Interview with the young photographer Filip Popovski

Author: Nikola Zdravkovic
Photos: Filip Popovski

Mladiinfo: Considering the fact that you belong to the group of relatively young photographers, could you tell us something about your beginnings? What was the thing that attracted you to photography?

Filip: I graduated at the Faculty of Law, so the plans of dealing with photography was a hobby to me, I took photos out of pure pleasure and I never seriously considered to become a photographer (photo reporter) until I got a chance to make a report about a unit in a steel factory. It was a challenge for me because I knew how dangerous it can be, so it was the adrenalin that made me do this job.

Mladiinfo: Did you ever visit courses and trainings about photography or did t all come out spontaneously?

Filip: I attended a course about journalist photography. I developed my skills and learned and was offered a chance to become a photographer of Makfax News Agency.

Mladiinfo: In order to work with photography, is it necessary primarily to have the talent or most of it is a result of hard work?

Filip: I would say talent accounts for 10% and 90% are work. ? The harder you work the better you become, you learn new techniques and most importantly you build your own style that makes you recognizable and stands you out.


Mladiinfo: Do you remember your first photograph and what was its motive?

Filip: My first photograph was a child standing on the street and crying. I still haven’t seen more sincere tears than those.

Mladiinfo: Could you point a favorite of the photographs you took and do you have a favorite photograph of some world famous photographers?

Filip: I have more than one photograph that I’m really fond of, especially because I took them myself! ? That is why each time I have to choose a photograph I ask help from my more experienced colleagues. My favorite photographer is James Natchwey, I’m not going to say anything about him, you should see yourself… ?

Mladiinfo: Did you have any help at the beginning or you worked mostly by yourself?

Mariovo_filip popovski

Filip: I started working alone. Then, I met Marko Georgiev who helped me and thought me a lot about journalist photography. Later, I became his assistant and continued developing my skills.

Mladiinfo: Where do you find the challenge in what you do and do you like showing objects and appearances in your photographs or do you concentrate on people?

Filip: For me, photography serves to show what happened in front of your eyes, to witness some event or a conflict which would never happen again. We, photographers, are determined to transfer something that happened through the photos we take and we don’t do it, who will? And if acertain dose of art is involved in it that would be perfect!

Mladiinfo: Except Macedonia, in which other countries did you have a chance to take photographs and which of them fascinated you the most? Is there a country that is still on your wish list?

Filip: I have been taking photographs in many countries! A special wish and probably my next destination for a photo safari would be India. Of the places I visited, believe it or not, I was fascinated the most by the regon Mariovo. That part of Macedonia is my endless inspiration.

Karneval Strumica_Filip Popovski

Mladiinfo: Where do you find your inspiration? They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Is it true that one picture can tell that much and can bring a whole story in it?

Filip: Every photograph is a different story and I believe it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words. The most important thing is that the photographer knows how to compose the picture so that it is really worth a thousand words. I have to add here that the awareness for photography in my country is very low and people don’t have the ability to spot a good photograph. They just see it as every other photograph and that’s all there is. Since we mentioned stories, the hardest part in creating the story is actually choosing the right photographs. I take many photographs on a certain event and after that I have to select the best ones. There were cases when a certain photographer takes some great pictures but makes a selection of photographs with average quality – so the selection part is especially stressful for every photographer and requires a lot of concentration, discussion and objectivity. At last, I would add that there are no bad stories; there are only well and poorly covered stories.

Mladiinfo: Have you ever participated in some contest and can you share a part of that experience?

Filip: My latest success was in 2009. I was making a report on northern Montenegro and I took some phenomenal photographs. By some coincidence, on the Internet I found an open call from New York for anthological photographs. You could only send one photograph and I send one showing the canyon Tara in Montenegro. One week later I received an e-mail that my photograph was elected out of millions of photographs that they received to enter the top 100 and to be printed in the anthological issue sponsored by a distinguished University for Photography in New York.

Montenegro-Tara_Filip Popovski

Mladiinfo: According to your experience so far, does photography represent art of skill?

Filip: Definitely, photography is the fruit of skillfulness, art, logistics and a lot of hard work. Without all of these elements, the photographer can not go out on field and bring good results.

Mladiinfo: And to sum up, what are your plans for future and upcoming destinations?

Filip: Well, these days I’m leaving for New York to visit some workshops on News Photography. By the end of 2010 I’m planning to have an exhibition, but I wouldn’t like to talk much about it in advance. ? You will be informed when all is arranged and I will be delighted if you are present there.

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