Almin Tabak is a freelance photographer from Visoko. Also, he is a forestry engineer, still not a graduate one, but that will come too. He has been working in photography for 20 years and started long time ago with taking photos on film rolls, but didn’t always make these photos as it was expensive. So now he has more than 100 film rolls he developed but has no idea what’s on these. In 2011 he bought his first digital camera and started to earn from photography. Though he believes his marketing is not his stronger side and that he doesn’t promote himself enough, I wouldn’t agree because I did find him after seeing his photos of the town in winter on a local website in Visoko. I was interested to know who’s behind these photos so I looked him up and marked this talk as one of those where I laughed the most. (laughter)
You know what that was really, why were these photos interesting? First it was terribly cold, lot of snow, no one wanted to go outside, and everyone wanted to see how it was. I was the only fool going around here. (laughter) And then I realised that people really like Visoko, you know. People love Visoko, it’s just that the atmosphere is bit odd. It was interesting to me to see how many had it shared. Even the Mayor shared photos. I’ve tried all sorts of genres in photography, except for nudity. On one and same memory card, it’s a bit funny, I had a photo of a cow for my cousin for PIK, then the Mayor was there, then a wedding, a funeral and a birthday. All this on one memory card, so imagine the scope of how amazing is my portfolio, from cows to … from one extreme to another. I mean, in order to make it, you have to work for money. I don’t choose at all. Everyone loves spontaneous photos. When I do wedding photography, everyone says, “Will there be spontaneous photos like you know how to do?” I did two campaigns, I was their official photographer on one of these. Eight years ago and four and now this is the last one. I was a photographer to all possible alternatives. I was even there as they were changing offices, working for the former mayor and now for the future mayor. And he told me, “You’re good at this, whoever wins, it’s fine to you”. But in essence I’m neutral, I don’t belong to anyone. Often I have to explain to people, since we have a somewhat difficult situation here and you must be under someone’s wing so I have to explain to people, “I’m just like a car mechanic or a baker. Anyone can come to me for car repair or to buy a bread.”
I am a freelancer, independent. We’re all slaves on some level at a global level, but I’d love to be free, that no one owns me. I don’t like being owned, and in fact it means to have the freedom to do what I want, for money, an honest job and whoever pays I’ll work.
You had one or more exhibitions?
I had one exhibition, my own, within the festival. But there were some of my photos; one photo three to four years ago, one of my photos came out among the first 50, it was a joint exhibition in the Town Hall. There were some other exhibitions.
Why do you like Visoko?
In fact, I really love Visoko because all my peeps, family, friends are here.
Ever thought about leaving BiH?
I think about it every day.
What’s holding you here?
Parents mostly. Because of them. I’d love to go somewhere but because of them I don’t feel like. I tried a couple of times but it didn’t work. But honestly, if a good opportunity came to me, I would go for a couple of years. Purely for economic reasons. I’d actually go to buy good equipment, earn and buy good equipment and then I would work there. Now, many who left no longer have the intention to come back, it means that there is something there … I don’t know what. But, that is, I told you, I was in Barcelona, when I saw trains coming on time and how amazing it is. And here they are one day late, they take the rails in Maglaj so that’s it.