Interview with Karolina Piórkowska – The Winner of The Lifestyle Category at B&W Child 2018 Photo Competition

18 mins read

Q: First of all, we want to congratulate you on Winning The Lifestyle Category at B&W Child 2018 Photo Competition! How does it feel to be a winner?

A: Thank you for this recognition. I would also like to congratulate other photographers for doing their work. They have done brilliantly! I was offline at the time of the winners’ announcement and I heard the great news from a friend of mine in the early morning. More than anything I was very surprised about it. I was excited and looking forward to seeing the article with my own eyes. I am very happy to have been included in the honorable recognition hence daily lifestyle photographs have reached a completely different level. Being a photographer for your own Family, we are day-to-day winners, I am proud to say that.

Q: We cannot wait to hear more about the winning photograph! Please tell us more!

A: The team that won the first place in your competition is part of an important project that is already in its fourth year. It is one of the elements of the year-round puzzle, because it is one of the 365 photos of year 2018. Sure, some of you already know what project 365 is about. I’m doing one photo a day of every day activities. Most often of my own children. It’s mainly my daughters who are the subject matters of my photos, which is the case with the winning image. The photograph tells a story and to us it has a symbolic meaning, and will be a great memory to treasure for years to come. This particluar image was captured when my husband came home with a new fish, and had to explain to our daughter the origin of the species before letting the fish into the fishtank. She listened with great interest and put her face closer to bag. I am glad to have caught this interactive moment.

1st Place in The Lifestyle Category at B&W Child 2018 Photo Competition – “Eye to eye” by Karolina Piórkowska, Poland

Q: Can you introduce us to Karolina?  We had a chance to follow your work and see your great results in previous competitions, but what is your background? Where do you live? How old are you? Do you do photography as a full time job?

A: Yes. I had the honor to stand on the podium in previous competitions. It is a great feeling to be able to represent Poland with the first place this year. I live in a small village near Gorzów Wielkopolski. I am 35 years old and I already take photography professionally. It’s funny how things like to twist around as I I have managed to turn my passion of photography into profession, however my original profession is realated to building industry. So one never knows what’s ahead of him/her 🙂

Photo by Karolina Piórkowska

Q: Can you tell us how did you develop your style and how long you are into the photography?

A:  Frankly speaking, my style is still developing. I think it is right to say it’s in progess 😉 I have not noticed the moment when I could confirm I was sure of my own style looking at the images from a distance. I think passing time has had a huge impact altogether. It is time that allows you to find your own interpretation of the world in yourself. It’s like with good music. If you feel like dancing when hearing the music, it means that you feel its influence in your body. It’s been a sixth year in photography for me. During this time, a lot has changed in my photographs. Looking at my own pictures now – I feel like dancing a bit;).

Photo by Karolina Piórkowska

Q: Why Lifestyle Child Photography?

A: I am a mother of two daughters. I can not imagine not concentrating my photography on them. First of all, I treat it as an important role of the parent. I love to become their photographer every day. Get inspired, see how they change, learn from them, share joys and sorrows, document the lives of my children, family and friends. It is a great skill, ability, and at the same time a mission that I have already infiltrated. I repeat it also to my clients. For me, every emotion that happens in children throughout the day is worth capturing.

Photo by Karolina Piórkowska

Q: What is your opinion/overview on current scene of child photography around the world?

A: I think that the area of children’s photography is very divided but large enough that there is a place for every kind. Depending on the region of the world you can see different trends and tastes.

My lifestyle is the closest to my heart, so lets me relate to it. I am very happy that it stands at such a high level. This is clearly visible after all the photos you have appreciated. It is very special due to the individuality of perceiving the world. This is an amazing experience. I hope that it will continue to grow so strongly.

3rd Place in The Lifestyle Category at B&W Child 2017 Photo Competition – “Rest” by Karolina Piórkowska

Q: Where and how do you learn photography?

A: At the beginning of my journey, I had the opportunity to take part in a few stationary courses. Now I’m training photographers in the field of lifestyle and newborn photography. I know, however, that this teaching is in me all the time. Every day, grabbing the camera, I am aware that the remarkable display of ordinary life must be part of the exercise.

I try to play with photography. My approach to is is very flexible. My distance to the world also helps to move away from strict rules. I definitely prefer to enjoy the process of creating, moments, accompanying emotions, than choosing technical settings, achieving perfect focus or flawless quality. For me, such things play a supporting role.

Honorable Mention at B&W Child 2017 Photo Competition – “Arch” by Karolina Piórkowska

Q: What do you think of “opponents” in The Second Half of B&W Child 2018 Photo Competition?

A: This question belongs to one of the most difficult;) because for me it might as well have won twenty other photos. I love lifestyle category and that’s why I realize how difficult it was for the judges to settle and come to an agreement. Congratulations. Of course, I am very happy with the rewarding of my friends from Poland: Ania Wibig, Marta Paluch, Marta Szyszka and Magda Adamczyk. It’s really great to watch them.

