National Geographic photographer Arne Hodalič
Arne Hodalič is by far the most successful Slovenian photographer. From the beginning of his career his biggest wish was to publish a feature story in National Geographic Magazine. Actually when he was a small boy his father was watching NGM and said my boy will publish his pictures in this magazine. After decades of traveling around the world, working on a all sorts of exotic stories, his big leap came true in the beginning of year 2007 when NGM published his feature story from his “backyard” on a underwater archeology in river Ljubljanica.
In the next issue of Mladina weekly we’re publishing an article about him, written by Jure Aleksič!
When I was asked to do his portrait I was a bit reluctant, because of Arne’s fame and you know what they are saying about healing a doctor… Of course that was just a moment. I deeply respect Arne, mostly because he’s so indescribably focused on his goal. He’s willing to invest everything for a picture – as a photographer, – but what about when he’s a model? The same.
I was banging my head how can I make his portrait. Keywords… NGM, river, water, nature, photographer, underwater,… I had all sorts of ideas. I even rented a truck to make his picture on a moving truck. Then as I was talking with Arne, that I would like to have a rectangle NGM logo when I find out that doors of a back of a truck are 210 x 210 cm I decided that will not work, so I asked Arne that we’ll take the picture on a nice spot by the river Ljubljanica. He took me on the spot where 80 % of all archaeological findings were found. It’s really beautiful spot and I could imagine the spot as a sacred ground 1500 years ago. On the evening before the shoot I made a logo of NGM. I measured a cover of the magazine and multiplied it by 6, so the frame it was 150 x 106 x 9 cm. Before I went to Prague to study photography I made a secondary carpentry school so I didn’t had any problems in making it. On the spot we brought diving equipment, but I decided to keep it simple. Just a river, Arne and a frame.
On the shoot MajaH assisted me. Arne asked her to through his diving equipment in a car. He had a good laugh because it weighed 80 kg! No wonder Arne don’t use assistants and it’s everyday in a fitness!
PS: This is not one of mine Striptiz portraits! This is for an article about Arne, written by Jure Aleksič. BYTW, Arne told me, that a week ago some Italian divers came to this same spot to search for archaeological findings. This archaeological pirates were caught by the police and fine them severely.