Nina Masic / Member Interview

I was born in born in Bihać, Bosnia & Herzegovina. I graduated at Academy of Fine Arts in Sarajevo, and although my major was graphic design I quickly realized that photography is my true passion. In recent years I'm actively pursuing fashion, portrait and beauty photography, as well as high end retouching.


Midleton, Co. Cork, Ireland

What inspired you to become a photographer?

I’m not 100% sure what it was, but as I’m getting to know myself better I think that it’s the possibility to “trap” something that is just temporary and make it last forever. By that, I usually refer to something that I find beautiful and unique and I want it to last longer than just a moment. There is also one more thing that made photography so appealing to me and it’s the fact that I can show someone how I see something and then realizing that some other person is going to make that same thing or moment look totally different than you saw it and it’s just beautiful!

Tell us about your first photo that really validated your interest as a photographer.

I can’t remember my first photo, but I know I started by experimenting with self-portraits. I took pictures of myself with different expressions and stuff but I eventually got tired of myself and wanted to explore more and take photos of other people. That’s how it all started.

Back when you were just starting out, what was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome that?

Back then my biggest challenge was figuring out the best light and locations, because I didn’t have studio and I had to figure out how to make the best of what I have. I made a lots of mistakes but eventually people started asking me to give them some advice how to use natural light and they wanted to learn from me. So I guess the recipe for overcoming the problem is hard work and making lots of mistakes before you know how to do it right. Now I have bigger challenges… studio lightning, models, post-production, team to work with... Albert Einstein was so right when he said " the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know." But at least I have my "hard work" recipe tested and I know it works :-)

What do you enjoy photographing the most?

Definitely people! Faces never stop intriguing me and there are so many different emotions and beauty in people’s faces that never stops inspiring me.

What has been your proudest moment as a photographer?

I don’t have one proudest moment, I'm proud to see my work on so many book covers, in some fashion magazines and generally I'm honored with the fact that so many people outside my country want to work with me. I'm proud of myself because of how far I've come in just a few years... from the moment when I said "I want to do this for the rest of my life" 3 years ago, until now. I can see progress in my work and that progress is something I'm really proud of.

Tell us about time in your photographic journey where you failed at something and how did you pivot to overcome this?

As I said I made a lots of mistakes, which means I still fail at something from time to time, and that is something that will keep happening and it's a good thing. It means that you are growing, because as soon as you realize your mistake you’re going to work on that to make it right next time. I remember one big fail 2-3 years ago when I was shooting some businessman for the local magazine. He was supposed to wear some ridiculously expensive clothes of a popular fashion brand and it should look like a fashion editorial. It was in the middle of the winter, it was cold and we were shooting outside for hours when my memory card got full and I had to replace it with new. I took the card out of the camera and put it in the same pocket of the bag with the rest empty memory cards... I was talking with the model while I was doing that and then accidentally took back the same memory card and put it back to the camera and without looking what’s on the card I pressed “format card”. We continue shooting for the next 2 hours before I realized what I did.

We had to do it all over again.

From that moment I made sure that I would never mix full and empty cards again.

I laugh now when I think about that, but it was everything but funny back then.

We all have weaknesses, what is yours relating to photography?

I have trouble learning about technical stuff of the camera, I always ask for advice and explanation from my husband, who is also photographer and completely opposite than me when it comes to everything that has do to with what makes camera - camera. I also hate learning about stuff that has to do with some steps in post-production, for example - understanding color, there is a whole science behind it! I always wanted to do everything by some feeling and by experimenting but in one moment I hit the wall and I realized I really have to know and understand some things if I want to know how to achieve some certain look. These are some things that I have to force myself to do but there is no other way.

Finding time to get out and shoot is another challenge for many. How do you find the time in your busy schedule to get out there behind your camera?

I’m photographer and retoucher, I’m always behind the camera, and when I’m not behind the camera then I’m in front of my monitor doing post-production. That’s all I do most of the time and I love it. The only thing that is more important to me than doing my job is to find enough time for personal projects and to have time for family and friends... and traveling!

Nailing a composite right can be a challenge. What do you think the trick is to mastering composition?

Go shoot on film

Back when I studied graphic design, I had also a photography course and we had to shoot on film for two years. When you are limited with number of photos and can’t see your result right away you are forced to think about everything beforehand.

There are many photographers starting out, who don't have the money to buy the camera gear they want. What advice can you give to them?

I think everything is possible if you really want it. I got my first camera by saving money from selling tickets in cinema and with some help of my parents. It was Nikon D90 and I wasn’t the first owner so I got it fairly cheap. You can also always rent or borrow a camera and do some small jobs which will eventually bring you enough money to buy some decent equipment to start with.

How do you feel photography has impacted the way you see the world?

It has definitely changed the way I see the world around me. I pay much more attention to details and everything else. Every time I look at something I don’t see it just how it is but I also see the potential it has. For example, if I see some beautiful place in the middle of the day, I instantly think about that place how much better it would look like under the perfect light (sunrise/sunset) or with or without some details… The same goes for the people, I see some face and I already see how it looks like in the best version of itself… and sometimes I have a chance to show how I see it through my work.

What do you see photographers doing today, that if done differently tomorrow would improve their success?

I noticed that most photographers neglect the fact that photography is not just pre-production or just post-production. I’ve learned that if you want to get good final result you need to pay attention equally to both – post-production and pre-production. I noticed those mistakes because it’s most visible in portrait and fashion photography and that’s what I do most of the time so I guess it caught my attention among other photographers who do the same type of photography. You can do miracles in Photoshop but only if you already have a good material to work with.

To get your creative eye focused, where do you draw your inspiration from?

There are some times when I can find everything beautiful and inspiring and there are days when I can’t find anything inspiring enough and that’s usually a sign that I need to take a break from work.

The only thing I know for sure is that I’m most inspired when spending time alone with myself because I pay more attention to everything that surrounds me and I absorb things better.

I also have a few friend’s photographers with whom I like spending time with and to talk about photography and new ideas. We are like a small family of photographers and they can be a big inspiration sometimes

What is your best photography related tip?

You live in the era of internet and free tutorials everywhere. Take advantage of it!

Gratis tip:

Organize things! I learned it from my husband (because I’m not usually organized person) and it really helped me in my workflow

What would you like for people take away from your work?

I would be happy if someone take anything from my work generally, knowing that my work inspires someone enough to do something similar is really fulfilling.

What are some ‘must have’ items in your camera bag?

At least two lenses, I usually have sigma 35mm and canon 135mm

Microfiber cloth – for cleaning off dust and dirt from the equipment

My iPhone – for notes, schedule, music, inspiration, behind the scene pictures – almost everything

Memory cards and battery


If you were stuck on a deserted island, what is the ONE photography book you would want to have with you?

That’s a tough question, I have so many photography books on my wish list and most of them are about fashion and portrait photography. If I’m going to stuck there maybe I’ll go with 'Vanity Fair 100 years', by Graydon Carter, I would have plenty of time to carefully study each decade then.

Final question, and it’s a fun one: Life has been found on another planet and none-other than Sir Richard Branson is piloting Virgin Galactic and has put together a team of engineers, scientist, doctors and has asked you to come along to document the journey. The challenge is you can only bring two lenses and one camera body and two other items. What would you bring?

Ok, I would bring what I have: Canon 6D, my Sigma 35mm and Canon 135mm, unless we don’t have intention of coming back to earth, in that case I would probably stole Hasselblad camera and two other lenses. As for the other two items I would bring coffee and coloring book for adults. (And I would try to smuggle my husband with me)

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