Interview with Dejan Sokolovski

APA: Hello, Dejan! Can you tell us a little about yourself and your history?

Dejan: Hi! My name is Dejan Sokolovski, I live in Sweden but originally from the small country of Macedonia in south Europe hence my not-so-Swedish name..

I’m a proper car maniac since probably forever, and photography actually out of nowhere came along once I had bought my first dSLR back in 2006. Time really flies now that I think about it… I’ve had photography as a hobby for a long time but in the past 3-4 years I’ve been lucky to have made it to a professional work with nothing else on the side, and I’m very glad for that. Being able to work with something you love, cars and photography is almost unreal..

APA: How did you start with photography? How old were you when you started, and what were you doing before that?

Dejan: I started photography after my gymnasial school education, when I was 19 years. I had worked during a summer-job to buy my first dSLR which was a Nikon D50 with the kit-lens. For many years it was just a hobby, obviously.. I had never thought It’d be a full-time job in the future, hoping maybe but never expecting… I was shooting friends cars, practising, reading, posting on the internet on various forums and there it started…

I’ve never had a real full-time job before photography, and now that I think about it I’m not even sure what I could have been working with if it wasn’t for photography & retouching. Maybe computers of some sort? Web design? Also a interest of mine…

APA: What kind of gear do you use?

Dejan: Today I use the Nikon D800E since it first came out in 2012 I think. It’s a great camera, amazing resolution and it handles really well in any kind of situation I’ve been in. This winter I was shooting in -20 celsius with it and Nikon lenses without any problems, other than the batteries draining faster than usual and breathing on the LCD-screen was a mess since it immediately froze to ice.

Now I have equipped myself with the Nikon 16-35mm lens, Nikon 24-70mm, Nikon 50mm 1.8, Nikon 85mm 1.8, and the Nikon 70-200 2.8 lens. I probably use my 24-70 the most, but I do love the 85 and 70-200 a lot as well when situation arises…

As for lighting I use only ProFoto lighting equipment, because they’re the best!

APA: What comes first? Your passions for automobiles, or photography?

Dejan: I would say 50/50 here… For as long as I can remember I’ve always been in to cars, and photography not as long. But I love creating something nice to look at. I am loving design, shapes and all that of automobiles. And maybe that’s why I always struggle to get the best possible angles for the cars I shoot.

I like when cars look mean, angry and cool for the viewer. Some car’s aren’t cool but trying to make them look better than they are is a challenge and something to strive for!

APA: How would you describe your photographic style and how it has developed over the years?

Dejan: I would describe it as natural with a twist of darkness, colourful and sometimes moody… Depending on the mood and scenery I try to make the best out of it. I love shooting in both daylight and nighttime, and especially sunset.

I think when I first started I really loved going wide-angle on everything, today I am less for that and more natural and have less distortion in the car’s shape. Maybe that’s developed since I lately work with car manufacturers that don’t want their cars to look like bananas…

APA: Can you share a memorable story from one of your photographic experiences?

Dejan: All of the times when shooting a great looking car in a fantastic scenery is a blessing and something that you remember for a long time.. Even if it’s as cold as -20 celsius or +40 celsius I try to not care, I ignore that and enjoy!

APA: The first photographer that comes to your mind and why?

Dejan: Webb Bland @ notbland.com, my great friend and colleague!

He as well as me is a real car-enthusiast, posting on same forums and websites and works real hard to reach his goals like me. With passion and love for the job…

I remember my first time I had the opportunity to fly all the way to USA for my very first time to help him out on his first big international job for Dodge, that was in 2010 I think. Assistant coming all the way from Sweden to help out with lighting, I must have been a great assistant!  Ever since we’ve been helping each other out on different projects all across the globe. He’s been reaching goals of doing work for big clients as well as myself, but we both still have a long journey to continue on.

APA: What type of post processing do you do?

Dejan: All kinds of post-processing according to myself, natural, moody et.c… but if you ask anyone familiar with my work and kind of post-processing I guess I have a specific style of my own that can be recognised by people liking my work. I can’t see that myself though…

APA: Favorite shoot you’ve ever been on and why?

Dejan: So many favourite shoots… none mentioned and none forgotten, but all big client shoots are and have been fun and extra planned, detail-perfectionist on, bigger challenges but more fun in a way to push your limits!

APA: Thank you for giving us this interview. What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?

Dejan: My pleasure!!

Don’t know? There’s not a shortcut to anything in life, just practice and learn how to color your photos and achieve your vision you’ve had in mind later in post-production!

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