What is it that I do?
In more than a 30 years of my career, I worked as advertising photographer and I led creative operations and teams. Creative operations leader position is a stew consisted of talent in any of creative disciplines, people skills, technology, production and workflow, spiced with the mild pinch of diplomacy and always served hot.
I started in the days of film and polaroid, when computer technology was in its infancy. In my early days in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, I worked for the major daily newspaper Politika shooting daily events, demonstrations and conflicts that erupted at the end of 80's and in early 90's. Thought the 80's I also worked as a photo editor in a few magazines and shoot numerous fashion and beauty covers. Even though I worked for newspaper and magazines, my heart was always in advertising, studio photography and design. In 91' I moved to U.S. and the next 10 years I did nothing but studio photography for advertising.
Since 93' I was fortunate to be an early adopter and to pioneer transition to digital photography. That brought the opportunity to work with almost all world leading developers and manufactures in developing digital cameras, lighting and software. To mention just a few - Phase One, Discomed, Sinar, Profoto, Broncolor, Color Blind, Epson. I embraced the transition from film to digital, and immersed myself in learning about color, prepress, networks and all of technology aspects needed to make that transition possible.
I created several studios that served leading national brands and clients. In 2000, I designed and opened studio in San Francisco for LTC Group - Vertis. The studio started only with our main client - Macy's West but shortly I developed the strategy to serve numerous high profile clients such as Apple, Levis, Bebe, HP, Nike, Visa, Adidas, Clorox as well as majority of leading advertising agencies in San Francisco. Studio operated close to 10 years and during that time it was sanctuary for over 100 people that worked there and for numerous clients we served. Studio name has changed from Studio 612, Vertis Studios Group to Starpoint. Digitango was our high end retouching brand. With 43,000 Sq. Ft. of space, studio provided space for fashion and product photography, high end retouching areas, pre press and proofing, full industrial kitchen and set building shop with metal fabrication capacity. Studio was synonym not just for its talents and quality of work produced, but for being at the cutting edge of technology. We have developed unique data base that was way ahead of its time, whose purpose was to run and support complete operation. It was our DAM (Digital Asset Management), sample tracking, scheduling, budgeting, web remote approval, retouching, notification tool, etc. In 2003, I was promoted to lead, in addition to SF studio, 21 photo and imaging corporate studios as a National Director of Studio Operations.
After Macy's decided to centralize their operations to the East Coast, I closed the Starpoint Studio in 2009 and was hired by Restoration Hardware, SF Bay area, to establish in house creative operation. During more than seven years with the Restoration Hardware, I have developed a retouching team with over 40 retouchers, developed workflows, built (several times) catalog and web photo studios, established prepress, data base and UX/UI development teams, started 3D department, supported design, copy, video and heavily collaborated with IT team in designing complex creative infrastructure. I hired talents capable of producing incredible quality of work under the extremely tight deadlines that RH is known for. The data base developed, dramatically changed how RH operates and is used cross functionally by all corporate departments. My arrival coincided with RH's rebranding under the leadership of CEO Gary Friedman. I worked as an integral part of a small executive team spearheading the RH's transformation to a leading luxury brand catering to the most discerning customers with the exceptional taste.
The next steps
Last 2 - 3 years I have been experimenting with the 3D image captures. It is the process where product is scanned in 3D and than texture mapped, colorized and lit. My interest is not in, so often seen, cartoonish looking results characteristic of the experimental 3D images. I was lucky to find partners that specialize in working with optical scanners that produce incredible detailed and realistic results. After seeing it works and running several tests, I was very pleased. (see bellow image - organic non repetitive material very hard for 3D scanning technologies) Pleased enough to believe for that to be the next step.