Dino Jasarevic was the doart 2017 URBAN Photo Awards winner for the street photography category for his image “We Need More Love,” pictured above. He graciously agreed to be this month’s featured photographer and share a little more about himself and his street photography. Keep an eye out for some excellent tips on finding stories and curating your work as you read. Enjoy!
How did you get started shooting street photography?
I started doing street in 2009, I had bought my first SLR camera and I took a trip of almost 3 months in North India. I instinctively photographed life on the street and people. When I returned to Italy I realized that for me the camera was not just a means of documenting what I saw during the travels, but also a pen with which to describe and document what I live, see, feel.
How has your background affected your photography? For example, I read your family fled a war-torn area and settled in Italy – does this affect your view of life or where you live now? Also, your bio says you entertain children for a living. What do you do exactly and does your secular work affect your photography?
Obviously my photographic vision is influenced by what I experienced in my childhood and what life has led me to live. When I was a child, I had to flee from Yugoslavia because of the war. I came to live in Italy and after studying I realized that I lost one of the most important moments of my life, childhood. Now I have an agency that works with children and I am always in contact with them. This makes me travel throughout Italy and photograph and document what is around me.
I feel like your work is very unique. How would you describe your style or vision? What do you look for when you head out to shoot the streets?
I do not go out looking for photographs but I go out to live the way and observe the world with different eyes. Photography has taught me to pay attention to details that dwell in some places and feel the energy of space. Sometimes I go out and go home without even a photograph, sometimes I go to the post office to pay a bill and find a beautiful story to capture with the camera or cell phone. I love walking without a precise destination, I do it both when I travel and when I’m in my city. I always look for alternative roads, those that call me, the ones I have never explored.
I’d like to ask you about a few of your projects:
I see you have two full projects taken at different tattoo shops. Why did you choose this setting? What makes it a good place to create a street photography project in your opinion?
The two projects came spontaneously, Happy family is an ongoing project of a studio in the house where I went to get tattooed. I like going to see the guys in the studio and photographing the people who come. Bamboo instead is a series of photographs I did in Thailand in 2016. I was on holiday with my girlfriend and we went to the south. I do not like being on the beach during the holidays, I met these guys and I spent an afternoon with them drinking, smoking and taking pictures. I’ve always liked the world of tattoos and I have other work in progress on the same theme. For now, I want to deepen Happy Family and I want to spend other moments with them.
This project is interesting because you don’t see the typical colorful scenes most people come back with from Morocco. I felt you captured a bit more realistic view of the people who actually live in this city, not just the tourist attractions. How did you do it?
I’ve been in Morocco 2 times. I love this country, I love everything around you when you’re on the road. But what fascinates me most about this country is street life. In Morocco, people live in the street under the eyes of everyone. As a child I grew up playing in the street, eating on the street, most of my life as a child I passed in the street. When I was in Morocco I always tried to get lost and let myself be carried away by instinct. I have not had much time available and for this I will come back to get lost again and drink the delicious mint tea watching the stories of the people.
Where did you shoot this project? And how do you think street photographers can create compelling projects if they don’t live in a very urban area?
This project is a job I did together with the SPontanea collective. I took most of the photos in Bosnia Herzegovina in my hometown. It is a small town with many interesting situations. I think that there is no need to travel the world to make some great photographs or interesting projects, you can find stories even under your nose, on your street where you live or in your building. The important thing is to start to realize that this thing exists, start paying attention, do not take anything for granted. Photography helps me to observe the world around me, I learned to know myself and the things around me. Sometimes photography is used to get to know the territory better, it helps you to interact and establish a special relationship with what surrounds you.
How do you curate your work, especially when you put together a project? How do you choose only your best images for display on your website? What does your editing process look like?
Each project has its own path of creation and development. Some projects are ready in the day after taking pictures, while others take months and months. Like personal ones that are not public and that for now I hold for myself and for my friends. For me it is essential to make prints and play with photographs on the desk, try to make them communicate and find links. On the public web, there are many single photos and on my website, not all of my projects are there. Many things are still in my drawers, I feel they are not ready yet.
What has it been like being a part of the Spontanea Collective? How has it helped you progress as a photographer? What have been your favorite moments?
For me it is an honor to be part of the collective Spontanea, is the first Italian collective of street photography and is also very well recognized abroad. Inside the collective, there are photographers that I admire a lot and with some I am also a friend. The nice thing is that we are from all over Italy and someone also lives outside Italy. We all have different styles and ways of photographing, this helps us bring original and different works to each other. Being part of the collective helps me above all on big projects, having opinions of trusted people reassures me and gives me precious advice. being part of the collective gives me the opportunity to exhibit with group shows or participate in festivals and talk about my work and projects.
What is your next goal or project you plan on taking on as a street photographer?
I can never program street projects beforehand. I dissolve them and build them after I’ve spent time in my archives. In this period I take a very close look at my private life, friends and family.
Do you have any upcoming exhibits or publications?
I’m preparing a fanzine about a job I’ve been doing for 3 years, I think it’s time to finish it. Then I have so many things outstanding, I’m in no hurry to publish or do, I’m still young, photographically speaking, so I’m in no hurry, I know that I still have a lot of time to take pictures and create stories.
Where can people find your work?
You can find my works on the site or on my acount instagram. I am increasingly struggling to be social, but sometimes others ask me to publish the photos, so I do it. I prefer to do talks and evenings where I present my works in front of an audience.
More of Dino’s Photos