Professional photographer Vanja Lisac
[wzslider]By: Nevena Šarenac
The famous photographer Vanja Lisac in an interview for “Sarajevo Times” points out that the photography is a tradition in her family, but she does it primarily out of love. Although, educated in Los Angeles, she returned to B&H, in Sarajevo and opened her own studio, because as she says, life in LA is not her lifestyle. Lisac, who is also one of the members of the Association of Fashion and Costume design MODIKO, believes that B&H has many good designers who follow the world trends. For the cooperation with the Sarajevo Film Festival, we have only good words, and this year she took photos of only what she liked. Her portfolio is at the official website of Italian Vogue Magazine and in an interview with “Sarajevo Times “Vanja Lisac, among other things, speaks about other projects that have marked her career. She says that she gets very happy when people like what she does. That always gives her more energy and enthusiasm.
The Association of Fashion and Costume Design MODIKO, of which you are a member, and the Sarajevo Film Festival, even this year have continued with cooperation, linking fashion, glamour and cinema. Unmistakable during the days of the festival, following the most elegant combination of the SFF and the red carpet. What are your impressions of this year’s SFF?
I love SFF and everything about it. The city is “alive”, people try to look nice, I see so many wonderful people and so many good movies. From party to party and from event to event … This year I was the official photographer for L’oreal and official sponsor for SFF so I have been spending two hours a day at the festival square. Photos that I have taken are full of love. I decided to do it for myself and to photograph only what I like. I photographed all my friends and everything else that I was interested in. That is how is created the album full of fashion details, familiar faces and my friends. I do not think that I will do the same next year, unless of course I do not get involved. I wanted to show how the festival can be revealed what good photography mean for such an event. Modiko even this year cooperated with SFF and gave a touch of glamour that was missing. I like that the fashion scene is slowly getting formed and to see our celebrities dressed by creations of local designers. Everything slowly is fitting in …
How do you estimate the fashion scene in B&H and the people who are involved in it in our country? Does B&H follow the international trends in that area?
The fashion scene, more or less has always existed in B&H. I think we were just a little better organized, united, and now it all makes some sense. Modiko is the association that strictly selects its members and thus filtrates what is happening on the fashion scene. I have a lot of good designers. Amna Kunovac, Milan Senić , Ljiljana Majkić , Natasha Erić, Nina Varga, Kaftan and many others. Makeup artists and hair stylists can be compared with the colleagues abroad. I was abroad, I know how people work and that is why I am confident when I say that. Regarding to trends, we follow them all as much as we can. Yet, here we are limited with some things. Designers are limited with materials and productions, I, as a photographer I am limited with few other things. I have to say that photos that I made with my colleagues from Modiko have been published at the Italian edition of Marie Claire. I consider that a success for all of us from the association.
Dealing with the photography is a tradition in your family; your grandfather in 1920 opened a photographic studio “Photo Lisac” in Sarajevo. When you have entered the world of photography and how it looked like in the beginning of your career?
True. My grandfather was a photographer, educated in Vienna. His studio was located in Tito’ Street. I never thought about taking over the tradition or to continue with photography just because my grandfather was a photographer. But I’m sure that are genetics as well. At the beginning of my education, my professor inspired me the most who noticed that I have a talent for photography. In the world of photography I went right after the school in 1999, and I began to work independently in 2005 when I opened my studio in Sarajevo. The beginnings were exciting, a little hard. As every beginning … But I do not regret it and I would do it the same all over again if I had to.
You have been educated in Los Angeles but you have as well an enviable list of educational institutions and workshops that you have successfully completed. However, you decided to return to B&H and to open your own photo studio. What was your motivation to come back to Bosnia and Herzegovina? Does you stay abroad affects your work today?
Ten years I was in LA, and after a while I got bored. Life in LA is not my lifestyle, but no way that is bad. I’ve never been a big fan nor am now. For me, that city was always huge and rarely you can run into someone. I miss the social life as I imagined, and my desire to open a studio there was never my big wish. I learned what it could be learned and I came back to my home. Although, I must admit that even here it becomes a little boring, especially because the market is small, and I’ve done everything that it can be do here.
You are the only professional photographer in B&H living exclusively from your profession. Does this sound unbelievable, because for people in B&H photography is mainly a hobby?
For me there was never other option … Perhaps that is the reason that I have reached here. I knew that I would have to do what I was graduated for. I simply never thought to do something else. Even if there was no work for me here in B&H, I would certainly not adjust myself to do something else. I know that I would have moved to some other country and to do what I love – photography … Photography is a skill, and it can go well everywhere.
We are witnessing the photo digitalization. How it affects the work of professional photographers?
If you are professional, you will remain professional. You have to adjust with digitization and all the new things, from software to equipments. All these make my job easier. I also know that the digitization also makes it easier for people who do not know a lot about photography to deal with it. But I always say that the one who knows will succeed regardless of the competition. Of course, you have always to fight to stay on the top.
Your portfolio is at the official website of Italian Vogue magazine! How do you comment on this success, and if you can for “Sarajevo Times ‘ to extract something else that has marked your current career?
There are many projects that I am currently working on or that I have worked until a month ago. I have to mention that I am not the only photographer from B&H who has an official portfolio on the Vogue website. Of course I’m glad that I’m part of that story, but I also must mention that everyone can be part of it if it satisfies the editors with photos. My photos have appearing at the Italian edition of Marie Claire (the edition of September issue, which is the most important). In fact, this is the story of association Modiko. Photos are made in the context of LFW (London Fashion Week) and they promote our city and B&H fashion scene. Another project on which I am proud of is the project called Unification under the direction of the conceptual artists from NY Alexandra Viscio. The project will come into realization in 2014.
Your photos are the true testimony of the fact that this business you do out of love. Can you specify a certain commitment that you are most proud of? What type of photography is your favorite?
I am proud of many things. I am proud of my work for Modiko Association, of my editorial in Kenya (which is my favorite so far) thanks to my friend Goran Lojović , and of the fact that I am part of the SFF every year and on everything that I have managed so far. I always say that fashion photography is most interesting for me and I think it can be seen from the attached.
Please reveal for us a couple of professional plans for the future!
There are a lot of them, but for now I will say the trip to Dubai, and then maybe more of them. Of course, all for business.
Along with your name often appears titles like “one of the best “, „master of photography” Can you give to readers of Portal ” Sarajevo Times ” a few hints for a good amateur photography?
I thank all those who estimate me like that. I am very happy when I see that people like what I do. That always gives me extra energy and enthusiasm. Here are a few hints.. When you take photos on the sun, be sure to put the person in the shade (shade). In this way, you will avoid unwanted shadows on the face. The most important thing is always, the person that you are taking photo of to be relaxed and for that you need good communication with people.