Pari Dukovic reveals the stories behind his hazy, dreamy fashion and celebrity photography.

Dukovic fuses fine art with fashion photography to create abstract, dreamy and compelling images which capture the fashion world from within. He talks to Wonderland about the creative processes behind five of his favourite images from London, Milan and Paris.

Nicki Minaj by Pari Dukovic

1. Nicki Minaj

I photographed Nicki as she was arriving at a show in NY; she’d just entered the room for Prabal Gurung’s show. I actually shot this on the fly; I didn’t have any one-on-one time with her. I love photographing situations where there’s a lot of expression and energy. That’s more important to me than reading her in the first place and taking it from there. I wanted to make it more about making a stunning photograph, showing her in a different way to the plethora of slick images out there.

Jason Wu Hands by Pari Dukovic

2. Hands

In school I studied photography and art history. I was always moved by looking at the definition of the light in Caravaggio’s paintings and the sensitivity of Degas. I particularly like this image because of its softness and color palette, which I find very painterly.

This image is of a model resting her hands on her knees while she was getting hair and make up done. I was just amazed with how beautiful and calm her hands were whilst there was so much going on around her: people pulling her hair, scurrying around… Most of the time a good photograph is hiding in the simplest moment. There should always be something in a photograph that gives a sense of a personal moment between you and the subject.

Jason Wu Red Lips by Pari Dukovic

3. Jason Wu Red Lips

I shot this image at the first fashion show I ever photographed. I was on an assignment for New York Magazine photographing the shows in New York, Milan and Paris. For me fashion was a totally unknown world, so I was beyond excited!

I come from a street photography background where I’m trained to see a moment and chase it. This is one of those moments where I saw something and snapped it. I shoot only with film and I try to bring a certain amount of abstraction into my work, which I find very visually appealing. This image is an example of that. You can read what is happening, but the image makes you look at the subject beyond that of just a beauty photograph.

Roberto Cavalli by Pari Dukovic

4. Roberto Cavalli

I’m very interested in the sense of rhythm in a photograph. This is a portrait of Roberto Cavalli shot at his show. His skin had a sculptural quality, and black and white film was the perfect match to bring that out. There was this one moment where the light in the room picked up on him in such a way that it looked very cinematic, like a still from a Hitchcock film.

When you shoot film you have a different kind of rhythm: you shoot the 36 frames, and then to change the roll you take a few seconds break and you look at your subject matter with fresh eyes. I think it’s really important to have that kind of rhythm and maintain your focus.

Chloe Show by Pari Dukovic

5. Chloé Show

I really do enjoy doing fashion as it’s so visual, but on the other hand that’s the difficult thing about photographing it. There’s so much beauty in front of you, how do you break through that to make it something even more interesting? This Chloé show was the only one lit with available light and it was an opportunity for me to make a new picture of a very typical runway situation.

In my photos you see a lot of blur, a lot of movement and energy – I want to create a certain rhythm in my images. When I edit I always need to carefully look at the pictures and study them to really feel convinced that this picture is doing it for me. You really need to find the images that really speak up.


Words: Laura Isabella