Honorable Mention at B&W Child 2017 Photo Competition – “Avatar’s Eye” by Karolina Piórkowska

Q: How would you define your photography in a few words?

A: … real, uninhibited, emotional, energetic, with humor (is it about me?)

Honorable Mention at B&W Child 2018 Photo Competition – “Fun” by Karolina Piórkowska

Q: Who are your favorite photographers or photographers that inspire you?

A: My favorite photographers – yes, a good word. It may sound immodest (Now I have a moment for immodesty;)), but I have the honor to be a friend of my favorite photographers who inspire me. Their photos show everything that we have the pleasure of talking about today. One of them we had the opportunity to get to know better. She was the winner in the field of lifestyle photography in the second edition of the competition celebrated in 2016. With the second one I have been in 365 project for four years. We know our photos very well, as well as each other. These people are special to me, and I hope that we will never stop inspiring each other.

Karolina https://www.facebook.com/carolphotographyathlone/

Barbara http://photographsforeverbybarbs.com/

Nominee at B&W Child 2018 Photo Competition – “In the sun” by Karolina Piórkowska

Q: Where do you seek for an inspiration?

A: This will not sound original but that’s the truth. Life inspires me. Everyday moments, tiny minutes of joys and sorrows. The fact that suddenly a group of mucky children decide spontainously to pop into the house forgetting to take their shoes off at the door. The moment when grandma is hugging her grandchildren who at the same time are my children. Enjoying the time spent together. It is a known matter that these are not always subjects for outstanding photos, but who said all the photos are supposed to be outstanding?

Nominee at B&W Child 2018 Photo Competition – “Second” by Karolina Piórkowska

Q: What is in your camera bag? What camera body and lenses do you use?

A: In a bag or maybe in a purse? Three years ago I exchanged my Nikon D800 for the Fuji XT-2. Fuji meets all my fancies regarding lifestyle photography. I have a 23 mm f2.0 and 16-55 mm f2.8 lens for it. At the moment I do not find a better set that can be carried in a purse;)

Q: What about lightning?

A: I have not made friends with the flashgun yet. I had some attempts a few years ago, but to this day all my lifestyle photos are taken without additional flash light. That is the kind I am.

Q: Do you edit photographs in Lightroom or Photoshop? Do you have some favourite actions/presets that you are using for edits?

A: Good question. To me it’s not a rocket science. I personally work on my images in the best effective and efficent way possible. Importing raw images into lightroom, applying a preset, adjusting it slightly and exporting into jpgs. That’s the process more or less. To be honest, there are a few pictures that I’m looking forward to making more out of. I think that if in the moment of taking a photograph you spend enough time for a good photograph, it will limit the time needed in post production, which in fairness, should be its final touch and not the task itself. Of course, I did not do it all at once. You must grow up to your favourite presets. I have already grown up a little bit?

Honorable Mention at B&W Child 2017 Photo Competition – “Owl” by Karolina Piórkowska

Q: What is your proudest moment as a photographer/artist?

A: I am very happy that I can answer this question. As I said, photography gives me great joy. I enjoy the very process of taking pictures, atmosphere, stories accompanying the photos. It all filled with joy and the desire to create photography. Recently, the moment which showed me the sense of performing my everyday mission (which is not easy despite appearances) was the moment when my daughters brought a new colleague to our house. After a while it turned out that they do not play with toys, do not play games, and even more they do not go crazy around the house. They just showed him our photo albums. It was my happiest moment I’ve ever experienced as a photographer. Comparable with the first place in the competition.

Honorable Mention at B&W Child 2017 Photo Competition – “Oops” by Karolina Piórkowska

Q: Do you have any advice to offer us fellow photographers and artists about photography?

A: Definitely, when it comes to documentary or lifestyle photography or there is a thought in my mind, according to Antonie de Saint-Exupery: “You see well only with your heart. The most important is invisible to the eye. “I believe that photography then makes sense when it is dictated by real emotions. The space outlined with discretion can only help to read this truthfulness. Take care of your sensitivity, read and use sketches appearing in your life.

Honorable Mention at B&W Child 2018 Photo Competition – “World in the bubble” by Karolina Piórkowska

Q: Can you share some of your favourite photographs from The Second Half of B&W Child 2018 Photo Competition?

A: As I mentioned earlier, there could have been twenty other photographs winning the competition. The high level and clarity reflecting the character of the whole contest delights and does not give you a moment of boredom. I feel exceptional to see such outstanding and talented photographers next to each other. Really, “hats off” to everyone.

Honorable Mention at B&W Child 2018 Photo Competition – “Breath” by Karolina Piórkowska

Q: Do you have any advice or message for photographers who are participating in photography competitions?

A: Oscar Wild once said that “What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise”. These words are only a substitute for what really should be taken from such challenges as photography. The learning process should primarily be a mental feast of interpretation. It gives us the opportunity to show off our creativity, our sensitivity and prove how life can be treated and lived. Photography can tell us more about us than we know about ourselves.

Karolina’s Website


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