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Dear Cassandra,

 

We want to congratulate you one more time for winning our 5th Annual International Photo Competition in Newborn Photography – NEWBORNS 2017!

Q: How did you feel when you receive the happy news?

A: Excited and grateful :-).

Q: Can you tell us more about winning photograph?

A: I had this idea in my mind for a few months before the shoot. I must say, it was not easy! As you can imagine, trying to coordinate two sleeping babies and several sleeping ducks was quite the job. These babies belong to a friend of mine, and she was able to get her toddler to sleep first so that I could get him in position and posed while she fed the youngest one. The toddler was the easiest baby of the bunch! Once the newborn was asleep, I posed him sleeping on his brother and took a “safe shot” of the two of them sleeping together. I had to move very quickly, as I did not want the babies getting too warm sleeping one on top of the other in their knits. Once I had the shot of the two babies together, I removed the toddler and photographed the ducks sleeping on the newborn baby’s back. I then merged the two shots together in PS.

Interview with Cassandra Jones

“-Ducky Doggy Pile” by Cassandra Jones, Canada – 1st Place in The Professional Photographer Category at NEWBORNS 2017 Photo Competition

 

Q: How do you like the winner’s gallery this year?

A: It is a wonderful gallery. 🙂

Q: If you didn’t take the first place in Professional Photographer Category and if you had a role of the judge, who would be the winner in your opinion?

A: Ooooh, this is a tough one. There were so many images to love. I was really drawn to Crystal Mercredi’s image, “Sacred Things”. It was full of meaning and cultural relevance.

Q: You’ve been part of our community for a quite some time now. We had a chance to see and feature your marvelous work so many times so far, but can you tell us more about Cassandra?

A: Thank you :-). Hmmmm, what can I share about me? I was born and raised on a farm like no other. It was the most stunningly beautiful land. My parents made a living from growing many varieties of fruits, flowers, shrubs, and trees. So, I guess you could say that my love of all things nature started very young. I think my upbringing has had an enormous impact on my work. Even though I now live in the city, my heart remained in the forest. This is where you will almost always find me shooting. Even when I take my camera indoors, I am always trying to bring nature in with me.

Interview with Cassandra Jones

HONORABLE MENTION-“Apple Dumpling” by Cassandra Jones, Canada | NEWBORNS 2017 PHOTO COMPETITION

 

Q: When did you start doing photography? How did you decide that you want to be one of the world’s most famous newborn photographers?

A: This question made me chuckle because I really do not consider myself one of the world’s most famous newborn photographers. I never had any intention of being a photographer at all. I have a master’s degree in psychology. Psychology was my passion for many years. But, life had other plans for me.

I lost my daughter, Ava Maria when I was working on my master’s degree. She was born into the world without ever taking her first breath. I cannot articulate the immense sorrow that followed. But, I can say that I was broken and living in darkness. I needed something to help me find the light again. I had taken a six-month leave of absence from my master’s program. During this time, I bought my first camera. I thought it might benefit me to have something to force me to get out of the house and look for beauty in the world again. So, this is what I did. I guess that is where it all began. I just did not know it at the time.

Interview with Cassandra Jones

HONORABLE MENTION-“Then there were four” by Cassandra Jones, Canada

 

Q: Where did you learn the art of newborn photography?

A: I have taken workshops over the years and had lots of practice early on with my own babies 🙂

Interview with Cassandra Jones

Q: Who were your role models in newborn photography?

A: There are so many newborn photographers that I admire. I think Luisa Dunn was one of my earliest obsessions. Hehe. I remember seeing her work for the first time years and years ago and I was just blown away by her creativity and use of colour.

Q: How did you develop your recognizable whimsical style?

A: This is a tough question to answer. I have gone through my oldest work and this style was there right from the beginning. Right from day one, before I had any training, I was editing whimsical photos and finding my inspiration in sleeping babies (before sleeping older babies were a thing). I have refined my work over the years, but it is so interesting to look back and see that “my roots” have not changed.

Interview with Cassandra Jones

 

Q: Where do you find all that cute wardrobe for the tiny models you are photographing?

A: I have most of it custom made. I loooooove handmade traditional knits on babies and I am always coming up with new ideas for outfits. Luckily, I have access to some very talented knitters that are able to bring my ideas to life for me. I have such respect for those that can knit. It is an artform in itself.

Interview with Cassandra Jones

Q: Can you tell us with which photo equipment do you work? (camera body and lenses)

A: Of course. I use the Canon 5D Mark III right now. I have the 200 2.0, 70-200 2.8, 135 2.0, 85 1.2, 50 1.2, 24-70 2.8, 14 2.0, and the 100 2.8 macro. I tend to use my longer focal lengths most outdoors (200, 135, and 85) and my wider lenses indoors (24-70 and 50).

Noelle Mirabella Photography

Q: What about your editing style? Which photo editing software you are using?

A: I do a bit in ACR and the bulk of my editing in PS.

Noelle Mirabella Photography Interview

Q: You are very popular and followed photographer on social media.  It seems like you successfully incorporated social media image with your high-quality work. This is something that many good photographers struggle with. Can you tell us how you managed to build such a strong social media presence?

A: Oh my goodness, I feel like social media is a challenge for all of us. I really do not have the answers when it comes to social media. That being said, for myself, I strive to share high-quality content, engage with those that so graciously support my work, and be personally congruent in my work.

