“As an adrenaline guy, the first thing I saw on that boat was the top of the mast. The problem was how to get on it.”
Miroslav Georgijevic has taken some chances in life. In addition to the mast — the story of a magnificent day on the Adriatic Sea he recounted recently from his home in Serbia — the iStock photographer’s career was also built on a fair amount of risk taking.
It all started in 2006 when he borrowed a camera from a friend and got hooked taking pictures.
“I was immediately in love,” Georgijevic said. “I started taking pictures every day. My friend gave the camera to me for one week, but I didn’t give it back to him for three weeks! I was shooting, shooting, shooting. So I decided to buy a camera.”
There was only one problem. Georgijevic was 21 years old back then, living with his parents during difficult economic times. Telling them he wanted to buy a camera did not go over well.
“They said, ‘What? You want to buy a camera for $500 bucks!?’” Georgijevic said. “They told me I was crazy.”
So he decided to get a job selling computer parts simply so he could afford a camera. And he made a deal with his new boss: “Buy me a camera and you can give me less money for the next six months,” Georgijevic said.
“So I bought my first camera and I started shooting everything,” he said. “And then, I heard about stock photography.”
Georgijevic tried to apply with iStock by Getty Images, but because his camera wasn’t of high enough quality (too “noisy” in photography-speak) his photos did not have the proper resolution, and his application was denied. Still, he did not give up.
About six months later, Georgijevic sold his camera and bought a more professional model.
“And then everything started happening,” he said. Around December 2009, he decided to go exclusive with iStock by Getty Images and start making pictures as a side business.
That is, until one day, when he attended a presentation by the prolific commercial photographer Chase Jarvis.
“He told the audience that if you want to be a professional photographer, you must be 100 percent a photographer,” Georgijevic said. The next morning, Georgijevic quit his job.
“I was a manager by that time,” he said. “But I just quit my job and decided to be 100 percent a photographer.”
Again, the decision caused some friction at home.
“My wife was a little scared,” he said. “We were in a bad shape financially, with a bunch of bills all over the desk — and I told her, ‘Listen, one day we will make some real money from this.’ And she said, ‘Please, just go to the other room.’”
But she was ultimately supportive, and after a year, Georgijevic achieved this dream.
“It’s funny!” he said. “So now, everything is cool, we go travelling, we make photos” – like the time he saw that mast in the Adriatic Sea.
Georgijevic remembers being on vacation with his wife and some friends, when he noticed the radar on the top of the mast.
“So I asked our skipper, ‘How do you fix that when it’s broken?’” Georgijevic said. “And he told me, ‘We have a system with a rope, and we have a few guys who pull the ropes.’ And I said, ‘Perfect! I want to go up.’ And he said it was dangerous. So I begged him for a few hours, and finally, he agreed.”
Georgijevic said all he could think up there was how amazing it was.
“So I started making shots,” he said. “And I asked my friends and the crew to go into the water, to swim, to do this and that. And we made a few great pictures and videos. I was so excited with those pictures. Because it was a really unique and amazing day.”
It’s this spirit that carries Georgijevic through work and through life:
“I always think that when you think positive, when you do what you love, at some point your dream will come true.”The difference between looking and seeing is the power of the image. See more of Miroslav Georgijevic’s work (Contributor name: Georgijevic) on iStock by Getty Images.