Interview: Photographer Ewa So (Poland) Winner of the Month
Can you tell us a little about you?
I am a photographer and I run my own photographic business. Every day I do photo sessions for individual clients and for companies. I mainly deal with women's photography. These are women's, business sessions, and most often boudoir sessions – my favorites. I have my own studio where I take the most pictures. I am recognized as a female photographer, thanks to which many women have more confidence in me. I love what I do!
How and when did you get into photography?
My first time was in high school. My uncle taught me how to use a simple camera for a negative. Then I signed up for photography classes at my school. At first, I took pictures at parties and portraits of friends. I did a lot of pictures, almost every day. I would engender the negatives and pictures in photographic darkroom. I loved it. After high school, I decided that I would be studying at the Academy of Art but related to design, not photography. However, for two years in a row I did not get on the dreamed-up field of study so I went to the post-secondary photography school. There, I learned a lot more about photography and I loved it even more. I decided that I would again take exams for the Academy of Art but this time for photography, not design. It was very hard to get because they only took 5 people but I was able to get there. Since then, photography has been close to me and I could not imagine my life without it. Even then I knew that I would work as a photographer.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography never was something mystical to me and I never used statements that photography stops time or it’s something that can not be seen with the eye. For me, photography has always been something obvious and natural, what I see and everybody sees. Often it seemed to me that everyone would be able to catch what I see in the pictures. But with time I noticed that it is so simple and obvious. Now photography is for me a tool to make other people happy. When I take pictures of friends and family, I see that the effects of the session make them happy. But the most beautiful thing is when women see themselves on boudoir photos and delight in their appearance. Usually they are women with complexes, so when they look at photos they have tears in their eyes and are delighted with their femininity. They do not believe that they can look so beautiful, they do not believe that they are. So photography very often also has a therapeutic meaning for me.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I can say that I do two kinds of photos. For clients on commission and my private projects with experienced models. The first type of photography is, as I have already mentioned, the most common female photography. Fortunately, I have the most of it because I love this kind of photography. I love working with women and building relationships with them. I also take pictures of men, but less often. The second type of photography I do is sessions with models according to my idea. Then I organize models, most often from an agency, makeup artist and possibly a stylist. I come up with the topic and type of session. I decide about everything myself. I do such projects for my own needs in order to expand the portfolio and feel fulfilled in photography.
Where do you get inspiration from?
In my first years of photography, when there was not such an easily accessible internet, I watched a lot of albums in bookshops of well-known photographers. They inspire me so far. Now, most often I'm inspired by various photographers or photos found on the internet. Sometimes I do not even know the photographer who took the data. There are so many beautiful pictures on the internet that it's hard to remember all photographers. I only remember the more well-known ones. My favorite photographer who inspires me today is Tim Walker.
Think you in advance what you want in the picture?
Very often yes. Usually, before each session, especially with models, I have a specific frame or positions that I want to do. However, very often even better things come out when doing these planned shots.
Studio, on location or both?
Both of course. I love daylight in the room but I could not resign from the location. In Poland, most of the time is cold so I take the most pictures in the studio but as soon as it gets warm, I often go somewhere on location.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
Second of course :)
What has been your most memorable session and why?
Oh, I have many such. One of the beautiful sessions was when the sun rises in an empty park outside the city when the mist was still rising above the grass. But one session was with the thrill of emotions when I took photos from the roof of a three-story building. I was attached to a chimney harness and stood on the edge of the roof. I leaned out of building edge and take a picture of a group of people standing by the building on the ground floor.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
Nikon. 85mm, f:1/4, but inside usually 50mm f:1/4
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Definitely take a lot of pictures, even every day. It is difficult to learn without it. Of course, there are the talents that make fantastic photos without experience, but other photographers should take a lot of photos. The second thing is to see photos of better photographers. Inspire yourself with them. And the third thing that I also consider to be important, copy some of the photos you have chosen. Try to do exactly the same photo as the author of the original photo. In my opinion, it stimulates the imagination very much, forcing us to think differently, because it is not so easy to copy a photo, even the simplest one.
What do you think of our new magazine?
I know this magazine only about 3 weeks, but from what I've seen before, I think that the magazine is a good inspiration for other photographers! Especially interviews.