Editor’s note: Dušan Holovej, from Slovakia, won a Silver Medal in the World Photographic Cup (WPC) 2019 for the image featured above.
After Dušan shared his stunning WPC submission with the Photigy Community, the community helped coordinate a meetup with Photigy frontman, Morten Eriksen. The two got together in Drammen, Norway to talk about Dušan’s success in photography and in life.
So before we get started, I have to ask…where do you get your cool bow ties?
I have a friend that makes custom wooden bow ties for special occasions, but I also have one from a shop in Slovakia. I bought it when I went to Japan for the WPC 2017 gala ceremony.
Yes, you won a Gold Medal that year. When and why did you choose to start entering the competition?
As a member of the Slovak Association of Professional Photographers (since 2016), I had an opportunity to submit my photo into that competition. Slovakia needed to build a team, so I was one of them. Actually, it was my first ever submission into a photographic competition and I brought a Gold medal from Japan – it was an epic trip I must say, and I definitely want to visit there again.
My winning photo of the Invicta watch was a personal project because I wanted to build a portfolio of high-quality work, and then one day it just boomed like a rocket. Funny fact is that I did this photo in my apartment and used a baking tray as a base to build the set.
Where do you find inspiration for your creations?
I usually find inspiration in other photographers around, movies, Photigy, Sci-fi movies and commercials. I have always wanted to create images like when you are watching movies and in the middle of some action you just press the pause button – frozen action, that’s what I love the most.
What positive things have come from winning the medal?
When I received the award, I had some global exposure. Unfortunately, no money involved, just a good reputation.
What was the most crucial decision that you made that changed the game for you?
Beginning to exercise! This gave me mental health and strength to keep going and start to get a creative mindset.
I started working out, and this Personal Trainer needed some pictures for a Healthy Eating book. Naturally, he asked me about this. As compensation, he was my PT for some time, and this complete transformation of being healthy gave me lots of positive benefits such as more energy and the motivation to fulfill my goals. I was up at 5am every morning to hit the gym at 6am. Then off to work later on.
When I got home, I still had the energy to read books about mindset and being a better me.
What was your worst decision/idea?
I rarely remember my worst decisions/ideas, because of all those things I learned in life to stay positive and stay away from negativity.
Whenever something goes wrong, I throw them in the bucket and forget about them for all time. So, no! I am by far a perfect man in the world, but I’m happy with the results of my hard work and staying positive.
Aside from competitions, where else do you recommend submitting images?
In this social world, I use all the power the different platforms give me. This lets many people see my work. I submit images to Facebook, Instagram, Behance, 500px, and 1x.com among other platforms.
One final question: Who cuts your hair?
I do. I have been doing it for the past eight years every two weeks. It’s easy to keep nice and tidy, and I always look handsome.