Interview: Photographer Izabella Sapuła (Poland)
Can you tell us a little about you?
Photography enthusiast living in Poland.
How and when did you get into photography?
I have been photographing for about four years. Previously, I took photos during travels. Correctly but not consciously. When I limited traveling for various reasons, I asked myself if I must fly several thousand kilometers to take a shot. This was a real beginning for me. Photography, as a travel companion, has began to take over more and more in my life, until it took the most important place.
What does photography mean to you?
Photography is my way of talking about emotions which I often cannot express, taming the longings and fears, it's my escape into the world of fantasy and dreams where I can go back in any time ... or go ahead.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
I am creating scenes from my dreams, which are not possible to catch during normal life.
Where do you get inspiration from?
Everything inspires me. People, legends, places, music. When I photograph people, I am primarily interested in what is fleeting and elusive. I focus on longings, desires, dreams, drifting somewhere in the space of secrets and memories. I also photograph what takes place in the realm of fantasy and dreams, where the real world mixes with the world of my imagination. I'm not asking for my dreams. They come unexpected when I close my eyes. Sometimes I don’t want to wake up. It happens that I can’t tell dreams from reality. They are intrusive, elusive, full of ragged events. They appear and disappear, often before I have a good look at them. After waking up, I write what I can remember. There are dreams that are waiting in my notebook for months for the right person or scenery to appear. Photographing them is a way for me to get familiar with them, to look carefully at each side and give them a meaning. I have the impression that they are inside me and they keep coming back until I photograph them, I close them in the frame. It's as if I gave them their own life and they start to exist outside of me, making space for new dreams. What is in the picture not always looked identical in a dream. I am looking for symbols and a atmosphere that would reflect my emotions, thoughts, longings. I also have dreams that I am afraid to touch. They are still locked in my notebook and they are waiting for me to be ready.
Thank you in advance what do you want in the picture?
I usually come to sessions with a plan. I discuss it with the model and people who work with me during the session. I tell the story I want to show and I talk about what emotions we are looking for. Sometimes I show drawn frames. I want everyone to have the same story in their mind so that we end up looking for the same mood.
Studio, on location or both?
Definetely I prefer location, it gives me more space to be crative, but I also work in rooms with natural light.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I am a hobbyist. Photography is a way to explore and express myself. It gives me the power and peace in my mind. I deal with completely different things professionally. Combining very intense work with the planning and organization of sessions, in which several people are
often involved, and the implementation and time-consuming processing of photographs is a considerable effort. I succeed because I love it. It’s like an addiction.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
I work with models, but sometimes more than that and alongside the models there are animals too. Such sessions are the most difficult, but also extremely fascinating. My first time was a lesson in humility. Animal caretakers have excellent contact with them and thanks to this they manage to encourage them or provoke specific behaviors. However, you must remember that these are wild beings. When the owl appeared for the first time in the session, she was interested in everything that was in the forest, not what I wanted to get her interested in. Deers were running around us for most of the time. Sessions with animals taught me great mindfulness, patience, peace, openness to their behavior. You have to be careful and ready to press the shutter. Sometimes I also take pictures in series, especially if I have a whole herd or pack of them running. Some of my photos, on which there are many animals, are composed of several frames or several serial frames. Each element in the picture is exactly where it was, but not all were in the same picture.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I use Nikon camera and I have a set of lenses of different lengths that I choose according to the present moment and space. Most of my photos were made using 135 mm.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Do not listen to what others say, trust your intuition and go your own way.
What do you think of our new magazine?
It is a great idea to connect people from all around the world, give them an opportunity to share their ideas and learn from each other. I am very happy to be a part of it.
Model Aleksandra Noszczynska, mua Alicja Seifert
Model Weronika Sitek, Assist Beata Jakubowska
Model Shadow Wolf and pack of wolves Wilcza Saga
Model Shadow Wolf and lovely owl Halinka from Sokolnictwo Ptasior
Model Roza Klaudia, Assist Beata Jakubowska
Model Paulina Eggert, Mua Anna Mulcan, Assist Tomasz Ossolinski
Model Paulina Eggert and Freya the Fox
Model and mua Karo Kat
Model Anka Arlet
Model Justyna Janusz, mua Anna Mulcan, Assist Beata Jakubowska
Model Lisia Photomodel, mua Ultramarine Studio
Model Paula Agnes, Hair Agata Tomczak, Assist Beata Jakubowska
Model and mua Lisia Photomodel
Model Aleksandra Lutomska and Barina