Noelle Mirabella Photography Interview

Q: What’s your opinion on current newborn photography scene?

A: There is an enormous amount of talent out there and so many different options for newborn photos (documentary, lifestyle, studio, fine-art, composites, exc.). I have a 15-year-old and this level of choice did not exist when he was little! I think it is wonderful.

Noelle Mirabella Photography Interview

Q: The quote you live life or life principles you live by?

A: This is a tough one to answer. I have never really thought about a guiding principle. But, I guess if I had to choose, I would say that I have learned to trust my own inner voice. It seems to always know the right thing to do.

Noelle Mirabella Photography Interview

Q: What inspires you?

A: My children. Everything.

Q: What would be your advice for other photographers?

A: Do what you love and be yourself. Life is too short for anything else.

Noelle Mirabella Photography Interview

 

Noelle Mirabella Website | Instagram

 

in Blog, Interviews
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Inspiring Monday VOL 208 – Weekly Inspirational Blog Post Devoted to The Art of Child Photography

 

Welcome to Inspiring Monday VOL 208! Today we are featuring some of the most amazing and inspiring child photography from all around the world!
We want to thank all amazing photographers who submitted their work through Facebook Facebook GroupInstagram and our Flickr Group. If you want to be featured on Inspiring Monday or Baby Boom, feel free to submit your work. We are always in search of new, talented photographers!

If you are new to our community please read the instructions how to submit your work for a chance to be featured in Inspiring Monday!

CURRENTLY OPEN CONTESTS:

  1. B&W CHILD 2018 PHOTO COMPETITION – First Half

 

Lisa Visser Fine Art Photography
 Lisa Weldon‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

Marzena Knosala‎
Marzena Knosala‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

Lucía Robert‎
Lucía Robert‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

Agnieszka Filipowska‎
Agnieszka Filipowska‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

Marielouise Katja Thrane Hansson‎
Marielouise Katja Thrane Hansson featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208‎

Cidinha Calegari Arneiro‎
Cidinha Calegari Arneiro‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

Анна Шацкая‎
Анна Шацкая‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

Татьяна Айги‎
Татьяна Айги‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

Kasia Wiśniewska‎
Kasia Wiśniewska‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

Jyotsna Bhamidipati‎
Jyotsna Bhamidipati‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

Regina Kordylewska‎
Regina Kordylewska‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

Milagros Wells‎
Milagros Wells‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

Kamila Celary-Kmiecik‎
Kamila Celary-Kmiecik‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

Елена Миронова
Елена Миронова featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

julia_kubar
julia_kubar featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

esiphotography.es

Jamie Love Photography
Jamie Love Photography featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

bartollina

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Tracy Botica
Tracy Botica featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

Helen Whittle

A post shared by Hels (@helenwhittlephotography) on

Milena Krammer
Milena Krammer featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 208

Inspiring Monday VOL 208
in Blog, Monday Inspiration
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Dear Kinga

First of all, we would like to congratulate you one more time for winning the first place in the portrait category at B&W Child 2017 Photo Competition!

Q: Second Half of the contest was tough. We received a high amount of high-quality submissions. What is your personal impression of shortlisted photographs? How did you feel when you’ve heard the news?

A: I was preparing dinner for my daughters when I heard the phone signal. It was an e-mail message regarding the results of the competition. I saw the first sentence: Congratulations. I thought I probably had managed to get the award. When I read the news that I had won the first place in the Portrait category, I simply could not believe my luck.  My girls and I  started to jump and dance with happiness. It was a beautiful moment, which we will remember for a long time.

iNTERVIEW WITH pOLISH PHOTOGRAPHER Kinga Drążek

NOMINEE IN THE LIFESTYLE CATEGORY b&w child 2017- “Supplier of pancakes” BY Kinga Drążek, Poland

 

Q: Can you tell us more how does it feel to compete in such a specialized contest?

A: I am still at the beginning of my photographic adventure. I’m still learning and I know that there are lots of things to learn. The beautiful thing in photography is that the more you know the more unsatisfied you feel. The feeling makes me willing to continue learning. When I sent the photos to the competition (even for a moment) I did not expect that I could win the first place in the portrait category.

Kinga Drążek Interview

Photo by Kinga Drążek

Q: Can you tell us more about your winning photograph  “Fear”?

A: Last year in the spring, I received a referral for an abdominal ultrasound examination of one of my little daughters. The medical examination was to be carried out at the psychiatric hospital in Rybnik with which my clinic has a contract for such tests. Passing through the alleys of the psychiatric hospital, I saw this wonderful place. And I knew that I would return there again. The next day I took my husband and daughters and went to take this picture in that wonderful place. My daughter Paulina covering her ears completed the whole picture. And that’s how my “Fear” came about.

Interview with the winner in the portrait category

1st Place in The Portrait Category | B&W CHILD 2017 PHOTO COMPETITION- “Fear” by Kinga Drążek, Poland

 

Q:  Can you tell us more about you? When and where you were born and raised? How old are you? How and why did you start doing photography?

