Interviews / Stories
Interview: Photographer Marek Wójciak (Poland)
Tell us something about yourself
I’m a Polish photographer, raised and based in Lower Silesia (let’s say Wroclaw). After graduating in International relations, history and translation I decided to be a photographer. The passion that had developed through the years started to be my profession. Later on the travels came: at first Europe and with time, other continents. Right now I’m travelling around the world and focusing my photography on ballet more and more.
How and when did you get into photography?
There is a story behind it. I remember just some parts of it, I was told the rest of it by my parents. Apparently when I was a 7-year-old kid I was saving money not for toys, but for a camera. During a family trip to the seaside, we finally got it. I remember the moment we bought it in Gdynia. It was raining that day. We bought a simple camera with one button – a Premier. Some weeks after this, the passion dissipated. Some years later, with my dad we decided to buy a digital camera for the family. It was a Lumix, but I don’t remember which one exactly. And it all started again. After some time, I got a Sony A300 as a Christmas gift: my first reflex camera... Now I have 2 digital reflex, 1 mirorless camera, and some analogue ones (also medium format).
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
When people ask me this question, I usually tell them artfashion :) since I’m using a lot of costumes made by special designers, and the photos are not commercial photos of the dresses.
But I’m focusing more and more on ballet photography. And there are also my travels and photos made on my trips, but it’s something additional, not my main focus. More technically: Lines, lines lines, shadows, lines shadows and story somewhere there.
What does photography mean to you?
It’s about telling stories, waking up the imagination of the viewer, letting him be a part of it by creating the rest of the story.
Where do you get inspiration from?
From public communication hahaha. But honestly, I get the best ideas when I’m sitting on city buses. Sometimes I see something on the street or in the theatre and I want to develop those moments, poses, light on my photos.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
Yep. But normally it’s just a general idea, some basic aspects. It’s also because I like to leave some space to the model. I think the photo is more complex if we use not only my imagination, but also the model’s.
Studio, on location or both?
Definitely on location. I find it way more interesting. You can play with the objects in the background too, there’s more bokeh play. The stories that I want to create are more complete if the place is a good one. In studio you can play with the light, but normally after a few shots I get bored.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
Both. It’s still my passion, but I’m also getting paid for this.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
Hmmm I think there are a few of them. Some because the place was so amazing that it can’t be forgotten, others because we did some really crazy things. But the sessions I remember the most are those on which I met great people. A good atmosphere and chemistry between the people can’t be replaced by anything else. In my opinion, this is the most important thing. Good team = great results.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
Lately ballet. But in general I can say that I find inspiration everywhere in the world. Moments, light, people, especially women.
Nikon or Canon? Favourite lens?
Canon (+ a lot of old analogue cameras and Sony lately). Favourite lens? It depends for what. I really enjoy the Sigma “art”series . I have the 35 mm 1.4 – amazing lense. Takumar 50 1.4, Planar 50 1.7 are the lenses I use more often.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Be yourself and do what you love to do. The rest will come later.
What do you think of our new magazine?
It focuses a lot on the photos – full size pictures without any long description is something that I really like. It leaves some space for imagination. Also the selection of the photos reflects my taste. I haven’t found a photo that I don’t like. Good job!