Meet Agnieszka Lawniczek! Agnieszka is a very talented child photographer from UK. She won the 1st place in the Amateur Photographer Category on 2nd annual international contest in newborn photography – NEWBORNS 2014.
Q: Hi Agnieszka! We are so happy to have you here! Tell us how does it feel to win the 1st place at NEWBORNS Photo Contest?
Hi, it feels great! I must admit I didn’t expect it at all and I feel very honored and thankful.
Q: Your photograph “In Father’s arms” left strong impression on our judging panel. Can you tell us more about this photograph and entire session?
I was very hesitant about this session as the mother contacted me when the baby was already almost 3 weeks old and as you know the best time to photograph newborns is in their first 10 days of live. I decided to take a chance, but pre warned mum that we might not get many sleepy portraits due to baby’s age. Luckily, the boy slept like an angel throughout the entire session and we managed to get plenty of great portraits. I believe the winning photograph ‘In Father’s arms’ shows perfectly how fragile, tiny and helpless newborn babies are and how much love parents have for them.
Q: If there was one thing you would want us to know about you, what would it be?
I am the photographer behind the lens at Artisitc Child Photography.
Q: Where you were born and raised?
I was born and raised in Poland. My home city is Wroclaw. In 2002 I moved to London.
Q: What inspired you to become a photographer?
As far as I remember I was always interested in photography, however back in time when digital photography didn’t exit it was quite an expensive hobby, so I only developed it a few years ago.
Q: Are you formally taught or self taught? And what has been the best source of information along this journey (workshop, online forums, classroom, mentor, etc)?
I am definitely a self-taught photographer. I was already an experienced child photographer when I decided 2 years ago to take up a new project – newborn photography. I quickly realized I needed further training and experience as it proved to be a fairly difficult task. I wanted to learn from the best photographers in the industry and that is how I discovered Creative Live channel and came across Kelly Brown newborn photography tutorial. It was an eye opening experience for me. I learnt about newborn safety, posing, workflow, special newborn retouching and soothing techniques, set up tricks and parents’ involvement. Nowadays, I carefully plan each session making sure I always deliver timeless and breathtaking images for my clients to cherish in the years to come. I have become a real fan of newborn photography. There is something special and miraculous about each and every newborn baby and I feel privileged to be able to record those first moments of their lives and provide families with unforgettable memories.
Q: Are there any photographers you admire?
Q: What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
I have always believed that less is more in photography. Magdalena Berny is the artist who undoubtedly follows this rule and who creates beautifully composed, soulful and timeless portraits of children, which are an inspiration to many including myself.
Q: Do you work on location/at clients place or in the studio?
My newborn sessions take place in my home studio in London, but I like to photograph older children on location.
Q: How would you define your style?
My photography has been described as fresh, pure and organic. I like to keep focus on the baby rather than accessories and capture who they are before they change almost in the blink of an eye.
Q: Tell us more about the newborn photography market in UK. Is it developed? Do you find it hard to get the clients for this genre of photography?
Newborn photography is not as popular in UK as it is in USA and Australia, but it is certainly developing and growing. There are more and more parents wishing for newborn portraits of their babies. Unfortunately, many of them are not aware that newborn photos are taken when the baby is less than 14 days new. I often get enquiries about newborn session for 8 weeks old babies.
Q: Nikon or Canon, other? Favorite lens?
Canon 5d Mark III. My favorite newborn lens is Canon 50mm 1.2 L.
Q: RAW or jpg?
Q: What is the best advice you’ve received about photography over the years?
Light is everything.
Q: What is your biggest challenge when photographing?
Predicting the weather! As a natural light photographer I entirely rely on the weather especially when shooting on location. It proves pretty difficult to schedule sessions in advance in rainy English climate.
Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment as a photographer?
I have won a few contests and awards, but I find calling myself a “photographer” to be my biggest success. It is a title that nowadays is grabbed by anyone with digital camera and it is often met with an eye roll, so to have the confidence in my skills and my artistic vision is my major accomplishment.
Q: How important for every photographer is to participate in quality photography contests?
Photography contests offer lots of valuable benefits to photographers. They give us a chance to examine our work, and ourselves, help us gain exposure and ultimately push us to become a better photographer.
Q: What is your message to other photographers?
Keep shooting and you will grow along with your portfolio!