A: My name is Kinga Drążek. I was born on March 24, 1987, in Suszec – a small beautiful town in Upper Silesia. I spent a happy childhood there. Since my wedding (2012) I have lived with my husband Damian in Rybnik. In 2013, I received a master’s degree in Materials Engineering at the Silesian University of Technology. My passion for photography began when my first daughter-Paulina came into the world. I wanted to photograph consciously and document her life, that’s why I started my education at CHILD PHOTOGRAPHY ACADEMY in 2014. I had to stop learning for a year because our Twins – Alicja and Zuzanna, who took over our lives, came into the world. I have completed a number of courses at the Academy. The beginnings were very difficult. More than once, I thought it was not for me. But in the course of time, I wanted more and more and more … I wanted to get to know my camera well enough to be able to use it and become a better photographer day by day.

Lifestyle child photography

Kinga Drążek Photography

 

Q: Is photography your full-time occupation?

A: Not yet. In the next few months, I would like to make photography not only my passion but also my profession.

Kinga Drążek Interview

Photography by Kinga Drążek

 

Q: Which camera bodies and lenses you use the most?

A:  I have a Canon 70d and lenses: Canon 50mm f / 1.8, Canon 24mm f / 2.8; Samyang 8mm f / 3.5. It is not professional equipment, but it is good enough for me so far.

Kinga Drążek Interview

“Rowanberry” by Kinga Drążek

Q: Who and what do you like to photograph the most?

A: I love children’s photography because it all started with taking photos of children. All my adventure with photography. I love to capture the emotions on the faces of children because they are completely true and after many years these photos will be the greatest keepsake from my girls’ childhood.

Interview with  Kinga Drążek

“In the church” by Kinga Drążek

 

Q: Do you photograph often, or every day or you wait the right moment to happen in order to take your camera?

A: I always have the camera with me so that I can catch it at any moment. It rests on the shelf and waits for the moment. I take pictures every day because every moment in my family life is valuable to me and worth capturing in the picture.

 Kinga Drążek Interview

“Medical care” by Kinga Drążek

 

Q: What inspires you?

A: Life inspires me. I am inspired by the moments of everyday life. But also by music and photographs of other wonderful photographers.

Kinga Drążek Interview

“Laundress” by Kinga Drążek

Q: Who are the photographers that you admire?

A: I love photographers who in the recorded moments of the picture are able to show the authentic emotions of the characters. The photographer I adore is Kamila Gruss. I love her photos of emotions and truth shown in pictures. I also admire her for wonderful photo editing.

Q: If you didn’t win the portrait category on our contest and if you had a chance to take a role of the judge, who would take the first place in your opinion?

A: For me, the unrivaled portraitist is Paulina Duczman and I would give her the first place without the slightest thought.

Q: What’s your opinion on social media and how they impact photographer’s career? Do you think that social media maybe distracts photographers from art and creativity since it’s quite demanding and time-consuming?

A: I believe that social media should be part of every photographer’s life. It is thanks to social media that we have the opportunity to promote our creativity on the web. Of course, this is demanding and time-consuming, but I do not think that it would distract photographers from art and creativity in any way. There are a lot of great pages that can be an inspiration for each of us. Since last November  I have been the administrator of the website: Through a Mother’s Eyes Photography and  I owe it to the great photographer – Anna Ajtner.

Interview with Kinga Drążek

Kinga Drążek Photography

Q: Why is so important to enter quality photography contests in your opinion?

A: I think it’s better to be the weakest in the best group than the best in the weakest group.

Q: Your favorite quote?

A: “Look with your eyes, photograph with your heart” (David duChemin)

Kinga Drążek Interview

“In the window” by Kinga Drążek

Q: Principles in life you live by?

A: I love people. I love meeting new people and their stories. I believe that a positive attitude to life is one of those principles that allow us to live our lives happily. I try to keep smiling through many times and in my case, it is a smile through tears.

Interview with  Kinga Drążek

“To the sky” by Kinga Drążek

Q: What would be your advice to other photographers?

A: What’s my advice? Be yourself. Do not look at others. If you do not have the “top shelf” equipment, you can also take great pictures. My win in this category is a perfect example. Enjoy what you have, because you can take pictures, it’s the greatest gift.

 

 

 

 

in Blog, Interviews
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Inspiring Monday VOL 207 – Weekly Inspirational Blog Post Devoted to The Art of Child Photography

 

Welcome to Inspiring Monday VOL 207! Today we are featuring some of the most amazing and inspiring child photography from all around the world!
We want to thank all amazing photographers who submitted their work through Facebook Facebook GroupInstagram and our Flickr Group. If you want to be featured on Inspiring Monday or Baby Boom, feel free to submit your work. We are always in search of a new, talented photographers!

If you are new to our community please read the instructions how to submit your work for a chance to be featured in Inspiring Monday!

CURRENTLY OPEN CONTESTS:

  1. B&W CHILD 2018 PHOTO COMPETITION – First Half

Anna Salek‎
Anna Salek‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 207

Eliza Kurek
Eliza Kurek featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 207

Oksana Zarovna‎
Oksana Zarovna‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 207

Three Little Birds
Queen of hearts

Alicja Brodowicz
...

