Oliwia Major

Interview with Oliwia Major – The Winner of Monthly Contest CPC Portrait Awards, May 2019

A master of light and child photographer with a unique vision

7 mins read

Please welcome Oliwia Major – The Winner of The Monthly Photo Contest CPC Portrait Awards, May 2019! She is a multi-talented photographer from Poland specialized in various forms of portrait photography!

Q: First of all, we want to congratulate you on winning our Monthly Contest CPC Portrait Awards! Can you tell us how does it feel to be a winner?

A: Thank you very much! It’s an amazing feeling, I still cannot believe it because so many outstanding photographers took part in the competition this month! Congratulations to everyone!

Q: Who is Oliwia Major? Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where do you live? What is your background? How old are you? Do you do photography as a full-time job?

A: I am 33 years old and I grew up in Poland. Currently, I live with my fiance and 5-year-old son in Netherlands where I work as a full-time photographer.

Q: We cannot wait to hear more about the winning photograph. What were your thoughts when you took it? Is it part of a bigger project? How did you choose the model?

A: In my garden, a tree with white flowers blooms every year. I knew that there would come a moment in which I would use them to create one of my photos. When I saw my model Mikki, I just knew it. Her unique beauty, as if taken out of Botticelli’s paintings, inspired me to create a picture in the spirit of Renaissance. Yes, it’s just the beginning of the project!

“Shades of Melancholy” by Oliwia Major, Netherlands
Winner of CPC Portrait Awards – May 2019

Q: We can’t wait to see more photos from the project! Tell us how did you start taking photos? What were some of the most important things you found along the way in relation to the development of your photography?

A: It was in school. A photography professor lent me her old analog camera so I wandered around the city and took photos of strangers and objects that attracted me, and that’s how all began. Art has always been a huge part of my life, from being a kid drawing horses and trees to studying painting, drawing, sculpting and all other important subjects in schools. It all had big impact on how I see the world through the lens today.

Q: Having all those subjects means you had an official education in photography?

A: Yes! I have studied Graphic Design at The Academy of Fine Arts, Visual Merchandising in Cracow School of Art and Fashion Design in Poland as well as Children’s Illustration in the School of Creative Arts in the United Kingdom. I had photography lessons in every school given by the wonderful professors who showed me the beauty behind photography that I didn’t know existed. And I haven’t been able to quit taking photographs ever since!

Q: That’s awesome! It’s interesting that now you are the one teaching others at your workshops! What is the one advice you always give to your students?

A: Don’t just see. Observe! When we observe, we make connections in our mind and we develop a deeper understanding of people, things and places. The heart is the true lens of the camera.

Q: How would you describe your style in 3 words?

A: Magical, vivid and powerful!

Q: What’s in your camera bag? Do you have a favorite lens?

A: Canon 5D Mark IV, Sigma Art 50mm 1.4 and Sigma Art 135mm 1.8

Q: You are great at many genres of photography! Portraits, weddings, fine art, just to name a few. What do you enjoy shooting the most? Is it hard to be great in all of those different genres? 

A: Is hard! So this year mostly I focused on projects which I enjoy the most. I love shooting portraits of kids. They are so pure, innocent and honest. It’s a magical period in life! And I always try to show that magic in my pictures.

Q: Where do you find inspiration for your work?

A: I pull inspiration from the world around me. I love to travel around the world, pushing myself to experience new places and people that make me feel alive, creative and free. Besides travel, I love to visit art galleries and get inspired by paintings.

Q: You are also a master of lighting! Where did you learn all the setups? 

A: I believe that less is more so I always try to use minimum equipment. I love Rembrandt lighting technique, pictures are natural and compelling. I have seen some video tutorials and just start using it.

Q: How much time do you spend at post production? Do you prefer Photoshop or Lightroom?

A:  It all depends on photo and my vision. It could take 15 minutes or even 1 hour. I use both but I prefer Photoshop.

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

A:  I feel very proud to be a winner of CPC Portrait Awards, May 2019!

Q: And we are very proud to have you as our winner! Can you tell us who are photographers that you look up to?

A:  Peter Lindbergh, Annie Leibovitz, Sally Mann, Eliot Erwitt, Ellen von Unwerth and Tim Walker.

Q: And lastly, can you share some of your favorite photographs from May’s Monthly Photo Contest at CPC Portrait Awards?

A: I love „Izzy” by Anna Salek who is a big inspiration for me. Pictures of Magdalena Sienicka and Iris Valentine are also stunning!

You can see more of Oliwia’s work on her INSTAGRAM, WEBSITE OR her FACEBOOK PAGE.

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