Five Questions with Verena Radulovic
Current Occupation: Professional Photographer
Workshop: Project DC
Nonprofit Assignment: Martha’s Table
Instructors: Jamie Rose, Chip Somodevilla, T.J. Kirkpatrick & Gaston Lacombe
What motivated you to take a Momenta Workshop?
I signed up for the workshop because I wanted to improve my skills in developing the photographic narrative– both in capturing images with emotion and editing and sequencing the images. I also wanted to gain additional experience with working with nonprofits to learn how to navigate photographing for different organizations that share my interest in telling specific stories. I chose Momenta given its combined expertise and experience in creating stories for nonprofits and in photojournalism.
What surprised you most about the location you visited or the experience of working with a nonprofit?
I stayed in Washington, D.C. (where I live) and was paired with Martha’s Table, a nonprofit that focuses on poverty alleviation, health and education. I wouldn’t say I was surprised by the experience of working with the nonprofit, more that I was surprised in how difficult it was to capture key moments that best encapsulated the great work it does. The workshop was five days long, but I felt as though I could have spent many more days with the organization to capture and express what they were doing.
What was the best lesson you took away from your workshop?
Go back and do it again until you get it right. Keep working every angle. Get in closer. No, even closer. I can still hear my fantastic instructor’s (Chip Somodevilla’s) voice in my head as I go on shoots to create new work for clients today. He pushed me to improve and gave me practical tips that I remember. Since I don’t have many opportunities to work directly with other photographers and to learn from them on the job, this workshop provided impactful one-on-one instruction that I needed to improve my photography.
What was your favorite photograph from this workshop and why?
My favorite photograph is the one where a longtime volunteer from McKenna’s Wagon– Martha’s Table’s ‘meals on wheels’ initiative– approached a homeless woman to give her a meal. The two already know each other as she has been coming to the McKenna’s Wagon stop at McPherson square for, what I could gather, many years.
The photograph seems like it was relatively easy to create. However, it took me hundreds of tries across four days to capture the moment in that image. The photo epitomizes the work of Martha’s Table (they have since used the image in their newsletter) and captures that ‘moment’ I was looking for during the workshop.
What would you tell a potential student to help them prepare for their experience with Momenta?
I would suggest taking time before the workshop starts to think about what you want to get out of the experience. What skills do you want to focus on? What are your weak spots that you want to sharpen? Once you know where you want to grow, you can ask for help in honing those skills while creating a visual body of work for the nonprofit with whom you will be working.
Verena Radulovic’s Biography:
Verena Radulovic is an independent photographer based in Washington, D.C., focused on portraiture, travel, and stories related to environmental sustainability, urban development, poverty alleviation and education.