Justine Shachar
Riding the ferris wheel

Oksana But
The drawing

Jennifer Kapala
"We have calcium in our bones, iron in our veins, carbon in our souls, and nitrogen in our brains. 93 percent stardust, with souls made of flames, we are all just stars that have people names." N. Gill

Sven Berger
Wettkampf

C h r i s t i n e
Christine featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 207

bartollina

A post shared by A n a (@bartollina) on

Kate Miller-Wilson


amykalbasz
amykalbasz featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 207

Karen Hunt

Mary Wilson

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ByMilkaBuch

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BANG Images (Jennifer A-T)

Fifi Bristoche‎
 Fifi Bristoche‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 207

Brittany Hohenstein‎
Brittany Hohenstein‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 207

Patrycja Tatarczyk‎
Patrycja Tatarczyk‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 207

Inspiring Monday VOL 207
in Blog, Monday Inspiration
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First of all, we would like to congratulate you one more time for winning the first place in the lifestyle category at B&W Child 2017 Photo Competition!

Q: Second Half of the contest was tough. We received a high amount of high-quality submissions. What is your personal impression of shortlisted photographs? How did you feel when you’ve heard the news?

A: It was really a great surprise! The level of the photographs this year was high. I’m really impressed by the results and at the same time, happy to be among the winners. I honestly didn’t expect to win, but can’t hide I knew my pictures will be at the top, especially the winner one.

Interview with the winner of the lifestyle category at B&W CHILD 2017 PHOTO COMPETITION

“Dreaming about stars and heaven” by Oriano Nicolau, Spain – 1st Place in The Lifestyle Category | B&W CHILD 2017, 2nd Half

 

Q: Can you tell us more how does it feel to compete in such a specialized contest? You’ve been entering our contest for years and your work was always well noticed. Can you tell us what is your expectation when entering B&W CHILD?

A: I Feel very honored, entering this contest, winning it and seeing so many positive reactions, makes think I’m in the right way. It is motivating!

Interview with Oriano Nicolau

“Below the window” by Oriano Nicolau | Honorable Mention in The Portrait Category at B&W CHILD 2017 PHOTO COMPETITION, 2nd Half

 

Q: Judges gave a special note regarding your photo editing style. In other words, they truly love it. Can you tell us more what is so special about your editing style? How did you develop recognizable “Oriano Style”?

A: This a great compliment! I always shoot in raw, so I have all the image data possible.  From this raw I create three separate images, with three different exposures, then I mix them together to create an almost Hight dynamic range image with dark/light areas containing information. The final process is playing with zones system, created originally in a film by Alsem Adams, but of course doing digitally in Photoshop, playing with layers and paying a lot of an attention to the histogram. The final result is an almost High dynamic range B/W image.

 

High dynamic range black and white editing

Photo by Oriano Nicolau

 

Q:  Can you tell us more about you? When and where you were born and raised? How old are you? How and why did you start doing photography? 

A: I’m 27 years old. I was Born in the Dominican Republic in the morning of the 31st of December of 1990 and raised in Mallorca, Spain.  My childhood happened between two separated islands in the Caribbean and Europe.

My father is Spanish and saw a business opportunity in the Caribbean.  He met my mother and there is where I was born. A few years after, they decided to continue to live together on another island, Mallorca. An Island of which I am in love. I grew up there and I made my life. Since young, I was passionate about drawing and painting so I consider myself a painter who found in photography the best way to express himself by capturing fractions of his daily life. I started photography early, by the age of 15 and since that, I’m always interested in experimenting with many styles like Landscapes, Macro Photography, Portraits, etc.

When I was 17, I started my photography studies at the design school of Palma de Mallorca. Those years helped me a lot to learn and improve my skills. But the real opportunity came when I went to live in Barcelona and started working hard in a fashion studio as an assistant and later as a photographer and video filmmaker, making fashion movies for Cosmopolitan and Pull & Bear. After that intense period and having acquired all that experience, I returned to Mallorca to work with a commercial local agency and at the same time looking for my own style and focusing on my art.

Interview with Oriano Nicolau

“Ghost” by Oriano Nicolau – 3rd Place in The Portrait Category at B&W CHILD 2016

 

Q: Is photography your full-time occupation?

A: No, not at all, I’m also working in an Advertising agency as a 3D designer, making CGI animations for video Spots & Events.

Oriano Nicolau portfolio

“Hypnotic” by Oriano Nicolau

Q: Which camera bodies and lenses you use the most?

A: Canon EOS 6D/5D. 50mm 1.4. 28mm 1.8.  Sony Alpha 99II. 50mm 1.4/ 135mm 1.8

Q: Who and what do you like to photograph the most?

A:  Sebastian, the kid from the picture “Looking out” is the one I portrayed the most. He has great ability to give a great expression in every shot and he really enjoyed being part of this project. I’m really passionate about B/W landscapes photography and I feel lucky because Mallorca offers a beautiful rocky sea landscape to photograph. Landscapes that I use also as scenarios for my portraits of children and I reflect that in the series I was working Rocks & Skin. I really love Ansel Adams landscapes with this quality & textures. Is something I’m working to replicate.

Interview with Oriano Nicolau

“Looking Out” by Oriano Nicolau, Spain – 3rd Place in The Portrait Category at B&W CHILD 2016

 

Q: Do you photograph often, or every day or you wait the right moment to happen in order to take your camera?

A: It depends, I photograph almost every day and every moment I consider relevant. I consider myself very patient so also wait for the right moment.

Interview with Oriano Nicolau

Photo by Oriano Nicolau

 

Q: What inspires you?

A: Family, love, and friendship is the engine that moves my art.

