Vibrant and Raw @ivana.rgb Lays It Out As It Is

A talk about film photography and travelling

I met Ivana Janovska in the most random way possible: in front of the showers of Meadows in The Mountains Festival. I asked her why she came here – to wait in a line for 2 hours or to experience the festival. She left but ever since our paths have been strangely connected.

Why film photography?

Film is special. With a risk to sound cheesy and overly sentimental, I can tell an analogue photo from a digital one from a mile away. It just has a soul to it. It looks and feels different.

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мидички + 180•

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I can’t explain what attracted me to it in the first place, considering I didn’t know much about photography. The funny thing is, I wasn’t even considering a digital camera (to anyone who thinks that sounds cool – it’s stupid and illogical). So it wasn’t that much about photography – it was particularly about film photography. It just hit me that I needed to own a film camera. 

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Now that I think about it, my grandma’s collection of photo albums might have something to do with it. She has her whole life in these albums – the first photos are some tiny black and white portraits of family members with scruffy corners and stained surfaces. Looking at the photographs, you can trace the time passing – starting from her childhood, through adolescence and youth, to starting a family, to working in Syria, to becoming a grandma, to being a grand-grandma. It’s all in there, all on film.

To me, digital photography lacks this permanence – it feels temporary and prone to be forgotten; lost in time. You take thousands of photos each year and forget about them. Then you buy a new phone. The only thing that reminds you of your old memories is Facebook. 

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I’ve got depth, baby

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What’s more, with digital photography you can take 200 photos, of which you like 10 and finally upload one. With analogue photography you can’t afford to waste a film roll like that – you take a maximum of two photos of the same object and prey at least one is slightly pleasing to look at. Often it’s not, but sometimes it’s not just pleasing but stunning… and that’s a moment that gives me fuel for life.


Finally, very often I can’t afford to develop my film rolls for weeks or even months at a time, and eventually I forget what I’ve taken pictures of. So when I finally develop the photos, there’s a genuine surprise of what I see, like 1) “Oh right, I had forgotten that we did that in the basement of a bar in Berlin!”  

Have you ever had a bad film?

Until very recently the answer would have been “No” but then… 


Then an actual person paid me for a photo session for the first time in my life, which was such a big deal, you know. We had a few hours long session, which went great and I couldn’t wait to see the result! I was sure the photos would be dope (at least some of them because that’s film after all). 


Imagine my shock and dismay when I went to collect the film roll and saw it was completely blanc. There were like three photos, on which you could kind of see something. I realized that throughout the whole photoshoot my camera had had the wrong settings and that’s why there was nothing on the roll. 

I couldn’t even excuse myself with something like “My camera’s broken” or “They ruined the roll during development”. It was all on me.

Lesson learnt. 

Luckily, the chick I shot with was an absolute sweetheart and she was super cool about it, for which I’m very thankful.

How do you predispose people to pose for you in such raw shots?

I suppose by raw you’re describing one particular photoshoot – the one we did together.


Each photo session is novel and different, and it solely depends on the connection between the model and me. We feel each other’s vibes and merge them in the process, so the final result is always very personal and unique (as corny as that may sound). Even two separate photoshoots with the same person in the same location could be completely different.

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In love 2/2

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That’s why I rarely approach someone with a crystal clear concept for a photoshoot – there always has to be some space for manoeuvring and improvisation. Of course, complete chaos is not preferable, either. The G-spot is somewhere in between.


Did your work as a web designer have an impact on your photography?

Not directly, but certainly the butterfly effect is in place here. I believe everything we do affects everything else we do (and not only).

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glory hole

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When did you start travelling?

Okay, that was a sharp turn haha. I started travelling the summer after finishing high school. Left to Asia with my boyfriend for a gap year… which happens to be continuing up to the moment of me writing this sentence.

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@stanishev се вихри

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It’s a funny story I have described in detail in this blog post:

How has travelling the world affected your life?

The most important life lesson I got from travelling is that now I know I can do anything I want to if I want it bad enough. There’s always a way. It may not be all smooth and easy but it’s there. (And if I’m only finding excuses to not do something, this means I just don’t want it bad enough.)

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just hangin

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Sometimes the tricky part is finding out what that thing is.


Okay, there’s something else that comes to mind – people in your life will often resist change at first because the change could be uncertain and uncertainty frightens us, humans… but they’ll eventually get used to it. Don’t bend over their expectations for you and your life just to avoid potential conflict. Bend their perception of you, instead. Reread that last sentence. 


Also, everywhere some people want to help you and people who want to make use of you, so choose your people wisely. 

Will you ever settle down?



I’d rather not speak about future intentions until they’re concrete decisions. Even then, I’m cautious about what I share to whom because I believe that oversharing wastes the potential energy of a plan/intention. 

What is your message to Popara readers?

Do what you want to do because there’s no point in doing anything else. 


Our time on Earth is limited (in this life form, anyways). What’s the point of wasting it on jobs or people or activities we don’t like since we can do whatever we enjoy doing. 


Of course, this is not to be taken literally. Sometimes we need to do stuff we don’t really like so we can get where we want to. But you get the idea. 


Also, know that you really can do something, whatever it is, if you want it bad enough. There are always people who won’t believe in you or people who won’t support you but fuck that. You do you. 


Do you want to be a pole dancer? Wreck that pole. You want to start some company or be a fortune teller/ astronaut/ tattoo artist/whatever? Fucking go for it. 

Disclaimer: As long as this thing you want to do doesn’t harm others directly, go for it.)

My main point is, I truly believe humans have the power to take control of their life situation if they realize it.



Photo: @deeper.dimension

Thank you for taking the time to ask me these questions! It made me think haha. 


Love and peace

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