Beginning his professional life as a commercial photographer in an advertising agency, Branko Starcevic is not only an accomplished shooter in several forms of photography, but within each category, his quality and style is consistent. Claiming influences upon his work as varied as club music and simple geometric forms, Starcevic is a product of the world around him.
Born, raised, and educated in Belgrade, the largest city of Serbia hasn’t imposed a nationalist influence on his photography. His work appears as if it was created in almost any metropolis in the world. Starcevic’s studio portraits are impressively lit and magazine-ready. His architecture studies—largely shot in Spain and Germany—rely on geometry and have clean, texture-like qualities to them. Food photography gets professional gourmet treatment from Starcevic, and his product photography can stand among top campaign work of the highest order.
While he shoots well across a variety of subject matter, he makes it sound fairly easy when discussing his work. For instance, his food photography employs a minimal amount of lighting. “I don’t use many artificial lights,” he explains. “It may be two light sources with two mirrors and that’s it, I think. It’s just the way I like to position the mirrors and lights. I keep it as simple as I can.” His excellent product photography also applies this methodology.
A graduate of the Graphic School of Belgrade, Starcevic began his adulthood as a computer enthusiast. While there, he realized photography was the perfect medium of expression for his personality. “This is my job and hobby at the same time,” he says. “Sometimes it is really hard to be a professional photographer but I like it because I have a motivation and I think that is because it is my hobby.”
In 2005, Starcevic work as a professional photographer exploded when working for Serbian photographer Nebojsa Babic at Orange Studio Belgrade. Starcevic worked on a large variety of advertising campaigns for both national and international clients.
Since 2008, he can be found at his studio in Belgrade, where he executes portraits and commercial work. He shoots a Canon 5D. He augments his light with a variety of soft boxes, umbrellas and flashes.
“I also use the Sekonic L-308s Flashmate,” Starcevic says. “I’m very happy with my Sekonic light meter. I bought this model because it’s all I needed. I know how to measure light perfectly with this one. It is very useful to have a flash meter. Some people today do not use flash meters. They use a camera integrated meters, and they try to rely on the histogram on display. But with a flash meter I know exactly what I’m doing, especially when I do studio work. I think working without a flash meter is not the correct way to do things. I know the histogram isn’t always correct.” He also reports he uses his meter across the range of his work, including food photography, portraits, and architecture.
“The meter is always in my jacket because sometimes I’m very confused and forgetting my equipment,” Starcevic says. “The meter is always in my pocket because it’s small. It’s like a bit bigger mobile phone or something.” During his work at Orres Studio he used the L-758DR. “It is a great thing and it’s very precise.”
Starcevic sees himself continuing his commercial photography in the future, but looks forward to having more time to develop concepts for fine art shooting. His life in his native country will influence his opportunities, he feels. “I would like to go somewhere for experience. In Serbia we don’t have a lot of opportunities to exhibit because we are not well connected with Europe, but now it is changing. I think it will be better in a few years. For now, I am just traveling alone and trying to find people and contacts to try to exhibit or to connect with some people in some professional groups or fine arts groups. I would like to go somewhere only because of the experience.”
Written by Ron Egatz