Matej Peljhan, EFIAP, MF FZS – Slovenia


Matej Peljhan was born in 1967 and spent his entire childhood in a small village Col above the Vipava Valley, Slovenia.

At the age of 10, while playing with his friends, he experienced a severe accident with some explosive devices, scattered around during the World War II. He suffered numerous injuries, the most severe being the loss of his right arm and an eye. He finished elementary school in his home town and some years later the secondary school in Idrija; during all this period undergoing painful medical treatment and rehabilitation.

He studied psychology at the University of Ljubljana and soon after decided to proceed with his studies in the field of clinical psychology, which helps him a lot in his daily work with children with special needs. He lives in Ljubljana with his wife and three children.

He has been a photographer since 2009. He takes photos in an unusual way – because he can only manage a camera with his left hand, the camera needs to be turned upside down.

He holds the tittle master of photography, which is the highest title you can obtain in Slovene photography. He has presented his work at 18 independent exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad, and has received over a hundred prizes. Two of his works are included in the photographic collection of the Museum and galleries of the city of Ljubljana.

He published his work in monograph titled Fotografije/Photographies (2012) and he is the co-author of the book Za-govor podob – philosophy of photographic gaze (2011). His photos, interviews, and features about him have been published and presented in numerous media in Slovenia and across the world (Delo, Dnevnik, Digitalna kamera, 7 Dni, RTV SLO, POP TV, Reader’s Digest, Digital Photography, Schwartzweiss, Nikon Pro Magazine, 1x Magazine, Huffington Post, BBC, Daily Mail, Globo, Stern, El Diario Sur, Pro Sieben, Nippon TV, Buzzfeed, Mashable, Petapixel, Bored Panda and others).

His biggest success was the 2013 series called The Little Prince, which went viral. The photos have been pronounced as some of the most touching photos ever taken. The following year he was as screenwriter and director for the short film with the same title and received the award Vesna at the main national film festival.

Due to his personal and professional ambitions, he strives to bring photography as close as possible to the people with special needs. He has co-founded The Institute of photographic therapy where he offers workshops, educates others in the field of the photographic therapy and publishes professional articles. In 2015 he was the editor of the book called Phototherapy – from Concepts to Practices, which was published in English as well.

In 2018 he was elected as a president in the artistic council of the Photographic Association of Slovenia.

His personal web page: http://www.matejpeljhan.com/

Andreja Peklaj, AFIAP, MF FZS – Slovenia


Andreja Peklaj holds the titles Master Photographer, bestowed by the Slovenian Association of Photographers (FZS), and AFIAP (Artist – awarded by the FIAP). Born in 1948 in Vikrče on the outskirts of Ljubljana, Andreja has pursued photography and showcased her art since 1973.

In 1982, she joined the Designers’ Society of Slovenia. In 1991, after serving the chemical profession for twenty-five years, she embarked on a career of a freelance cultural worker and dedicated her time exclusively to photography. She is a co-founding member of the KUD (Cultural and Artistic Society) Lojz Kraigher Ljubljana University Medical Centre and the Faculty of Medicine, within the context of which she holds exhibitions and takes part in art colonies. She has devoted her art to creating people-friendly conditions in hospitals, retirement home, and rehabilitation centers. She also heads the exhibition programme at the Ljubljana Medical Centre’s Neurology Department.

She has held 86 solo exhibitions in Slovenia and abroad, took part in several group shows and won over 115 distinctions and awards. She has served as a jury member and selector at a number of national and international exhibitions, and peer reviewer to other exhibiting authors.

She self-published her 1994 monograph, Lake Cerknica, which received the UNESCO Prize for the Preservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage. Issued in 2007, the second, revised edition. titled Mysterious Intermittence, was in 2007 accompanied by Revelations, an exhibition of 120 photos of Lake Cerknica in large format, presented in the Ljubljana Tivoli Park’s Jakopič Promenade. In 2008, in acknowledgment of the artist’s promotion of the Municipality of Cerknica through her monographs and exhibitions, the Municipality of Cerknica presented her with its highest accolade “12 June”. In 2015, within the scope of the exhibition of three different series of 40 photographs at the Kranj galleries, the artist was awarded the title of Honorary Member of the Cabinet of Slovenian Photography, a collection housed by the Museum of Gorenjska in Kranj.

Andreja Peklaj is also a member of the Janez Puhar Photo Society Kranj. In 2018 she was elected to the artistic council of the Photographic Association of Slovenia.

Varga Szilárd, EFIAP – Hungary

I think of myself as a member of the new generation of photo-amateurs. I first experienced photography through the lens of a digital camera. Only later I have started to acquaint myself with the traditional, analog technique. I possess no formal education on photography, nor do I have ambitions to become a professional photographer.

It was 2010 when I decided to take up photography in a more serious manner. I joined the Nagykanizsa Photo Club in 2012 and became president of the club in 2017. Some of my favorite motives to portray are portraits, acts, and landscapes. I like conceptual solutions, however, I do not dismiss documentary approaches. The balance between strong visual effects and an authentic portrayal of the subject is what I strive to accomplish through my work. It is because of this that, while editing my photos, I use computer programmes sparingly. I like to explore and search for new approaches to photography.

His personal web page: http://www.vargaszilard.hu/