May 17th, 2018

Jesse Gussow


“Surreal, fantasy and fine art portrait photography. Self-taught photographer and photo editor from Zagreb, Croatia.” That’s the quick and gritty explanation for the skillful photography by Martina Špoljarić. When you actually feast your eyes on her work you see an epic battle of light and dark themes. Muted colours vs bold colours, strong fierce women in cold and dark surroundings, and finally, dreams bordering on nightmares. She is a master in bringing out varying emotions that each viewer feels differently; they're  absolutely beautiful images! 



Where are you from?

Croatia, Europe



How did you get interested in photography?

It was a long time ago, when I was finishing high school. My school friend got her first camera and I found it very interesting; it was a love at first sight! haha



Where do you find your inspiration for your work?

In my head, but nature inspires me the most. Some folklore stories, too.



What equipment do you use? Is there a reason you chose the brand over another?

I don't care about brands. First camera I got was Nikon D3100, and after years working with it I bought Nikon D610 mostly because I started a wedding and newborn business as my only job.



Do you edit your own photos?

Yes, I edit all my work. I don't see the point of someone else doing it, but that's just my opinion =)



What does it mean to be a surreal, fantasy and fine art portrait photographer? What challenges are unique to those styles?

You have to prepare for it, choose locations, find people you will work with, like costume designers, makeup artists, etc. Then you have to create an idea in your head, sometimes I draw it on paper. Also, there's lots of work in Photoshop, sometimes more, sometimes less. Some photos are photo-manipulated.



Do you prefer shooting in a studio or outdoors?

Outdoors for sure. Studio sessions are great too, for portraits and kids.



How is living in Croatia for your photography? Is there somewhere else you’d rather love and shoot, or is Croatia perfect?

I would love to move away from Croatia, the farther, the better hahaha. It's not easy to have a business here, but some people make a good living from it.



How long does it take, starting with a concept and posting the finished edited photo?

Sessions can last up to a few hours, including travelling to planned destination, and editing also takes time. It used to take a few days, but now it takes me much longer because of work.



When you sleep and dream, what are you dreaming of?

Mostly nothing now ahahah but when I used to dream as a kid more often, I dreamed of not so beautiful things. Mostly really dark stuff, depressive. I seriously don't remember any nice dreams, like rainbows and unicorns haha!



What kind of music do you listen to?

Swing jazz, rock'n'roll, 80's pop and rock, gothic metal, trance, drum'n' bass. I love music haha, mostly everything that are not MTV hits.



In your opinion what is the most important part of a photo?

Emotions for sure, but also good perspective.



What do you want people to feel when they look at your work?

Whatever they think they should feel =D  I get different reactions on the same photo.



Where would you love to travel to and shoot?

So many places haha. Iceland, Japan, some abandoned places all over the Europe, Ireland. I am so happy because I will actually go to Ireland next year, and I'm travelling to Switzerland next weekend.



Do you prefer Oreo or Fudgee-O cookies?

Oreo =D

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