Portrait of a wet boy

Photo by Oriano Nicolau

 

Q: Who are the photographers that you admire?

A: I’m a very fan of Marinas Kazakova’s works. I think the way she manages to capture the youth, with this beautiful mysterious light & colors truly amazes me. Her photos are a great inspiration. Also, love Lee Jeffries homeless portrait series. I find they are powerful with this wonderful grainy W/B that tells everyday life stories. Chema Madoz, I consider him a poet of the image. I Love his ability to use objects to create a powerful, and sometimes tricky, images. Of course, my list goes on with Amsel Adams or Evgeny Mokhorev…

Interview with Oriano Nicolau

Photo by Oriano Nicolau

 

Q: If you didn’t win the lifestyle category on our contest and if you had a chance to take a role of the judge, who would take the first place in your opinion?

A: Is hard to choose since there are wonderful images! I love the photo from Kamila Celery-Kmiecik “Beginning of friendship” from Poland, that made Honorable mention, I think I show a very pure and warm moment between a boy and his pet, Or “Chamomile” by Tatiana Aygi, it has a beautiful atmosphere with the very texturized image. This would be a great choice for me.

Q: What’s your opinion on social media and how they impact photographer’s career? Do you think that social media maybe distracts photographers from art and creativity since it’s quite demanding and time-consuming?

A: I think social media brings a great chance to grow in a creative and professional way. People can find your work easily and is always comforting see their positive reactions. But you can also feel tired of them, creating the need to constantly post, and it becomes almost an obligation.  I think it’s good to take a break from time to time.

Interview with Oriano Nicolau

Photo by Oriano Nicolau

 

Q: Why is so important to enter quality photography contests in your opinion?

A:  I think is a way to get a recognition that you do not get in commercial works. A way to prove if your work is something that must be highlighted. It is great to know that your photos will be evaluated by professionals, it is something of great value.

Masters of b&w child photography

Photo by Oriano Nicolau

 

Q: Your favorite quote?

A: “If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn’t need to lug around a camera”- Lewis Hine

Q: Principles in life you live by?

A: Live here and now. Learn every day. Every moment is a jewel. Fight for what you believe.

Interview with the winner of the lifestyle category at B&W CHILD 2017 PHOTO COMPETITION

Photo by Oriano Nicolau

 

Q: What would be your advice to other photographers?

A: Learning from others, is the best way to create your own path. Never stop learning and creating!

High dynamic range in bw child photography

Photo by Oriano Nicolau

Oriano Nicolau Website

Oriano Nicolau on Lens Culture

Oriano Nicolau on 500px

 

 

 

in Interviews
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Dear Marcel,

 

First of all, we would like to congratulate you one more time for winning the first place in the documentary category at B&W Child 2017 Photo Competition!

Q: Second Half of the contest was tough. We received a high amount of high-quality submissions. What is your personal impression of shortlisted photographs? How did you feel when you’ve heard the news?

A: Indeed. Submissions are really good. The first look at the photography (winner’s gallery) took my breath away. I don’t envy the jurors, it must be very difficult to choose from so many excellent works. The shortlist is definitely good. When I heard, in both cases, that I succeeded, it filled me with happiness – especially when I saw the work of others. It’s amazing to be part of so many great photographers.

Eastern European documentary photographers

Photo by Marcel Kolacek

 

Q: Can you tell us more how does it feel to compete in such a specialized contest? You’ve been entering our contest in both halves and your works were standing out in both halves of the contest. Can you tell us what’s  your expectation when entering B&W CHILD 2017?

A: This year was the first time I registered for your competition. At the same time, I never thought I would compete in child discipline. But the idea immediately approached me for the BW. I’ve never searched for photos of children, it always comes out from the situation. I realized that I actually have a lot of pictures of children and some of them have the potential to reach out. Honestly, I didn’t know that so many excellent photographers appeared in the competition and that competition has so high level. After the first round, it was clear to me that it was a competition of real talents. Success in the second round really pleases me, I feel it as recognition of my work. I appreciate that I was able to excel. Every time I submit photos in the competition, I expect a potential success. I know they have the potential to succeed. There are not “blind shots”. I believe them. I also know that success is not guaranteed.

Interview with Marcel Kolacek

Photo by Marcel Kolacek

Q: Can you tell us more about your winning photograph  “Train Girl”?

A: The success of “train girl” is very pleasing to me. Very nice memories are attached to the photograph. I took this photo at Colombo Fort train station. It was my last day on Sri Lanka after two months, I was waiting for a train for 2h. I’m sitting on a bench and a train with this beautiful little girl stops right in front of me. As the train was offering her for a photo. I remember her very well. She had a bright orange dress and the train was dark red. I immediately took 3 frames. Everyone had another expression. A little bit later, nut seller walked through the station. The girl wanted a package of nuts, her mother refused – perhaps because she didn’t have money, I do not know. I pulled out the last money and the bought three packages for her. She was excited, her eyes shining with happiness. The train was moving slowly, and she smiled at me and said in English “Thank you”. A truly beautiful memory.

Interview with Marcel Kolacek

“Train Girl” by Marcel Kolacek – 1st Place in The Documentary Category at B*W CHILD 2017, 2nd Half

 

Q: This year, you were one of the runners for the Grand Prize on our contest. Judges were fascinated by the fact that you manage to incorporate brilliant composition, unusual angels, touching stories and pure technical brilliance…something we don’t see that often in documentary photography. That being said, please share with us your “secret”. We cannot wait to hear more about the way you see the world. How do you notice the unique scene, the decisive moment that is worthy of capturing?

