Janez Kocbek (janezkocbek) has took his father’s DSLR and went out to shoot his friends on their skateboards. always passionate about skateboarding and extreme sports, he mastered his own personal style. it has ben no more than a few years that JK, became the personal photographer for a professional snowboarder (RedBull), as well as professional freestyle stunt bike rider (KTM) and took off his crew of professionals to shoot in Africa, Australia, USA, Europe and Asia, so basically the whole world.

What inspired you to be a photographer?
Things I saw and how I saw it. My parents had a camera so I experimented a lot with it and people liked what I was doing and I never stopped. Now it’s a different story; I don’t want people to be just amazed by the photos I take, because you can learn how to take technically good photos, but be inspired by the story and be interested in it from the deeper meaning is a different story so that’s my inspiration nowadays.

What was your first camera and what do you shoot with today?
I had couple of digital small cameras back in the days but my truly first one was a Canon EOS 40D with 18-55 kit lens and Tokina 70-300 the real cheap one. Than, I had a couple of EOS 7D and now I shoot with EOS 5D Mark III. I have all the Canon mount lenses so I always stayed on Canon but for me those stuff are not that important anymore even though I’m gear freak.

When someone looks at your photos, what do you want them to take away from it, what are you trying to communicate?
I want people to be simply amazed when they look at my photos, make them think and look at the photo more than 5 seconds. I believe presenting the story behind the photo and all the travels is important for all the photographers out there.

What has photography done for you?
It took me around the world, and I think this is the greatest gift photography has to offer. I was out there, shooting on the craziest locations meeting the best people from different religions, colors, beliefs… I learned so much from it and that means so much to me.

Do you try to be conceptual or do you prefer to show the feeling behind a photo?
I always try to show the feeling when I can. But when you are shooting for someone else; you don’t have much flexibility to show the feelings in most cases. Either way, I enjoy every step of it.

How do you describe your style?
It changed a lot in the past years. I was known as a sports photographer but I didn’t want to be just that as I have such more to offer. I think generally people like most of my wide angle photos, I guess I’m good at it.

If you had to choose one lens which one would it be and why?
I would go for one of the wider lenses, maybe Sigma art 24 f1.8. I think this is a great lens. Or maybe one of the 70-200L lenses from Canon.

Have you received negative feedback from your work? What did you do about it?
Of course, I received negative feedback just like everyone else.  I tried to learn from it, figure out what was wrong, and what I could do better.

What are your 3 tips for others who want to become better photographers?

1. Try shooting on film. It gives you so much of a different perspective on what's really important. Since you have 36 frames; you’d slowly eliminate the photos you’d normally take with DSLR and you quickly understand the light, the camera itself, how it works, and all. Film is great!

2. Be patient, photography is a life work. You can’t become great photographer just because you understand the camera. Do what you are passionate about.

3. Don’t complain too much and smile a bit more.

Where did you learn to take photos?
I had my father's camera with me all the time so I took photos everywhere; at home, on the playground, skatepark...

Raw vs jpg and why?
Raw, because you have more options when editing.

What do you carry in your camera bag?
Depends on the situation of course but if I need to travel, I try to carry as little as possible. My travel bag usually contains the items listed below:
- Canon 5D Mark III
- Canon 70-200L 2.8
- Sigma art 24 1.8
- Canon speed light 540 old one
- Some transmitters
- Minolta XD5 with 24mm 2.8, 50 1.7
- GoPro
- Snacks

What is the most common mistake you see people making when shooting these days?
The most common mistake I see people making is rushing things when taking a photo.

What is your dream location to shoot?
The moon. Ambient light must be cool up there.

How do you decide on where to shoot a photo?
Usually, I just drive by locations and when we travel to more advanced locations, we dig up and see what Google has to say.

What is next for you? Any planned adventures with your camera?
South America, the only continent I did not travel yet and we are already planning a trip there soon!

What is your goal with your photography?
I’m going strong with no plan. I know how things should look from my perspective and how I want to represent myself, so I’m in the process of cleaning my history out and redesigning my web page and social media.