Ante Badzim is a minimalist photographer from Sydney, Australia. Ante’s portfolio presents a minimalist perspective of nature and human life, often incorporating natural elements like water and sand. For his work, Ante has received accolades such as Top 10 Australian Photography Photographer of the Year 2018, Blow Up Photo Award, Olympus Global Photo Cup Award, and many more.
Q: Ante, are you someone who always aspired to be a photographer?
A: My parents migrated to Australia from Croatia in the 1960s, and they brought minimal possessions with them. One of the first indulgent items they purchased after establishing themselves was a camera. This camera was handed to me at an early age, and was the start of my photographic journey, which became my creative escape and lifeline.
Q: You’ve studied photography academically at schools like Australian National University and RMIT University. How do you feel that your time in these photography programs helped improve your craft?
A: Academically, I was equipped with tools and knowledge to help me on a technical level. I had exposure to many genres and methods, which helped me evolve in a professional sense. What I discovered over the years, is that your style, approach, and how you connect and resonate with subjects is something that can’t be taught. It is life’s experiences and your view on the world that shapes you and improves your craft. It is the diverse people you meet that inspire you and help you evolve further creatively and as a human.
Q: You’re known for your minimalist approach to photography; what draws you to this particular style?
A: My approach is to show the true beauty of the subject, where it demands attention by introducing space and minimizing distractions. The simplest of things, when isolated, can represent something beautiful. The fine details and primitive experiences are becoming rare in contemporary life. I want to celebrate the beauty that is overlooked by creating visuals that offer moments of reflection and appreciation.
Q: Minimalism as a visual movement extends well beyond photography, are there any minimalist artists or pieces you’ve been inspired by?
A: I’m drawn to simplicity, clean lines, stark contrasts, and, at times, repetition in composition. I am inspired by artists that may not necessarily draw upon these elements frequently, but they are consistent with their style and approach. One inspiration is Photographer and Designer Tom Hegen. His aerial work, which highlights the impact of the human and nature relationship, is an example of work that is not minimal in its purest sense. However, as a body of work, it showcases the beauty of the subjects with repetition, color, textures, and lines.
Q: Many of your photos incorporate water and sand, often focusing on the dividing line between them—what attracts you to these recurring elements?
A: Residing in Sydney and the South Coast of Australia, and with regular trips to the Dalmatian Coast In Croatia, breathtaking beaches and scenes often feature in my work. I am currently working on a series and exhibition titled ‘Elixir’. It celebrates the beauty of water and its connection to life. A reminder of how important it is as a resource and the role it plays on the environment and all living things. More than half of the human body is water, and the reason I naturally gravitate towards it. It embodies calmness, strength, and a sensual force that acts on us physically and emotionally.
Q: Your portfolio includes photos from many different parts of the world; what would you consider the most photogenic location you’ve been to?
A: There is no place like home and the connection to your everyday surroundings. For this reason, Australia, and more generally, the East Coast of Australia, I find to be the most photogenic. Exploring your backyard can also sometimes uncover immense beauty that we can easily overlook. My motherland, Croatia, is also home away from home. Since my first visit at the age of two, I have been back more times than I can remember. Its stunning coastline and villages are equally special to me as they hold fond childhood memories. I have captured some of my most personal work there, which continually reminds me of my heritage and the journey my parents embarked on for a better life.
Q: What are three things you would consider essential to a successful shoot?
A: Light, patience, and timing.
Q: As someone who has won a number of awards from around the globe, what advice do you have in terms of sourcing, participating, and winning international photography competitions?
A: Be true to yourself and your creative approach. Get involved with local photographic events to meet and be inspired by other creatives. Growing your network will provide unmeasurable opportunities to not only improve your craft, but also share your work, obtain feedback, and recognition. Explore the 500px Quests regularly, and research photographic industry partners and organizations that provide platforms for accreditation, education, and competitions for emerging and professional artists. Photographic publications also host regular and affiliated awards aligned to major sponsors and leading camera brands such as Olympus.
Q: Creative block is something many artists experience from time to time. Do you have any tips on how to stay inspired?
A: Have your camera with you at all times and engage with other photographers and visual artists. Delving into ‘behind the scenes’ of other artist’s methods, production, and processes helps me out of any lull. Also, getting involved with workshops and talks will always provide a spark of inspiration.
Q: If you were to pick one photo you’re most proud of from your 500px Profile, which would it be and why?
A: My ‘Surfer’ photo is one that currently feels poignant. Capturing this image in Manyana, on the South Coast of New South Wales, I wanted to portray a sense of calmness and simplicity, allowing the viewer an opportunity to reflect. Isolating subjects presents an opportunity to showcase their beauty. When we bring attention to these simple elements, it can function as a reminder to truly appreciate our surroundings, especially in a time where there is so much uncertainty.
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