A: That’s an interesting question. But I’m not sure I’m able to answer satisfactorily. I take photos very intuitively. I don’t  think too much. It’s an immediate reaction, communication. Everything is very fast. It’s sort of mirroring. If it wakes up my visual reflex- I react. It can be anything. Composition, an extraordinary moment, body language, beauty, shadows, and light. I don’t think if it’s the right angle or not. It’s a mix of what can awaken my attention – every photographer does it differently. I don’t think it can be learned – it’s about individual perception. Learn the basics of photography – everything else is just about how you perceive and see things.

Interview with the winner of documentary category

“Silhouette” by Marcel Kolacek – Honorable Mention in The Documentary Category at B&W CHILD 2017, 2nd Half

 

Interview with Marcel K

“In the yard” by Marcel Kolacek – Honorable Mention in The Documentary Category at B&W CHILD 2017, 2nd Half

 

Interview with Marcel K

“Laundry” by Marcel Kolacek – Honorable Mention in The Documentary Category at B&W CHILD 2017, 2nd Half

 

Q: Your B&W editing style is simply beautiful! If you don’t mind, please share with us some details how you edit your work and which software do you use for your edits?

A: Thank you. I don’t  use too much editing. I don’t like it. In my photos, I only modify what you can do in a photo room. Contrast, shadow, light, cropping – if necessary. Very basics. Editing doesn’t take me much time. I’m using the Lightroom, probably outdated. If you don’t edit your photos too much – you don’t need something modern or hi-tech program- and it is an advantage I guess.

Portraits by Marcel Kolacek

Photo by Marcel Kolacek

Q:  Can you tell us more about you? When and where you were born and raised? How old are you? How and why did you start doing photography? 

A: I was born in 1983 in a small town (Chomutov) about an hour from the capital. And here I live. My interest in photography lasts for many years. I am into photography since I was 21 years old, but back then it wasn’t so important- it was an only interesting medium for me, nothing more- the real interest that culminated with obsession began when I was around 28. At 3 am I was imaging a fictitious situation, and I was thinking how I would compose, what lens I would use, etc. I knew that photography is my way of self-expression and self-realization. I knew I want be successful in the photography. At my thirty/thirty-one, I began publishing. Maybe it’s strange, but Helmut Newton was really the first one who open the doors of photography for me. He is the reason why I started shooting and thinking about photography. My first photos were Nudes. Over time, my primary interest in photography has focused on a completely different genre. I still take pictures of the nudes, rarely, but with enthusiasm.

Interview with Eastern European photographer Marcel Kolacek

Photo by Marcel Kolacek

Q: Is photography your full-time occupation?

A: For the last half of the year I am freelance as a photographer, but after returning from abroad, I can not continue in full-time. I would like, but the documentary/street scene is very difficult today. Especially in the Czech Republic. Money can be found in sterile beauty, studio photography for magazines. Demand for documentary/reportage photography is very weak in this contrast. So photography is a half-time job in a classic way. But in my personal way is it 100% full-time job.

Interview with Marcel Kolacek

Photo by Marcel Kolacek

 

Q: Which camera bodies and lenses you use the most?

A: I think the technique is overestimated. I have nothing extra-Nikon D5200. Mostly use two bodies with short lenses. Fixed 35 and 24. I don’t like long lenses, it’s impersonal. Almost cheating.

Interview with Marcel Kolacek

Photo by Marcel Kolacek

 

Q: Who and what do you like to photograph the most?

A: Easy answer – people. I really like people and their moments.

Interview with Marcel Kolacek

Photo by Marcel Kolacek

 

Q: Do you photograph often, or every day or you wait the right moment to happen in order to take your camera?

A: If I’m on the road, of course, I take pictures every day, taking the camera with me everywhere. At home, I don’t shoot every day, for example, I didn’t take pictures for almost a week now – it is a very long time. Usually, I have a break for two/three days. BUT – I pursue photography every day – reading books, studying a photo, watching all the resources that extend my knowledge about photography. Here is not a single day without a photography.

Documentary portrait by Marcek Kolacek

Photo by Marcel Kolacek

 

Q: What inspires you?

A: Old Masters. All classic photographers who were able to respond honestly and sensitively.

Q: Who are the photographers that you admire?

A: Really many. From war photographers to fashion photographers. I appreciate Czech documentary photographers – world’s top-  for example, Koudelka, Kratochvil, Cudlin, Kolar. I love photos of Cristina García Rodero-brilliant,  Fan Ho, Marc Riboud, Erwitt, List, Bresson etc. Magnum photographers are clearly my inspiration.

Documentary portrait by Marcek Kolacek

“Tailor” by Marel Kolacek – Honorable Mention in The Documentary Category at B&W CHILD 2017, 2nd Half

 

Q: How do you organize your travels? How often do you travel? How do you decide what country is going to be your next destination to document? How does those travel impact you as a persona and as a photographer?

