SIlver Springs, Maryland
When did you get your start in photography and what drew you to fashion photography?
I started photography 2015 a year after I left the US Army. What drew me to fashion photography was the sense of wonderment it evoked. The main things were the outlandish color palettes and at the same time the absence of color. I remember seeing a photo by Mario Testino, and it blew me away by how bright it was and the emotions it evoked in me. In the same breath, I saw a photo by Peter Lindbergh in black and white, and I had that same feeling of amazement and imparted feelings from the photos.
How would you describe your photography style?
My style tends to be personal, intimate and I'd like to think bold. I like faces and tend to focus on the expressions in people's faces. The truth really is I'm still discovering what my style is. What I think people know me more for are my bold, high contrast photos.
What are some of the things you consider when taking an editorial or fashion photo?
Movement, expression, and color. I know a lot of what people see on my Instagram is devoid of color, but I do love a bold color palette. So I like to ask how bold are the colors, how wild is the hair and how much is it going to cost to get the people together that will bring this to life.
most memorable shoot:
My most memorable shoot has to be the day I built a rain machine in the studio. I had a Mixed Martial Artist, and an Army Medic pretend to fight each other, and the results turned out to be a lot better than I thought it would've been if I'm honest. I've loved photography before, but that was the day I thoroughly appreciated and realized just how much you could do with a few bits from Home Depot and a wild imagination.
Who are your favorite photographers?
Richard Avedon, Peter Lindbergh and Annie Leibovitz I'd say are the 3 photographers whose work inspire me the most. Avedon taught me about directness, expressiveness, and boldness with his portrait work. Lindbergh teaches me about movement, intimacy, and simplicity, while Annie teaches me about the scene and how to live in a scene, especially with her use of color. Other than those three, Irving Penn, Herb Ritz, David Bailey, Bruce Weber, Patrick Demarchelier, Benjamin Alexander Huseby, Giampaolo Sgura, etc. I could keep going, but those seem like a decent few to list.
What does style mean to you?
Style is just the outward version of who you really are. If we're talking style a person develops themselves, then the style the person projects, is in fact that person's true self. If it's a crafted style for a specific shoot, it usually is the storytellers' outward style. For instance, I love fashion, and I love the boldness of it, but my everyday style is track bottoms, a t-shirt, and sneakers. If I'm feeling really frisky, I may wear some shorts. My inward style is reserved and simple. When I see people wearing some bold patterns or, however, I look at them, and I can instantly tell who that person is. It projects the version of you that you want people to know. It can also be a façade. It's a great tool for great pretenses. That's what style does in my opinion. It is a tool just as a camera is a tool. What you do with it, however, is descriptive of the person you are or the person you want to be.
Editorials are a collaborative process. What is it like to work with new stylists, models, & designers?
Collaborations are great, but when you find a reliable team, nothing beats that. What I do love about working with a variety of people, however, are the personalities. I love watching other people work because I'm such an observant person and less of a talkative person it helps to inform me of the other creatives I'm around. The more you watch a hair stylist work, the more you know about hairstyles. The more you watch a makeup artist work, the more you appreciate good makeup, the more you see designers work, the easier it becomes to appreciate good design.
What’s next for Luka?
Who knows! I'd like to get better at what I do. I'd also like to have a gallery show for a personal project I'm working on. I'd love to shoot for Nat Geo. I'd like to have my own studio/production company. I'd like a lot of things! As far as what's next, however, besting my last photo and weeping silently when I fail. Being a creative is a vicious cycle, and all I can hope for next is to be better than my last photo.
What quote or affirmation do you live your life by?
If you aim to be perfect at everything, you'll miss the beauty in everything. The world isn't perfect, and it's the imperfections that make the world perfect.