My picture of president Janez Drnovšek for his love ones
Today there was a funeral of our former president Janez Drnovšek. Today I had a plan to do a reportage, but it was canceled, so I decided to go to presidents funeral. President Drnovšek was on highest political positions since 1989 and he was photographed numberless times, so it was a huge compliment for me, that presidents sister asked Mladina for my picture (above) that was framed beside a book of mourning and given to his daughter, son, sister and closest of his friends.
You might say I’m pathetic and egocentric (I’ll not object ), but I find this as the biggest compliment to my photography. I mean picture is not signed and I didn’t receive a dime from it, but it makes me so proud!
If you didn’t do that sort of portraiture, you can’t imagine how hard it is. You accompany a journalist that is nervous if he/she could ask all the questions and get all the answers he/she needed, and photographer is just a necessary evil to make an evidence that interview happen properly. If that isn’t enough I had a PR person behind my back limiting my time to only five minutes in the beginning of the interview. So I made few pictures, nervous as hell, because I knew although it’s technically OK, it’s far from what I want to. So I put down my camera, pretending that I’m finished. Waiting, waiting, waiting for half of hour, until everybody has forgotten about me, then pick up the camera move to different position and make few more pictures, looking with a corner of the eye how PR person and president will react. The hardest is that you have to behave really calm, moving slowly although your heart is racing and you think all possible scenarios that could go wrong.
The hardest is on the end. Since journalist want to use every second of presidents time, he speak also during portraiture, so you need to get up and say OK, stop! And now the best part of the interview! Journalist please shut up and president Drnovšek, may I ask you to turn your head, step this way, look toward my camera, etc… This sort of power play in portraiture usually lasts about 20-40 seconds, so making a good picture is like throwing a ball in the final second of a basketball game.
I think that the biggest compliment for a photographer is when a picture become independent and lives it’s own life. When it becomes a symbol beyond the time when it was created, beyond the ego of photographer.