Interview with Magdalena Kolakowska
Q: First of all, we want to congratulate you on winning our first contest on CPC Portrait Awards! How does it feel to be a winner?
A: Thank you so much! I couldn’t believe when I first saw that I’m the winner! I am so happy and excited, I feel like I start to grow my wings!
Q: Can you introduce us to Magdalena? What is your background? Where do you live? How old are you? Do you do photography as a full-time job?
A: I am 33-year-old, happy mother and wife. I’m from a small town in Poland – Nowogard which is a very beautiful place. I came to Manchester to spend my holidays 11 years ago. Meanwhile, I met my husband and we’ve stayed here since. I am a full time mum to my 3-year-old son, so photography is my part-time job at the moment.
Q: Can you tell more about the winning photograph “Ava’s Portrait”?
A: I think the most powerful at this portrait are models eyes, her facial expression is delicate but strong at the same time. I was looking for a simple portrait with the classical feel, I was always fascinated by XIX century books and ‘’old fashioned’’ look.
Q: Who is Ava?
A: Ava is wonderful girl and model. She is so delicate and graceful. Working with her was a real pleasure as she takes directions very well but also has a natural predisposition to pose. It was our first photo session together, but I hope that I will have the opportunity to work with her again in the future.
Q: Your other submissions to this contest got really noticed by the judges. Can you tell us how did you develop your style and how long you are into the photography?
A: Thank you so much! I have started my photography journey about 8 years ago when my husband bought our first DSLR camera. I begin to photograph my nieces and I got into children photography. I think I started to develop my style about 2 years ago when I became a mother, I quit my previous job and focused to work as a photographer. I’ve been always trying to do my personal projects along with work for clients and I am very happy that my style has become recognizable!
Q: Do you have an official education in photography?
A: No I don’t. I always loved to draw and I was studying architecture in Poland.
Q: Where and how do you learn photography?
A: I learn as much as I could by trial and errors. In the beginning, I was photographing everything and practice everywhere. I was really afraid to put my work anywhere in the public, but I have started to show it on forums and I was getting a lot of CC from other photographers which help me a lot. I was also watching other photographers work and tried to find out how they set the lights, pose models and crop their best pictures. I learned Photoshop and discovered endless possibilities with composites! I was watching tutorials on YouTube and courses on Creativelive. I am trying and learning new things all the time so I hope that my style will constantly develop.
Q: How did you get your start in photography? What were some of the most important things you found along the way in relation to the development of your photography?
A: I think the most important step in my way was learning how to edit my pictures in a specific way and give them this personal feel. The big influence on the style of my photography has English, cloudy weather that gives this moody feel to my photos.
Q: How would you define your photography in a few words?
A: I really love to add a bit of magical feel to my photos, creating fantasy worlds and tell stories. I think my photography is a bit melancholic, with strong, earthy colors and touch of the dreamy look.
Q: Who are your favorite photographers?
A: I have so many favorites! Sue Bryce, Brooke Shaden, Irina Dzhul, Annie Mitova. I also love a lot of Polish photographers – I think we do really well in photography world- Agata Serge, Paulina Duczman, Ewa Ćwikła, Damian Drewniak, Mariola Glajcar – it’s just a few names.
Q: What inspires you?
A: Books, fairy tales, old illustrations, nature, and people!
Q: What is in your camera bag? What camera body and lenses do you use?
A: I use Canon 5D Mark III + 35mm, 50mm Sigma Art and 85mm Canon lens
Q: What about lightning?
A: I am mainly outdoor photographer so I use natural light.
Q: What is your proudest moment as a photographer/artist?
A: I think winning this competition surely is one of my proudest moments ever!
Q: Do you have any advice to offer us fellow photographers and artists about photography?
A: Follow your dreams and never give up! Also, don’t photograph only for clients – do your personal projects and show what’s inside your soul!
Q: Can you share some of your favorite photographs from March Monthly Photo Contest at CPC Portrait Awards?
A: I love them all! If I would have to choose only 3 I would say it’s:
“Forest Song” by Natalie Sartisson
“Home, sweet home” by Alicja Yusupov
“Holy” Nicole Hoschke
Thank you, Magdalena!