A: I organize my travels very simply – I make money, buy a ticket and fly. That’s it. I travel as much as possible, I could be on the way nonstop. I travel for a long time – a month or two. I try twice a year. My choice is a purely emotional affair – it must attract me. I love Asia and the East, they have the atmosphere that I love, completely different worlds and that attracts me. My opinion may change every day. It’s always alive. I’ve always been tempted by hard conditions, it is much closer to me than comfort. Traveling and discovering new places naturally shapes personality. Grow as a photographer and as a person. That’s the impact of traveling.

Documentary portrait by Marcek Kolacek

“Window Boy” by Marcel Kolacek – Honorable Mention in B&W CHILD 2017, 2nd Half

 

Q: If you didn’t win the documentary category on our contest and if you had a chance to take a role of the judge, who would take the first place in your opinion?

A: This is a hard one. I was attracted by photographs “Innocence” by Yan Zhang and “Train Time” by Ana Fernández Quirós. I really enjoyed photography in the Portrait category – amazing stuff, an extremely good category. I have to mention the shot of “Safia” by Mahdi Eshaghi – beautiful work. This one could fall into the documentary category.

Q: What’s your opinion on social media and how they impact photographer’s career? Do you think that social media maybe distracts photographers from art and creativity since it’s quite demanding and time-consuming?

A: I think the effect of social networks is huge. Social media can help the photographer to great success – no doubt. The question is how you can use them. I don’t belong among the photographers who use social networks too much, I don’t even have a FB page with my photos. I use Instagram and Pinterest. Soc networks are amazing in connection and inspiration, but it’s a two-way street. If you watch too much work of others, you risk that you are losing your own creativity and view on the photography. It also has a second line – when you have a big overview of the work of others, it can literally depress you – out there are a lot of great photographers. You don’t have to know about all of them and you don’t have to know how they are taking pictures. It’s  important to keep your attitude to the photography and not to be influenced by the work of others. Protect your bubble. Protect your view of the photography.

Winner in the documentary category at B&W CHILD 2017

“Hide and Seek” by Marcel Kolacek – Honorable Mention in B&W CHILD 2017, 2nd Half

Q: Why is so important to enter quality photography contests in your opinion?

A: Quality is important everywhere. It increases prestige and gives you the opportunity to stand out. First of all, it’s motivating for photographers for their future work.

Winner in the documentary category at B&W CHILD 2017

HONORABLE MENTION-“Girl With Balloon” by Marcel Kolacek, Czech Republic

Q: Your favorite quote?

A: The ability to move from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.

Interview with Marcel Kolacek

“Girl in the corner” by Marcel Kolacek – 3rd Place in The Documentary Category at B&W CHILD 2017, 1st Half

 

Q: Principles in life you live by?

A: Work hard and be nice to people.

Interview with Marcel Kolacek

“Railway Girl” by Marcel Kolacek – Honorable Mention in The Fine A

 

Q: What would be your advice to other photographers?

A: Don’t buy a new photo equipment – buy a book about photography. It will give you more.

 

Marcel Kolacek on Instagram.

Winner’s Gallery B&W CHILD 2017, 2nd Half.

 

 

in Blog, Interviews
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Inspiring Monday VOL 206 – Weekly Inspirational Blog Post Devoted to The Art of Child Photography

 

Welcome to Inspiring Monday VOL 206! Today we are featuring some of the most amazing and inspiring child photography from all around the world!
We want to thank all amazing photographers who submitted their work through Facebook Facebook GroupInstagram and our Flickr Group. If you want to be featured on Inspiring Monday or Baby Boom, feel free to submit your work. We are always in search of a new, talented photographers!

If you are new to our community please read the instructions how to submit your work for a chance to be featured in Inspiring Monday!

CURRENTLY OPEN CONTESTS:

  1. B&W CHILD 2018 PHOTO COMPETITION – First Half

Lisa Visser Fine Art Photography
Lisa Visser Fine Art Photography

Alicja Brodowicz
...

Charo Diez
Charo Diez featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Helen Whittle
Helen Whittle

Cristina Villalba
Cristina Villalba featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Amber Carbo Privizzini
Amber Carbo Privizzini featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Ramkumar Radhakrishnan
2018-01-25_01-51-18

Kölcsey Sára Photography
Kölcsey Sára Photography featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Jagoda Gramala‎
 Jagoda Gramala‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Marta Everest‎
Marta Everest‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Sven Berger
***

Evelina Ra Photography
Evelina Ra Photography featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Natalya Blitsen‎
Natalya Blitsen‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Jana Tolaszová Tichá‎
Jana Tolaszová Tichá‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Marzena Ambroży‎
Marzena Ambroży‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Adam Kizielewicz‎
Adam Kizielewicz‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Vicki Winston
Vicki Winston featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Olga Filenko‎
Olga Filenko‎featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Natascha Meijndershagen‎
Natascha Meijndershagen‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Anna Salek‎
Anna Salek‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 206

Melanie Jasmin Photography

Anna Buczek

Anja McDonald Photography

Inspiring Monday VOL 206
in Blog, Monday Inspiration
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Inspiring Monday VOL 205 – Weekly Inspirational Blog Post Devoted to The Art of Child Photography

 

Welcome to Inspiring Monday VOL 205! Today we are featuring some of the most amazing and inspiring child photography from all around the world!
We want to thank all amazing photographers who submitted their work through Facebook Facebook GroupInstagram and our Flickr Group. If you want to be featured on Inspiring Monday or Baby Boom, feel free to submit your work. We are always in search of a new, talented photographers!

