for this period.
If someone wants, they can also read the book Walk Through Walls: A Memoir by Marina Abramović.
What stimulates your creativity, what inspires you?
I mostly try to find it within myself and from the environment from which I come.
I think that’s the main thing that your work can single out in a large number of photographers and other artists.
The environment where I grew up left a dose of nostalgia and an unknown sensibility that I convey in each of my works.
It is essential to show your vision from everyday life and introduce the observer to your work.
I’m also inspired by architecture and interior design, collage, Croatian conceptual art, and film works by Andrei Tarkovsky. Various art types can give you an extra boost, so don’t look for inspiration only in photography.