Buildings do not pose. The facade cannot make a movement; the city quarter will never be able to step forward or take a different stance in front of the lens. Aleksandar Milutinović, a photographer from Novi Sad who has been "posed" by thousands of buildings and objects of various purposes, is therefore constantly looking for a different angle. He chases the perfect light in the dawn, ready to wait patiently for the subtlest play of light and colors in the twilight—all for the sake of the perfect frame.
Belgrade Waterfront / Photo: Aleksandar Milutinović
He discovered the world of photography as a child, when his grandfather gave him the first analog camera from Russia and instructed him in the secrets of film development in the darkroom in the basement of their house. Naturally, he documented family members in his earliest portraits, but he also included iconic images of Novi Sad landmarks that were the focal points of his formative years, which he spent in the courtyards of Matica srpska and Dunavska streets and Nikolajevska church.
Novi Sad / Photo: Aleksandar Milutinović
It is therefore not surprising that Aleksandar built a respectable position in the field of photography precisely through the most beautiful shots of houses, buildings, streets, private and public buildings, and monumental old and new neighborhoods of his native Novi Sad.
Petrovaradin Fortress / Photo: Aleksandar Milutinović
For the past seven years, Aleksandar Milutinović has worked as a photographer for the Novi Sad Tourism Organization. He is irreplaceable and a permanent associate of the Tourist Organization of Vojvodina and the Tourist Organization of Serbia. He is also the official photographer of Lafarge Holcim for this part of Europe and the licensed photographer of the only Marriott hotel in Serbia, the Sheraton of Novi Sad. He also received training for photographing hotels from the Radisson chain.
Belgrade / Photo: Aleksandar Milutinović
In the last three years alone, he reveals to us, he photographed the interior and exterior of more than 40 hotels throughout Serbia, from five-star hotels, such as the President Palace, to luxurious Premier hotels, to many in the capital and Novi Sad, to the Grand Hotel on Kopaonik, Fruška Terme complex, as well as hundreds of other accommodation facilities, apartments, but also restaurants, medieval monasteries, events, and manifestations.
Porto Montenegro / Photo: Aleksandar Milutinović
"I have always preferred to photograph objects rather than people. When you look at what I do, it may seem disparate, but in essence, it is quite similar. Everything revolves around architecture, around cities, around urban landscapes," says Aleksandar Milutinović.
He adds that he likes to capture the detail of both the interior and exterior with the same shot. He is transparent about the technique behind his photographs.
"First, I try to record how the building fits into the environment, to highlight some interesting angles and positions with a photograph. Often, the building itself appears different through the lens than it does in the real world. Of course, the play of light and certain reflections, colors, and tones are important. I always look for something specific that will make the photo different. My intent is to give people a new view of what they see with the naked eye as they pass by the building every day," says Aleksandar.
The Clock Tower at Petrovaradin Fortress / Photo: Aleksandar Milutinović
He admits that he has always been attracted to the pictures of old Novi Sad that show a city that no longer exists. He notes that the urban profile has changed in less than three decades. As an example, he cites the settlements of Grbavica or Nova Detelinara, which today are neighborhoods networked with modern multi-story buildings and which he remembered, through his memories and photographs, at the beginning of his career as typical lowland settlements with narrow, single-story houses.
Last year alone, he photographed 193 events, and according to Google Maps statistics, he was in Belgrade about 130 times. He is excited to take on the challenge of working with architects and designers because he enjoys working hard.
"In the course of my profession, I encounter skilled architects and bureaus who, as far as I can tell, adhere to global trends. In light of that, I believe Serbia has a bright future regarding tourism, hospitality, and architecture. I like the way that everything is moving in the hotel business. I believe we have improved to the level of Europe, if not exceeded it," Alexander observes.
Although he has been professionally engaged in photography for a full decade, since 2012, he does not agree to a compromise that would entail renouncing creativity. Nor is he an advocate of excessive use of various photo tools or of faking.
Novi Sad Fair / Photo: Aleksandar Milutinović
"Every city might appear to be a global metropolis when taken from specific perspectives. For instance, when two-kilometer-diameter areas are captured in a single image using enormous zoom lenses and night lighting, the result is stunning. Completely unreal," says Aleksandar Milutinović.
On one topic, however, Aleksandar was a little taken aback. More precisely, he admitted with a smile that it was difficult for him to answer. We asked if we could expect an exhibition.
"I have more than two million photos in the archive. It is planned this year. I just don't know exactly when. It's a big task. It requires time for selection, which is why I've been saying until now: Let others present, I'll do the work," he says.
He revealed to us one of his unfulfilled artistic desires: "Give me a camera and leave me in Rome for six months!"
NOVI SAD THROUGH THE LENS FOR 365 DAYS
The Facebook page "Novi Sad through the lens for 365 days" (original: Novi Sad kroz objektiv 365 dana) was launched by Aleksandar in 2015. Every day he published two photos: one daytime photo and one nighttime photo. It goes without saying that he took photos every day. "Drones weren't used that much at that time, so I climbed up on multi-story buildings and roofs to take photos from those positions, most often at dusk or dawn. The landscapes were extraordinary. Very quickly, the page gained thousands of followers," he says.
The Varadin bridge / Photo: Aleksandar Milutinović
A year later, in the official monograph of the city of Novi Sad, which is still an official gift for high-ranking delegations, almost 95 percent of the photos are Alexander's.Today, he uses a drone, but not when working in urban areas due to the safety of pedestrians.
By: Aleksandra Mirković
Photo: Aleksandar Milutinović