My name is Tadej Hrastovec. I am a Photographer and lately I’ve been getting interested in video.
I don’t know exactly but I think everything started somewhere about two years ago. I didn’t pass an exam in school and at that time I was still studying Anthropology at the University of Ljubljana. That exam was when everything changed in my life because I had to take a year off school because of it.
At first I was pretty down because at that time I was still thinking about becoming an Anthropologist to study people and cultures. So it took me some time to overcome it and then I started to think that I should take advantage of this year and do the things I never really had time for before. So I came across all sorts of things but one small thing was the most interesting and I had always wanted to try it but never did it. It was actually two things, buy myself a camera and live in a different country, a bigger city, for a period of my life.
I started to collect money for both and after a few weeks I was on the plane to Barcelona where everything kind of started for me. In the beginning I was taking photos of all sorts of things from sports and streets to portraits. But I was always somehow interested in female portraits which showcase their beauty in a unique way. At that time I met a girl with a really good lifestyle, a fashion photographer who I later became really good friends with. I learned a lot about portrait and lifestyle photography from her. I was constantly taking photos of her and others and she was commenting on the photos and letting me know which ones are good and why.
With all the good times and great photography, time flew fast and August came around so I went back to Slovenia to finish my exam and continue my studies in Anthropology. But when I come back I was kind of lucky: my parents just left for their summer vacation, so the house was empty and I was alone. Having all this quiet time to myself in a small village in Slovenia, I started to reflect on the time I had spent in Barcelona, my life there and photography. I realised that maybe I didn’t want to go back to university but instead continue my photography journey and I think that was one of the best decisions of my life.
So I went back to Barcelona and continued my work with photography. I returned there on a different mission; not just out of curiosity but to learn more, experiment with different techniques and do as much as possible.
When I’m working with models I prefer to meet with them before shootings at least one time just to get to know them. They can let me know what they like, what are they comfortable with and whatnot. To talk about them, to see how they see themselves in this role. I view it almost like an audition for a movie but on a more personal level.
This will sound strange but I can’t shoot with just anyone. I like people with a certain lifestyle; shooting with them is more real and unique.
They just are who they are.
Don’t try to change the person for a certain scene – find the person who is already on this scene.