Interview: Photographer Marta Machej (Poland)
Can you tell us a little about you?
My name is Marta, 22 years old. I moved 4 years ago to Szczecin, before I spent my life in Warsaw. I am a photographer, traveler, horse rider and scuba diving instructor and very optimistic person.
How and when did you get into photography?
That was by a mistake. I've started photography on my horse riding camps, I used to photograph animals, views, sunrises and sunsets. I wished to be a photographer for National Geographic as I loved animals so much. Than my friends started to ask me for some portraits, they've also made me to make a fanpage on Facebook, you know – artistic one "Name Surname Photography". But surprisingly it worked out, some "models" started to write to me, I was shooting with new people and one day I realized that I wouldn't know all of those inspiring people if I wouldn't be shooting. That's why I am still doing this – I love meeting new creative people and create something beautiful with them.
What does photography mean to you?
It is the way to meet and show people in my own view. I love this feeling, when somebody looks at himself and see how beautiful he is. I love to show my models' smiles, that means really a lot to me! I also feel as a part of creating something unique and beautiful when working with my team. There are people involved in work and my role is to show the result of their work – I am the last one to combine everything and if I fails – work of whole team will disappear, so I really need to do my best! I love the process of creation, team work, this is the most important for me!
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
Natural, this is what describes me the best. I love natural light, simple styling, no makeup and true emotions. Black and white portraits are what I love the most!
Where do you get inspiration from?
People I shoot with. I always talk a lot while shooting, that gives me the time to see "real face" of my model. I always keep making them smile and never ends a shooting without natural one. I love it when people starts to become themselves. I also keep myself updated with newest editorials from my favorite photographers. I never copy, but sometimes a small detail may make me feel inspired. I love to scroll Instagram and Pinterest to see more amazing shoots.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
More or less. I create mood boards, send photos as inspiration, talk about makeup, styling before a shoot. But when we meet on session it's very creative and rather spontaneous. When I see a model and what exactly we do have on session, then we create something on our own. And I can't plan this exactly even I've tried a few times ;)
Studio, on location or both?
I prefer location much more, gives me more options to shoot. But when doing a commercial work like lookbook, we need to work in studio. Also I like to have warm place for test shooting with natural light. And I really feel that studio is something each photographer should go through even he won't be working there much.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
Hard to say. I do a lot of tfp work which I really love! Sometimes I also get paid sessions like lookbooks but I am working hard on it to get more and more paid assignments.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
I can't choose one I think, there are a lot of amazing sessions I keep reminding myself about. The best thing is that I often work with people I only could dream of! And then it turns out they agreed to work together, those are the most memorable moments for me. Each smile and great talks on sessions are something unique!
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
Sony! I am shooting with them from the very beginning and I love it! Now I am shooting with Sony A7 and my favorite lens is Contax Planar 50/1.4 which I know thanks to Tom Widlak from The Bokeh Factory. I love the natural look and the fact I need to be close to the model to shoot with 50 mm and the bokeh is just amazing!
What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?
People I work with. I also love to see newest editorials from Vogue, L'officiel etc . I have a few favorite photographers like Peter Lindbergh, Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton but also our polish ones like Aleksandra Zaborowska, Agata Serge or Sonia Szóstak. I love to see what they are creating,, what my photographer-friends are doing. Sometimes the only thing to get inspired is amazing model :)
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Be persistent and love what you are doing. I strongly believe that if you fight for your dreams you are able to do everything. But it is not easy. If you think being a photographer will be a piece of cake, you will be really surprised. But just keep on doing what you love and you will make it for sure.
What do you think of our new magazine?
I really love it! There are amazing pictures and great, inspiring talks. I've read a lot of interviews with my friends and found amazing new models to work with, so I can't wait for the next issue!
Michalina Cysarz mua: Ewelina Idzi Stylist: Magda Oleśniewicz