Image © Pari Dukovic.
Pari Dukovic has been selected as one of BJP's 20 photographers to watch in 2013
Author: British Journal of Photography
14 Jan 2013 Tags: Ones to watch
Born in Istanbul in 1984, Pari Dukovic got into shooting stills through his father, who wasn’t a photographer but had worked in a portrait studio as a teenager, “pulling the glass plates and taking them to the printer to be enlarged for silver gelatin prints”. The excitement of that experience was passed on to his son.
“He has always been my biggest inspiration and the strongest supporter of my journey to become a photographer, and was a big influence on me picking up a camera and starting to shoot,” says the 27-year-old, who now lives in New York. “I got my first camera as a birthday present when I was eight – an all-mechanical Zenit 122. It was a huge camera for me as a little boy, but my dad wanted to get me a real camera that would last a long time. At that age, I was just taking family pictures for fun, but things started to click when I was about 14, when I started looking at books by famous photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson. I loved his work. Growing up in Istanbul, a city with such old-world charm, made me connect with his work, especially the photographs of the streets of Paris.”
Dukovic decided to pursue photography through further education and, after looking into many schools, enrolled at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Upstate New York in 2002 for the “good foundation” it would give him. “The technical understanding I developed there really helped me to perfect my craft,” he says. “I always printed in the darkroom, which taught me a lot about respecting the final print.”
After graduating, he moved down to the big city, where the timeless charm of his images has won fans at New York magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire and many more titles. These magazines tend to commission him to shoot celebrity portraits, but he can bring the same sense of glamour and style to other subjects too – from burlesque dancers to Turkish wrestlers. In 2011 he was included in PDN’s list of 30 emerging photographers, which gave him the opportunity to show people his work, and his images have continued to evolve – in particular by getting ever-closer to his subjects.
Image © Pari Dukovic.
“It’s not just about getting assignments, it’s really about finding people who you work well with, and who are interested in showing your style to the world,” he says, adding: “I have a deep appreciation for Impressionist paintings; I saw qualities in paintings that inspired me and I wanted to find ways of bringing those qualities to my photography. I look for a sense of rhythm through motion, especially with slow shutter speeds; the more I shot and edited my work, the more I started to see that the closer I got, the more powerful the images became.
“When I shoot, I try to capture not only what I see but also what I imagine, so I can elevate the image. When I succeed, I find the work has a different kind of sensitivity. I don’t really like sharp and clean images, and I always shoot film because it brings a tactile quality to my work.”
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