If you are new to our community please read the instructions how to submit your work for a chance to be featured in Inspiring Monday!

 

Magdalena Hałas‎
Magdalena Hałas‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 205

Justine Shachar
Ouch

Tamara
Untitled

Kate Miller-Wilson
On the importance of heads.

Sven Berger
versteckt

Adam Kizielewicz‎
Adam Kizielewicz‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 205

Monika Byczkowska‎
Monika Byczkowska‎ featured in Inspiring Monday

Mariola Glajcar‎
Mariola Glajcar‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 205

An Atheist (Śliwaq)
An Atheist (Śliwaq) featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 205

Eva White
Eva White featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 205

Alicja Brodowicz
...

Suzy Mead
Two for Fall

Sonya Adcock
Vintage Beauty

Olga Moo
summer memories

Jennifer Kapala
Snow days

Joan Arpaia‎
Joan Arpaia‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 205

Danielle Kilgore-Hack
Danielle Kilgore-Hack‎ featured in Inspiring Monday

Lisa Robinson-Howeler‎
Lisa Robinson-Howeler‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 205

Agnieszka Jeszke‎
Agnieszka Jeszke‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 205

Charé Taylor‎
Charé Taylor‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 205

amykalbasz

A post shared by @amykalbasz on

Charo Diez

A post shared by Charo Diez (@charo_diez) on

Helen Whittle

A post shared by Hels (@helenwhittlephotography) on

gemmy.woudbinnendijk

A post shared by Gemmy (@gemmy.woudbinnendijk) on

genia.valla

Amani Ismail

A post shared by Amani Ismail (@sweetpea.photo) on

Watch Them Grow Photography

Patricia Becaroto

Mel Valiante

A post shared by Mel Valiante (@mel_valiante) on

Jennifer Fisher

Inspiring Monday VOL 205
in Blog, Monday Inspiration
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Inspiring Monday VOL 204 – Weekly Inspirational Blog Post Devoted to The Art of Child Photography

 

Welcome to Inspiring Monday VOL 204! Today we are featuring some of the most amazing and inspiring child photography from all around the world!
We want to thank all amazing photographers who submitted their work through Facebook Facebook GroupInstagram and our Flickr Group. If you want to be featured on Inspiring Monday or Baby Boom, feel free to submit your work. We are always in search of a new, talented photographers!

If you are new to our community please read the instructions how to submit your work for a chance to be featured in Inspiring Monday!

 

Gosia Jurasz‎
Gosia Jurasz‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 204

Roxanne Louise‎
Roxanne Louise‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 204

An Atheist
An Atheist featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 204

Eglė Laurinavičė‎
Eglė Laurinavičė‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 204

Magdalena Wołk‎
Magdalena Wołk‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 204

Kinga Stanicka‎
Kinga Stanicka‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 204

Suzanne Taylor

Maria Presser

Meg Loeks

A post shared by Meg Loeks (@meg_nlo) on

Charo Diez

A post shared by Charo Diez (@charo_diez) on

muse_and_me

nicolekristinphoto

Sarah Gupta

DjeiranaPhotography

Lindsey Porter

Jennifer Kapala

Lauren Webster

A post shared by Lauren Webster (@lwebster918) on

Sven Berger
Hab dich!

Júlia Filogonio
peek-a-boo, I see you!

Magda Bronowska‎
Magda Bronowska‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 204

Brigitte Feijen‎
Brigitte Feijen‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 204

Amber Carbo Privizzini
Double exposure

Landalen Washington‎
Landalen Washington‎ featured in Inspiring Monday VOL 204

Inspiring Monday VOL 204
in Blog, Monday Inspiration
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Baby Boom VOL 131– Inspirational Blog Post Devoted to The Art of Baby and Newborn Photography

 

Welcome to the Baby Boom VOL 131! This is the gallery of the best photographs submitted by our dear photographers last 7 days through Facebook Facebook Group , Instagram and our Flickr Group. Enjoy the most inspirational photographs submitted this week!

There are several ways how you can be featured on Inspiring Monday or Baby Boom:

  1. Post your submission in our Facebook Group or FB Page
  2. Follow us on Instagram and use #cpcfeature  when posting a photo you would like us to feature!
  3. Join our amazing Flickr Group!

 

Dorota Skawinska Photography‎
Dorota Skawinska Photography‎ featured in Baby Boom VOL 131

Ann Mróz Wska‎
Ann Mróz Wska‎ featured in Baby Boom VOL 131

Rán Bjargar Photography
Rán Bjargar Photography featured in Baby Boom VOL 131

Tina Krafts‎
Tina Krafts‎ featured in Baby Boom VOL 131

Leah Peterson‎
Leah Peterson‎ featured in Baby Boom VOL 131

Eliza Kurek
Eliza Kurek featured in Baby Boom VOL 131

Sandra – Newborn Photographer

susannelilleyphotography

Destiny Tillery Photography

Tara Bergman

A post shared by Tara Bergman (@tara_bergmane) on

Sweet Beginnings Photography

Aga Tetera Photography

Samantha Bryce Photography

Paola Aldewliy Photography

newbornphotographysydney

1,2,3 Smile Photography

Lynne Harper

Julia Yeliseyeva

Baby Boom vOL 131
in Baby Boom, Blog