Mario Ilić is a Vienna-based Bosnian fashion photographer with a style that changes with every shot he takes. Here are 8 of his mesmerising photographs, and some insightful words into his craft.
@mahreyoilic has been spicing up the Viennese fashion scene since his arrival in his new home town
1. What is your name & where are you from originally?
My name is Mario Ilić and I originate from a mid-sized town in north eastern part of Bosnia and Herzegovina called Tuzla.
2. How did you end up in Vienna?
I ended up in Vienna quite spontaneously: my sister actually suggested that I could try and bring my portfolio to the photo class entrance exam for the University of Applied Arts to be specific. It should’ve been more of a weekend trip but I ended up studying here.
3. Describe your style in 9 words or less.
I can’t really say I have a style even though my clients tell me “We want you… because of your style.” I always try to do, and make, something new for every project. I tend to work spontaneously, to improvise a lot, which I find rather refreshing and it’s something that keeps me interested in making pictures all the time.
4. What equipment do you use to photograph?
I mainly shoot digital but in the last 2 years I tend to do more and more analogue. I’m a fan of the Canon 5D “workhorse series” which I’m using myself. From the aspect of analogue I’m a fan of the Yashica T4 point and shoot camera, which I also used in the making for my picture on the Essence17 art show.
5. Name three of your favourite locations to shoot at?
In Vienna, I love shooting mainly in the 7th district which reminds me of Hamburg’s Schanzenviertel.
6. Tell us about your art – your motifs and subjects.
I work on focusing my mind on what my eye focuses on. I tend not to think a lot when I’m creating my pictures, or videos. I would rather go for bare aesthetics than to have a great plot behind the work.
7. When did you start to photograph and look at things the way you are doing now?
I started taking photos in elementary school when I was 14, I guess. I can’t say I’m looking at things only in one way. I think my perspective how I see stuff changes every, day or every now and then. It even changes with every lens you put on your camera body. To me, constantly changing views means progress.
8. What is the wildest experience you ever had producing your art?
Beside being highly connected to graffiti scene in my home town and shooting a lot, I would say walking for 280 kilometers from Sarajevo to Srebrenica and filming a documentary about a group of people walking the “March of peace” for the victims killed in the genocide of Srebrenica 1995. All of this meant walking for about 11 days, sleeping in a tent, bathing from pocket showers, being extremely sun burned, working in hard conditions such as rain, wind, 40 degrees celsius, and even having some of my equipment fail on me in the middle of nowhere.
9. Did Instagram change how you see the world?
Change how I see the world? Not at all, but I would say it gives me a brief look at what’s going on with photographers in other parts of the world, seeing their workflow behind the scenes, what equipment they use, and with whom they cooperate. I think Instagram made some things more transparent than they were before.
10. Who’s your favourite Instagram artist you’re currently following?
Definetly most interesting right now – Felipe Pantone.
11. What’s your favourite place in Vienna?
Anzengruber and my home restaurant, Schoenscharf.
12. What does Vienna mean to you and how has it influenced your work?
For now, Vienna is a second home, but it is still quite foreign to me. It influenced my work through the University and meeting new people. Listening to what they talk about and seeing what they do influences me to work harder on my own stuff.
13. Is there any music that inspires you in your work?
It depends how I feel in a certain period and of course it influences my work as well. Right now I go for a lot of Chet Baker, Nils Frahm and newly discovered Turkish Grup Simsek & Derya Yildirim.
14. Anything else you want to add?
Mom, this one is for you.