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Interview with Karolina Wawrzyniak – The Winner of The Lifestyle Category at B&W CHILD 2016 PHOTO COMPETITION

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Q: First of all, we want to congratulate you on winning the Lifestyle Category at B&W CHILD 2016, Second Half! The Lifestyle Category is always one of the toughest categories to win, how do you feel as a winner?

A: I would like to congratulate all the winners! Well done! And thank you very much for this recognition. Of course I was surprised I won cause so many talented and amazing photographers take part in this edition. Also, lifestyle is my favorite genre in photography so it was a great feeling to be recognized and appreciated in something that I love doing.

Q: If you had to introduce yourself with only 3 words which ones would you choose?

A: …loyal, realist, reliable, haha doesn’t sound like an artist, does it?

playing with sheets and shadows

Q: Why did you fall in love with photography as an art form? Would you still be an artist if you had chosen another path in your life?

A: I wanted to have a record of memories, capture life’s moments and feelings, but I couldn’t have done that on paper. I love memories and traveling back in time to the past. I decided to capture life’s moments and it was then that I realized that I like to capture moments where life is just happening, where nothing is arranged. I would like my photos to be like a diary that people will happily open and go back for many years to come. Would I still be an artist If I wasn’t a photographer – absolutely not! (laughs). My educational background is in mathematics and accounting.

kid suprisingly looks at bones of dinosaur

Q: Can you tell us more about your winning photograph ‘Rodos’?

A: “Rodos” has a special meaning for me because on that photo the main characters are my children and my parents. The moment captured in that photo is not really that unique. It’s the kind of moment that I capture a lot while spending summer vacation with my parents. But it is important time for us – a time spent with people who loves each other unconditionally. The photo captured authentic and pure summer vacation moment. I hope that the photo shows real emotions and feelings and if anyone is looking at that photograph it will bring them back to their special summer vacation, moment filled with positive and joyful emotions. I also must add that for Polish people Rodos has a double meaning. Rodos as you know is a popular Greek vacation destination for many people, but in Poland RODOS is a funny abbreviation for spending your summer vacation at your family’s garden plot in your hometown.

Q: When looking at the image what really catches the eye is an extremely hectic  atmosphere captured in such a harmony! How do you manage to freeze and catch that perfect moment when all the elements of photograph are in the perfect place telling the stories of their own?

A: I won’t pretend that each shoot is perfect. There were many photos taken in the” Rodos” series. I like to wait, observe and capture the perfect moment. It was the case in this situation. I was observing my older son playing basketball while in the background the younger son was playing badminton with his grandparents. That moment seemed interesting for me, but I also wanted to showcase where the photo was taken -the previously mentioned Rodos.  I couldn’t work a lot in terms of the width of the frame. It was limited because of the other neighbour’s garden plot. So hence the idea of having Antoni playing basketball slamming into the frame.

"Rodos" by Karolina Wawrzyniak - 1st Place in The Lifestyle Category at B&W CHILD 2016 PHOTO COMPETITION

“Rodos” by Karolina Wawrzyniak – 1st Place in The Lifestyle Category at B&W CHILD 2016 PHOTO COMPETITION

Q: Technical side of photography seems to be one of your strengths. How much concisely pay attention to this aspect of photography?

A: Honestly? My favorite quote is by Henry Cartier Bresson ” Sharpness is a bourgeois concept”. Of course I would want all my photos to be technical and detailed oriented, but if I were to choose between the emotion or technique, emotions would always win.

Portrait of Anthony

Q: What separates bad photographs from good ones?  Do you tend to analyse your own body of work in order to grow more, or you just go with a flow and improve without thinking too much about it?

A: I think that part of the answer to that question lies in my previous answer. I love capturing emotions, authenticity and honesty. It’s not easy to select the perfect frame. I often use my intuition when I choose photographs especially lifestyle photographs. Technical aspects of the photos are always important, but I think that at this stage, I notice them on a subconscious level.

Lifestyle child photography

Q: Let’s talk about inspiration. What inspires you the most? Do you seek inspiration externally or you tend to find it within yourself?

A: Life inspires my photos. Of course, I browse through many photo albums and I love looking at photographs of my favorite artists. But I feel that the pictures you take can’t be someone else idea. According to H.C.Bersson “It is an illusion that photos are made with the camera. They are made with the eye, heart and head.” This quote captures everything.

"Click" by Karolina Wawrzyniak

Q: What is the one special photograph you took that is the dearest to you?

A: I wouldn’t be able to pick just one photo that’s dearest to my heart. As a mother, I love photos of my kids. My favorite photos are the ones that capture my son’s relations. When I can see that I captured their trust and love for each other and their close ties I am very happy. As you can see it all comes down to emotions again.

Brothers hugging and laughing

Q: Which photograph was your biggest competition in the Lifestyle Category at B&W CHILD 2016 in your opinion?

A: That’s a difficult question to answer. How could I just pick one photograph when I love all the photos that have won in this competition. However, I must mention Karolina’s Piórkowska photo. Her photograph won the 3rd place in „Lifestyle” category. Karolina is my friend and an amazing photographer. It’s a great honor for me to take part in this competition with her and to share our victory together.

home domestic atmosphere with kids

Q: What’s your overall impression of B&W CHILD 2016 PHOTO COMPETITION and quality of photographs?

A: The high level of this contest and outstanding judges made me send my photos to the B&W Child 2016 Photo Competition.  I think that a photography competition is a form of checking your own abilities and if you want to check your abilities the best option is to do it among the best of the best (laughs). I can’t stop looking at all the photos submitted in this competition. It is a great honor to find my own photograph among all the other amazing and special photos.

children enjoting childhood and playing outside

Q: Can you offer a piece of advice to all photographers who are just starting out there? Something that helped you when you were stepping into the world of photography?

A: If I were to give advice to all the photographers who are just starting out, I would say to photograph with a heart and passion. Of course, it’s important to know all technical aspects of photography such as rules of composition, cropping and so on, but the most important thing is what you are feeling. If you love what you do, it becomes your passion. Photography isn’t always easy, but that’s what’s fascinating about it. It’s a never-ending journey. You can always do something in a different and a better way.

kids playing ping pong

You can follow Karolina’s work on her Facebook Page!

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