Interview: Photographer Tomek Kałużny (Poland)
Can you tell us a little about you?
I am a photographer based in central Poland, interested mainly in portrait, nudes and urban landscape.
How and when did you get into photography?
My then girlfriend (now wife) had a compact camera that I really liked so I took an interest in photography. My dad was an amateur photographer and he developed his film and photos himself, he had been trying to get me into photography for a long time, but eventually I got in through a compact digital camera.
What does photography mean to you?
It’s hard to explain really, but I guess it is a means to escape the tedium of real life.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I think my style is constantly evolving so it’s hard to give a one sentence summary, but I have been known to take a lot of dreamy portraits and landscapes showing an idealised moment that I find something interesting about.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I am often inspired by film and music. I love listening to dark ambient, vaporwave and any minimalistic electronic music. I am by no means a big poetry fan, but from time to time I will find a piece of poetry that sits on my mind for weeks and it also is major inspiration then.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
It really depends on a photo, sometimes the idea is well thought out, but for the most part it just crystallises when I am taking the photo based on the setting I am in or the model I am shooting with.
Studio, on location or both?
I really don’t enjoy studio shoots. I prefer location whenever possible for my personal projects.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I am a professional, but the kind of jobs I get are usually different from what I shoot for pleasure.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
I don’t have a particular shoot that is really memorable for me, but I think that photography as a whole has affected my life in a meaningful way and it allowed me to get to know a lot of interesting people.
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
The final result and the feedback I get from other people is always good inspiration.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I really don’t like endorsing any of the camera manufacturers. I have used a lot of cameras and there is no perfect one out there. I like mirrorless full frame cameras, but not because I like any brand more than others. They just make using manual focus lenses much easier and more intuitive for me. I love fast portrait lenses, I mainly use 85mm or 55mm for work with models and a really old 105mm that produces a lot of flare. I would love to shoot more analogue medium format stuff, but sadly I don’t have the time.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Keep doing what you love. Learn to take criticism from other people.
What do you think of our new magazine?
The whole idea behind this magazine is really cool. I wish you guys all the best with this endeavour.