“Raw” is a term that gets thrown around a good deal in street photography. Not RAW as in the digital file, but as a term used to describe a style of street photography. But what is raw? Is it gritty? In your face? Is it shot with flash? Is it an “untouched” image? Is it less artistic? Any of those things can indeed be components of a raw street shot. However, in my book, raw is more of a feel. It’s not a thing that’s easy to describe, but it’s easy to identify. It may be easier to point out what isn’t raw. Raw wouldn’t necessarily be used to describe Henri Cartier-Bresson’s work. Or Elliott Erwitt’s. Or Brassai. Raw isn’t what most folks would consider pretty. It’s more documentary in style than artistic. Raw is “warts and all”. Raw can be unsettling, uncomfortable. Raw can take us to places we wouldn’t think of going to, maybe because of the reputation. Because of fear. In instances like that, the photographer becomes a guide, taking us through these places and bringing us out unscathed physically, but maybe not mentally.
Over the last decade, one of these guides has been the seemingly fearless Vladimir Milivojevich, otherwise known as Boogie. The Serbian-born photographer has been featured here before in Under The Influence and his background is as intense and fascinating as the work that he does. Born and raised in Belgrade, in 1969, Boogie began photographing his war-torn country in the 1990’s. His website (www.artcoup.com) says, “growing up in a war-torn country defined Boogie’s style and attraction to the darker side of human existence.” A look through his previous work, only solidifies that.