World-Famous Photographer Jadran Lazic Announces Monumental Two-Part Monograph

Daniela Rogulj

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Jadran Lazic
Jadran Lazic

It has been more than 45 years since the young Split photographer Jadran Lazic told his friends at the cult Split cafe Semafor that he was going to Paris.

“They’re only waiting for you,” his friends told him, and almost five decades later, Paris really was waiting for him. Like the rest of the world, writes.

“I was thinking of three options. New York, London, or Paris. New York was too far away, and I realized I couldn’t hitchhike if I failed. London was, to my knowledge, too rainy and foggy, so I opted for Paris,” Lazic says at the beginning of the conversation.


Lazic with Jodi Foster in Split, 1978

In recent months, a monumental luxury reissue of his two books, Ja Paparazzo and Reporter, has been in preparation, covering the period up to 1984. The new books will also include the period from 1984 to 2020, which fans of his photography will buy in a unique whole. Before the Internet, Lazic’s books had large circulations, and thousands of people wanted to see movie stars and moments captured by the famous photographer.


Lazic with Robert de Niro in Paris, 1975

Ja Paparazzo, published in 1980, sold 10,000 copies, and Reporter, a book published two years later, had a circulation of 5,000. Reporter was published in an updated edition in 1985 when it sold 10,000 copies.

The two-part monograph (Part 1 500 and Part 2 400 pages) will be published in Croatian and English.


After the monograph sees the light of day, a photo tour of the former Yugoslavia cities is in the works.

There are many great photos to be found inside – from Split’s most famous people to the biggest Hollywood divas and movie stars.


Lazic and Jean Claude Van Damme, 1988.

The last photos in the monograph, which features Lola Astanova, were taken during the coronavirus pandemic. Lazic says they were taken, among other things, because his wife quarantined him in Los Angeles every time he returned from a trip.


Photo by Jadran Lazic

“I was connected to Lola Astanova by Feliks Lukas, director of the WTA tennis tournament Croatia Bol Ladies Open. During this Covid time, we still organized a shoot in Miami at the end of October last year. My younger daughter Kiki and I surprised my older daughter Tamara for her 40th birthday in New York. So that my wife wouldn’t quarantine me again, I continued from New York to shoot Lola in Miami,” says Lazic.


Photo by Jadran Lazic

Lazic says he was persuaded to do this monograph project by his friend Silvija Hraste. On his recommendation, he hired the Croatian Authors’ Agency as the book publisher and gave it a general mandate to take care of its copyrights and further promote the author’s work. The most important part of the future promotion will be the publication of a monograph that will truly be a treat for collectors and photography lovers. In addition to the photographs that accompany his work in Split, Paris, and Los Angeles, the author has prepared accompanying texts and anecdotes that describe the situations in which the photographs were taken. Some of them are truly cinematic.

One of them was definitely photographing Leonid Brezhnev’s funeral when Lazic photographed for the French agency SIPA Press. Thanks to the  Iron Curtain, it was almost impossible to get from Western Europe to the Soviet Union, but Lazic succeeded.64a87f31-e75c-4605-bb11-938a0e0d7aec.jpg

Photo by Jadran Lazic

In Belgrade, he received the accreditation of a Serbian media outlet and went to Moscow as a Yugoslav photographer. 

He managed to photograph the funeral and the body of the deceased Brezhnev, returned to Belgrade, and then to Paris, where his boss offered him his Mercedes.

Lazic refused the Mercedes and asked to split the money in half. Then he earned enough money for a villa on Hvar, where he stays today when he visits his homeland.

Can a similar success happen to photographers today? Index asked.

“No. It can’t happen again. Today, everyone would record the funeral with their mobile phones,” says Lazic.


Photo by Jadran Lazic

Among the numerous film and television stars who posed for Lazic and whom he managed to capture with a lens, the photographs of Princess Diana are very rare.

“I photographed her a few times at the Cannes Film Festival,” he tells Index, but he was never in a group of paparazzi who hunted down the princess around the world. Princess Diana was a catch for the paparazzi for years and eventually died while fleeing from them.

“She had her favorite photographers even though it doesn’t seem like it today. That’s why I didn’t have the ambition to chase her,” says Lazic.


Index asked Lazic if Hollywood actresses are as insecure as ordinary mortals when posing for a photo?

“No. They are most confident and safe in front of the camera, and they see the photos immediately after the photoshoot. At that time, photoshop began to develop, so the photos were fixed a bit. Of course, not in the amount that is done for Instagram today,” says Lazic, who once photographed the famous Mila Jovovich nude.


Photo by Jadran Lazic

“Instagram has destroyed photography and the profession. Today there are a billion applications; actresses take photos of themselves and edit pictures. They don’t need photos for magazines anymore because they have a much larger audience on Instagram than any magazine,” says Lazic.


Photo by Jadran Lazic

Although he has an Instagram account, he hasn’t used it in a long time.

“It’s a waste of time. I have no one to prove myself to anymore, especially on Instagram,” says Lazic.

Still, he often photographs his friends for the popular social network, and the results regularly delight them.

He also revealed the recipe for the perfect Instagram photo:

– Wipe the lens on the cell phone well
– The light source must always be behind your back or to the left or right of the object. It should never be behind the object
– Inhale for a moment as you take the photo

Towards the end of the conversation, Index couldn’t help but wonder what Jadran’s friends from Semafor said when he returned from Paris with a collection of photos of famous actresses, many of whom were naked.

“‘Jeba on svoju mater,’ they said,” Jadran Lazic concluded.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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