Jelena Markovic - Steve Read


❝ One of my favorite quotes about what style really is paraphrased from Vincent Peters in that itʼs more about who you shoot than necessarily anything to do with lighting or editing. Itʼs hard to feel unique when youʼre doing underwear pictures with an accessible lighting style. I think to put the focus on interaction with the subject is where I really feel that I have something unique to offer with the work that I produce. My favorite description of my work is exuberantly casual. Someone might be able to shoot with the same setup as you but theyʼll never be able to replicate your interaction with a subject. ❞




What was the trigger that got you inspired by photography?

I got into photography when I was studying in university as a way to meet people and make friends. I ended up falling into doing it professionally gradually as I was shooting more and more and people were asking me more and more. It felt natural to transition to doing it full time.


How do you prepare your photoshoots? What do you take with you?

I shoot from my home a lot of the time so generally, I only need to charge my batteries. When I travel I just throw a few cameras into my think tank roller bag thatʼs been with me across the road from Sydney to Paris.



How do you make the people in front of your camera feel comfortable?

I think this is one of the hardest things to learn and one that you canʼt really teach. My approach tends to be to be self-deprecating and talk about unrelated things. One of my recent shoots I ended up playing Mario Kart with the model (and losing). Iʼm naturally interested in people so I always like to talk about movies theyʼve seen or books theyʼve read. Pictures I find are always better when you have a good emotional connection with the model. Although that being said some of my best shoots have been very clinical and some of the models I am good friends with Iʼve stopped shooting because hanging out just ends up being way more fun. Itʼs always difficult because you just have a handful of hours to form these connections and then theyʼre gone. The culture of Instagram makes it easy to stay in touch on a professional level. Itʼs always fun seeing the people youʼve worked with go on to success or travel and seeing your work reposted by them is gratifying as an artist.



How do you choose your models and why? What is a must-have in all your models?

Model selection is tough. Either you sort of find people or they find you on Instagram or you go through agency packages. Iʼve had good results with both methods. Instagram is a good platform because it gives you some level of communication beforehand. It lets everyone know what to expect from a shoot. Models end up choosing me as much as I choose them. It can be difficult to make shoots happen even if everyone is on the same page. Schedules change very quickly in this industry. Iʼm not sure if there is an overarching theme to who I shoot. I like asking the model Iʼm shooting to recommend people and working through friend groups. I would love to increase the diversity of models that I shoot with and thatʼs something I need to improve on this year.


Tell us the photoshoot you liked the most and why?

One of the photoshoots I have the fondest memories of is one I did in Melbourne with an Australian model called Ellie Lemons. I was only in town for a limited amount of time and the shoot I had arranged already had fallen apart and Ellie was a last minute replacement. The team I had scheduled fell apart and it ended up being just me and Ellie and it ended up going fantastically well.


What would you say is the key to success in photography? Any tips for beginners?

I think itʼs difficult to really say there is a key to success in photography. Almost everyoneʼs paths are incredibly different. I think itʼs important to do what you like because youʼll never produce your best work if you donʼt really like it. Thereʼs a lot of pressure to shoot a certain way and to follow trends closely. I felt pushed to shoot simply to the photographers I was first assisting and wasnʼt happy with my work until I started shooting how I wanted to.




Which song would you accompany with this series?

Dua Lipaʼs 'Hotter than Hell' is the anthem to all my work.


PHOTOGRAPHER: Steve Read I Website I Tumblr I Instagram

MODEL: Jelena Markovic I Instagram