Welcome to the fourth part of Bring Three, an interview series, where each guest brings three things connected to their interests and occupation. In this part, I welcome Tjaša Kučič, an active traveler who always carries her camera and loves to take portraits.
Tjaša, what three have you brought today?
I brought my camera because I photograph a lot and that’s my biggest passion. It’s linked to my studies and other hobbies that I have because I study visual communications at the faculty of design, which means studying illustration, graphic design, and photography – so I also draw and design a lot of different things. The second thing is my pilates card. I trained volleyball for a long time, and I’ve tried myself in the role of the coach. Then I started running, snowboarding, surfing, and recently, I gained a passion for pilates and TRX workout because it helps me physically. I have a broken vertebra and pilates makes everything easier for me, but it also helps mentally – to relax, and to calm down. The third thing I brought is my passport. I can’t stay still for a long time, so I travel quite a lot. Every year I go somewhere for a month or so, but this year it’s going to be for two months or even more.
How did you get into photography – what inspired you to start shooting portraits?
I don’t know what inspired me exactly. It was more like a series of events. I began with my portraits in my high school because I was photographing a lot of different events but I wasn’t so passionate about such photography – it was a thing I liked doing but didn’t love doing. So one day in my home town, we went photographing with my friends, and we did a series of portraits. At that moment I realized what I was missing, how much you can do with photography, and how much is still unknown to me. From that moment on, I started photography at a higher level.
Photography is storytelling, what kind of stories do you tell through your photographs?
It really depends on what I’m shooting, and what I want to tell. It can be expressing myself, or showing what a person portrayed is like, but what amazes me is how much photography actually means to people, and how much I can do for their self-confidence. It means a lot to me if a person tells me that I did a great job and they feel confident about themselves after the shoot. Because before they came to me, they didn’t like taking pictures or seeing themselves on photographs, and when you can give them a good photograph that they like it’s really an amazing feeling.
How would you describe the connection between your photography and traveling?
Everywhere you go, you take pictures with either a camera or a phone. So that goes hand in hand I think. The first travel that I did a photo journey on was in when I visited India. It was actually not planned. I didn’t mean to make so many photos there but when you’re there it’s unavoidable. So I started connecting travel with photography in India, and now I go to work abroad every year and take my camera with me.
When did you become drawn to traveling, or how did you find out about it?
I always traveled with as a kid with my family. Every year, we went somewhere on vacation. Firstly, it was Greece or Turkey, but then we wanted to see more and more so we started going to places like China, New York, and Paris. And then when I came into high school, I had to plan trips every year. In the first year, we went to Italy, then came Slovakia in the second, and France and Spain in the third and fourth year. You could also go to Norway, Greece, and Ireland, which I did – so traveling was actually all around me, but I found my real passion for traveling when I went to India for five weeks as a volunteer. I worked for three weeks, and for two weeks, I just traveled. For me, it was quite amazing, because I found out a lot about myself while traveling, and found out more about who I am, and what interests me.
How do you organize your travels, do you make strict plans about them or just go wherever they will take you?
I’m really not an organized person, so I don’t plan my trips – I travel to France on Friday, and I have nothing planned or prepared. I just go and then figure out stuff along the way. When I arrive at the place, I start planning and decide what I want to do and what I want to see, and then just go with the flow.
What have you done in your volunteer work abroad, and is there anything interesting you’ve learned about a different culture?
I worked in a school for the less privileged children in Calcutta and in the Centers of Mother Theresa for the elderly and ill. It’s really a different kind of work – when you visit Centers of Mother Theresa, you can be quite shocked by what you see. And I think it’s not for everyone – you have to be a person for that kind of work, but it’s really interesting to visit India to discover a life standard different from your own. When you see their way of life and their attitude, it really gives you a lot to think about. From my experience, I can tell you that we returned home as totally different people. So India can change a person for the better, but it’s not for everyone – my family came to visit me, and really didn’t like it, while we who stayed for a longer period loved it.
You have a lot of weekly activities – in which ways do you think they affect your lifestyle?
I think that having a lot of activities actually is a lifestyle on its own. Sometimes, it’s hard to respond to every message that you get. So that’s a bad habit of mine, I’m so forgetful about writing back to all the people and I’m always apologizing for not replying back as soon as I should. I recently stopped posting on my Instagram, simply because I couldn’t find the time. But at the same time I realized that, especially in my field, you have to post something, as people have to see your work if they want to offer you the job.
If you had to make a workout schedule for the readers, what would you recommend?
Because my current routine includes a lot of pilates and running, I would certainly include these things. Pilates is really good for your body, as well as your soul. We don’t realize how much this kind of sports can do for our mental well-being. I think you should always include some kind of team sport because it’s social and fun. You can do it with friends and a healthy measure of competitiveness is always good for you. I also recommend surfing or snowboarding, whatever is right for the season. Oh, and volleyball, of course!
Are there any specific sports or adventures you’d like to try in the future?
I definitely would love to try mountain biking, and I would like to learn how to skate again because I forgot how to.
Tjaša, thank you for joining me on Bring Three today, and I hope you have a great time in France next week 😃.
Go follow Tjaša’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tjasakucic/