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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.