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Exclusive Interview With The.97| Dragan Andic Talks Photography, Tour Life and Book Release



Dragan Andic is a 21-year-old photographer and creative director from Toronto, Canada. While working with some of the biggest artists in the city, The.97 has been there to capture every moment. Dragan is the go-to photographer for Roy Woods and has created promotional material for Say Less that has landed on billboards around the world. Dragan has also shot the album covers for 88Glam and Atlantada 2.

Having just returned from the Aubrey & the Three Migos Tour, we caught up with Dragan to talk about his career, selling out his photobook and his experience on tour.

How did your venture into photography start?

Classic question I get all of the time. It all started when I was 17. I was living in Italy  playing professional soccer for an academy in Genoa. I returned home for the summer and tore my ACL during a pick up soccer game. I was confused, depressed, and didn’t know what my next move in life would be. Luckily, my best friend was just starting out in photography and had asked me to model in a few portfolio shots for him. After that I instantly fell in love with photography. The following semester I did not return to Italy because of my injury so I invested my spare time into practicing photography everyday.

Was there a moment where you realized that you can do this as a career?

Since I started photography everything has been happening naturally so I can’t really say there was a particular moment where I knew that this was going to be my career. I’m just working hard, staying patient, and trusting the process.

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You give credit to Kid. Studio for giving you your first break into the music scene, how did you start working with Kid. Studio and how did that impact your career moving forward?

Kid. Studio believed in me before anyone did. I remember when they first contacted me to do behind the scenes photography on set for Roy Woods’ music video for Get You Good. When I arrived to the shoot I remember how professional and how organized everything was on set and at that moment I knew I had to step my game up and deliver some of my best work. Working on set with them and observing their quality of work and professionalism really influenced my work ethic a lot when I first started working in the music scene.

Who were your early influences as a creator?

My biggest inspiration since day one is Elie (Visionelie ). Elie is a role model to me and many other creatives coming out of Toronto. Another photographer that inspires me is Hyghly Alleyne. His concert photography is incredible. La Mar Taylor has also been someone I have always looked up to. He’s one of the most talented creative directors I know. Gary Vaynerchuk is also a big influence. I usually listen to his podcasts while I’m editing. He’s taught me a lot about how to build my brand, believe in myself, and do what I love.

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How does it feel just getting off the Drake/Migo’s tour, and what was that experience like?

I feel very grateful to have been apart of such an amazing tour. The experience was overwhelming and a big milestone for me. I remember being at home brainstorming what my next move would be and just like that, I got a call and in two days I was on the biggest tour in North America. I was surrounded by so much creative energy that it just inspired me to push myself and take my work to the next level. I’ve always loved travelling since I was a kid so getting the opportunity to tour around North America doing what I love was a blessing. Shoutout to Roy and his team for believing in me and bringing me on road, it was an unforgettable experience.

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What’s your favourite photo from the tour?

Definitely this shot of Drake at Staples Center. I feel like I captured this moment perfectly.

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Did you have to adjust your photography style when shooting at a live concert?
You definitely have to adjust to every type of photography because each type requires a certain expertise. Concert photography is very fast paced and if you miss a particular moment you may never get a chance to capture that moment again. Before each show I study the stage design and venue to see which angles would be best to work from.

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What’s your relationship with Roy Woods like and how did you get in touch with him? 

Roy is like family to me. We inspire each other and push each other creatively every time we work together. He is a very positive person and believes in me when I don’t even believe in myself. I remember before I launched my photobook I showed it to him and he was like ‘WOW this is great, this book is going to inspire a lot of people’. He’s a great friend and he’ll always give you that extra boost of confidence and positivity whenever you need it.

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The 88Glam shot is an iconic cover, what was the process behind that shoot?

The 88Glam cover is definitely one of my favourite pieces of work. My older brother Mihailo is the genius who thought of it and trusted me to bring it to life. This cover is special to me because I love working with Derek and Camino, they’re very talented and hard working individuals and we’ve done so much work together in the past so having them believe in my work and trust me with the photography for their debut album cover was an honour.

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What have been your favourite moments as a creator? 

One of my favourite moments was when Drake posted my photo while I was on tour. It was an honour to have someone you’ve been a fan of for so long show you that they are a fan of your work too. I’ve been listening to Drake since I was a kid, back in elementary school I never would have imagined that I would be a photographer on his tour and have him share my work. Another memorable moment was having my work posted in Times Square. It’s crazy because I remember travelling to New York 2 years prior to the billboard going up. I was with my friend walking through Times Square and I told him, ‘one day my work is going to be on one of these billboards’ and 2 years later that dream came to fruition. It’s moments like these that make you believe anything is possible.

How did it feel publish and sell out your first photobook?

This was a great milestone for me because I wanted to show that I am more than just a photographer. I spent about 5 months working on this book and some nights I didn’t even sleep because I would be stressing about how perfect this body of work had to be. Last July I launched it and since then it has been sold to Japan, Australia, Germany, Ireland, England, France, Serbia, Italy, across America and across Canada. I had no idea how many people supported my work and it’s a blessing to have sold out a project that I put my heart and soul into.

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What can we expect from The.97 this year?

I’m just going to lay low and let my work speak for itself.

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Who are some artists you’d like to work with in 2019?

The Weeknd, Travis Scott,  Asap Rocky, and Kygo are some of my favourite artists and it would be a blessing to get a chance to work with them. I also love movies and I’ve had a lot of experience doing behind the scenes photography so it would be great to work behind the scenes on set of a motion picture.

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What advice would you give to an aspiring creator?

I encourage everyone reading this to pursue their passion. A lot of people give up on themselves before they even try because they’re scared to break out of their comfort zone. Life is about taking risks. Don’t be scared to fail because failure is part of the journey to success. Do what you love and don’t worry about other people’s opinions. Don’t let anyone dictate your life and tell you what is best for because only you know what is best for yourself. Trust your vision, be patient, work hard, and believe in yourself. If you’re reading this, go start that blog that you always wanted to start, go write that book you have always wanted to write, go pick up a camera and start practicing photography, go direct your first music video, go graduate at the top of your class, go chase that dream. We live in a world where the tools we need to succeed are available for us and we must not let them goto waste. Now is the perfect time to turn your dreams into reality.

See more of Dragan’s work on his website or Instagram (@the.97)


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