“If I translate my name Sanja to English it would be Dream – so I’m a 24 hours dreaming person.”
Sanja Bistricic is a 31-year-old photographer currently based in Zagreb. Originally from a small island, music was her first love. But life has changed her laps… As she says: “Life is full of surprises!”. A mistress of the sea and plants, Sanja shares with us some of her work and inspirations.
How did you discover your passion for the world of photography?
Accidentally. Since I was a teenager I always loved to shoot others, my family but especially my sister with a simple and cheap camera. When I went to college I discovered an old camera that my boyfriend’s dad used in the 70’s and I fell in love at first sight. At the beginning it was just a hobby until the moment I started to take fashion photos for my older sister, fashion designer Andreja Bistricic. And step by step I found myself shooting more and more and enjoying the world of photography.
How would you describe your work?
Well, it’s hard for me to describe my work. It’s on the edge, very realistic, rough and sincere but with a little dose of art. That’s how I see it but people have different views, so it’s always open for different interpretations.
What inspires you?
I never think about it but I assume that it’s a mixture of everything.
I’m probably just combining all the outside things which I observe and experience with thoughts and feelings that are inside me.
You are from Zagreb … describes us your hometown.
Actually Zagreb is my hometown only for the last 13 years but I’m originally from a small island called Pag at the Croatian seaside. I love both of them, but I prefer Zagreb because I have a lot of friends here.
In the last couple of years Zagreb is getting better, there are a lot of new cool restaurants, galleries and other places which are interesting to see. What I love about Zagreb is a lot of abandoned architecture left from the period of ex-Yugoslavia and landscapes which inspire me as a photographer.
Your work focuses on people and highlight some unusual poses. How you define your relationship with the models?
I have been very lucky so far to work with amazing models, professional and non professional, but mostly just ordinary people. We clicked very fast. Most of them were familiar with my aesthetics, but even if they weren’t, I would explain to them what I want and after that “the game” begins. I never know where it will take me.
It’s unpredictable and spontaneous. I don’t think too much in advance, I go with a flow. The shootings are definitely unusual so in the end we connect mutually and great friendships are born.
The poses are thought through or happen spontaneously?
It’s a mixture. When I start shooting I usually have a picture in front of me, like a vision when I see a model and a location, but sometimes it’s only trying to capture a spontaneous moment without thinking – like a particular moment, frozen in time. But I love both ways.
We featured the fantastic campaign that you did for the brand DIORALOP ss 14. Tell us the whole creative process from the concept to the final work?
DIORALOP is brand consisting of my sister Andreja and my best friend Maja so I’m very much involved in everything they do, especially when it comes to photos – we have a similar way of thinking and I know what they want, we have a very close aesthetics. First we choose the model together, then we decide on which location we will do the shooting, then we have a meeting with the rest of the team – make up artist and a hair stylist to define the details and that’s it. The rest they leave up to me with complete confidence. I have a freedom to do what I want and I’m very grateful for that because I am aware that this kind of collaboration is pretty rare.
How does it feel to see a work carried out?
I’m very pleased about that. But I enjoy the whole process of creating and working more and the rest comes as a sort of reward I think.
What is your next step as a photographer?
To continue to do what I love and everything else will fall in place by itself.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Somewhere where I am surrounded by people I love. Happy, healthy and alive.
One dream …
I have a lot of dreams, who doesn’t. It’s hard to single out only one. If I translate my name Sanja to English it would be Dream – so I’m 24 hours dreaming person.
I’m planning to do a first solo exhibition very soon.