Aneta Kowalczyk is the latest photographer I have found on the web which her works have amazed me. At first glance, you might find the photos to be very normal. However...
However, if you look again, they have the magic to attract your eyes to look
for the details. The photos are magical and mysterious and you will probably
agree with me if you have seen the photo gallery of this entry. Today, I present
you Aneta Kowalczyk.
M: Hello Aneta, thank you so much for letting me to feature you on Swide. Please tell me, how did you become a fashion photographer?
A: Art has always played a very important role throughout my life. Since I
was a child, I loved all kinds of activities that were associated with art such
as drawing, painting, singing, dancing, creating things, designing and even
writing poems. I also loved fashion as I used to record fashion shows and
watched them over and over again. However, as a kid, I never thought I would be
a photographer. Because I studied international relations, as a student, I used
to think my life would go in this direction, perhaps to work in the ministry or
another serious institution. When I was in school, modeling was my part time
job. To be honest, I hadn’t treated it seriously because I was too old for that
and also, I was already a mother. Because of these 2 reasons, being a model was
only a kind of break away from everyday life and my duties. Yet, it gave me
opportunities to meet interesting people and opened my eyes to the world of
photography. When I bought my first professional camera, which was a very
spontaneous action, I hadn’t thought that would become a part of my life.
However a few months later I realized that was my true calling. Since the very
beginning I was lucky in photography and although I had no technical skills back
in those days, my photography met with kindness and interest abroad. My first
publication was my self- portrait sold to a popular Italian magazine. It was the
beginning of a great adventure which lasts till now. I have publications all
over the world such as magazines in Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark,
UK, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, and Poland. It gives me satisfaction
when I see my photos on magazines, but as I always want to be the number one in
this playing field, I want to improve and develop my skills all the time. That
being said, when I achieve one aim I will immediately think of new goals since I
don’t like staying in one place and resting on my laurels.
M: Since you were a model before, does your modeling experience help you to understand this job more?
A: Yes, it does help me to be a better photographer. It’s always easy when you take photos of experienced model, but more difficult when a girl is a new face and it’s her first shooting. My knowledge helps me to work with inexperienced models as I can give them advice, show them how to pose or tell exactly what I expect them to do. I pay attention to the emotions they can express, which it is very important to me in my photography. I always do my best to make models feel good while they are working with me as I think the atmosphere is very important. I remember back in the days when I was a model, there were photographers who did not talk at all during the session but just gave me short orders such as sit there, do this, do that and I thought that was not good at all. Because of the past experience, I do care about my models a lot. In the end, how they feel during the shoot will reflect in my works.
M: Oh, I have encountered those new models before and I do understand it will be easier if you talk to them to make them feel less tense. So, what adjectives will you use to describe your photography style?
A: I love taking mysterious, fantasy and magical photos with a fairytale
twist. I love everything that is connected to those adjectives. Things like
movies, music, and paintings often become my inspirations. I am kind of a
romantic person so I want my viewers to see my vision of the world. In my
photography I prefer to focus on positive aspects of our life although I must
admit sometimes the stories that I create are kind of sad to make people stop
and think of life. At some point, I want to show something more than just
fashion. Another Important factor for me to do a good photo shoot is finding the
right model who conforms with the idea, styling, and place I have in mind.
M: I can definitely see you as a romantic person as some of your photos do reflect what kind of person you are. Would you mind to tell me who are the fashion photographers you look up to? What have you learnt from them?
A: I admire many photographers, some for their styles or creativities, while
others for being consistent or reaching their goals and these are the qualities
I try to learn from all of them. I like the works of Helmut Newton, Patrick
Demarchelier, Annie Leibovitz, Steven Meisel, Tim Walker and many others. I find
that they are great photographers and great inspirations as they were/are the
ones who not only had/have talents but also the perseverance and strength to
M: I love Steven Meisel and Annie Leibovitz too as they are always so inspiring. Out of all the shoots you have done so far, which one was the most memorable? Why?
A: I think it would have to be the one I made with my daughter whom was
around 9 years old at that time. It was a doll series and it meant so much to
me. Firstly because it’s with my daughter, and secondly because it included many
elements I love in photography as I have mentioned them already- magic,
fairytale, mystery, fantasy. The story was about a doll played by my daughter
and her magical world was full of fun and joy. However, one day the doll became
“old” and not needed by anyone so she went to the junk basket. The message I
want to bring out from this series is telling people how fleeting life is.
M: That was a very interesting concept! Last but not least, what do you think of the Dolce & Gabbana F/W 2011 collection? If you had the chance to shoot an editorial with this collection, what kind of setting would you use?
A: Well, first of all it’s a great collection. I would love to have the entire collection in my wardrobe! After I saw the whole collection I could picture a futuristic city where it were full of movement, advertisements and colors. I would think this took place in one of the Asian big cities where the atmosphere was fun, joy, and surreal. The best idea would be choosing 7-8 styling and show Dolce & Gabbana my own idea for this collection. I hope I will have this opportunity in the future.
Interview by Marcus KanPlease visit 'à la mode' here
For Marcus Kan's other interviews, click here.
Credits: Aneta Kowalczyk