Interview: Model Agnieszka Machowska (Poland)
Can you tell us a little about you?
I am 46 years old and live in Poland. Photography has been my passion for several years. This passion began when I had my first opportunity to pose for photos. I have been posing for photos for an number years. I love good, alternative and ambitious cinema, jazz, chocolate, coffee and cats.
If you could change anything about yourself, what would it be?
Ha! Ha! I would certainly like to be 15 cm taller and be 25 years younger J
I admit, though, that the older I am, the more I know and like myself. Throughout my life I have tried to develop my self-confidence. I think that working in front of the lens has helped me a lot to achieve this and fulfill given me a better understanding of myself. It has helped me look at myself from a different perspective.
How did you start modeling?
Photo modeling was an accident. I read an announcement that a newly-created advertising agency was looking for people aged 2-50 to build a database of models. I applied and the first pictures were taken there. I was able use these photos and then I was persuaded by my friend to share them with other photographers. Someone expressed interest in taking my photos and then another person and, basically, it snowballed from there, really. After about a year, by chance, a client saw my sample photos and this is how I earned my first money by posing for photos in an advertising campaign for a network of pharmacies in Poland.
Of course, as with all new experience, my first photography session arose some unexpected emotions in me. For instance, during the first session in the studio after being professionally made up, I couldn't believe how attractive I was made to look and its impact on how I felt about myself. I was also amazed that I was able to inhabit different characters and present a whole range of emotions (from euphoria to sadness, longing, thoughtfulness to fear etc.).
What do you think of the work as a model?
It can be quite demanding. You have to be flexible and to make yourself available. Obviously you have to be punctual as well as rested and energised. Modeling is, in some way, like acting and like an actor the model must be able to get into the role demanded by the photographer who, in this dynamic, is in the role of a director. You need to be able to adapt in the circumstances and demands of the session. In my opinion, it’s good to know the location, who will be participating in the session, what the requirements for styling are, etc. This is valuable information as it helps you be well prepared for the session. I like sessions where I'm given freedom in front of the lens, but the photographer's direction and suggestions are also important to me. Verbal and non-verbal communication with the photographer is important. If there is not a good rapport or chemistry between the photographer and the model, this can sometimes be felt the pictures. The person photographed and the photographer must be able to empathise with each other and be able to communicate so that both can have a clear understanding of the aims or intended vision of a session at during the session and to be able to influence the effects of their work.
What is your beauty regimen?
I try to eat healthily. In the morning, I always drink 3 large glasses of water with lemon, I eat a lot of vegetables and fruit, I don't eat meat. I keep physically active and exercise 4-5 times a week. For my routine, I practise yoga and take part in fitness classes. Recently, I have also started winter swimming, which is challenging but also healthy and invigorating. I ensure that I maintain a healthy body. I always like to keep my hair and nails looking impeccable. Not only when I’m preparing for a shoot photo but also for myself and my own esteem as a womanJ
What are your personal qualities which distinguish you from others?
I look at modeling as something more than just participating in a pretty picture. I am looking for a deeper message. The results of a shoot should reflect something meaningful, ambitious; something that will stimulate the mind of the viewer. I really like to pose for traditional analog photography. This type of photography fascinates me enormously. For me, analog photography has a unique character, especially as the result of processing and developing the film and the happy accidennts that can occur during the development process. And as it is a much more expencive and now increasingly scarce resource, it forces you to stop for a moment and think about each frame before pressing the shutter button. Creating pictures in celluloid is more chalenging and requires experience, and technical knowledge.
However, regardless of the photographic technique, I like to pose for artistic photography because that's where I am the most real and feel the most free to be creative. I never really plan how to pose and I do not practise before a session. I do not make any specific preparations apart from, maybe, considering props. I am active and creative at a session and I relish the opportunity to implement my own ideas for styling and composition.
What are your plans for the future?
I don't have specific plans for the future when it comes to modeling. I am already a mature woman and there are few models at my age. I always try to work with good and innovative photographers. There is a kind of pride in me and I prefer quality over quantity regarding the shoots I choose to participate in. From the very beginning I have been treating modeling as a hobby, something that gives me joy and satisfaction.
What are some of your favorite experiences so far?
I always try to embrace new opportunities as they make for an interesting life and add to experience. For me, the opportunity to appear at the age of 34 in photo modeling was something amazing and unexpected in my life. Thanks to this hobby, I have met many people who have a profound sense of art and beauty. I have met some valuable and talented people.
Do you have any advice for those who want to start modeling?
For those who want to follow this path, the first advice is not to run under the false impression that this is always pleasant and easy work. It is important that those considering becoming a model should look inside themselves and try to get a sense of what they would like to show through their work in modeling and what kind of photography they want to be represented in. They should have their first set of photos taken by a good photographer with an established reputation (even if it means paying, initially. But once they have found the right photographers to work with they should dive in head first.
What do you think of the magazine?
I came across the magazine for the first time when reading some interviews with 2 photographers I had had the pleasure to work with. I think it is an interesting and very inspiring publication. You can see the works of many great photographers, models, make-up artists and stylists in one place. For people operating in this industry, it is a magazine which can really help them with their promotion.
Dariusz Murański, make-up Agnieszka Nortey
Dariusz Murański make-up Agnieszka Nortey
fot. i make up Róża Sampolińska
fot. Roman Krugliński
fot. Iwona Aleksandowicz
Ignacy Tokarczyk, make-up Berta Stępkowska
fot. Maciek Leśniak, make up Magdalena Gołębiewska
fot. Norbert Sokołowski, make up Joanna Maria Bleja
fot. Justyna Zduńczyk
fot. Marcelina Oczkowska
fot. Marcin Szwaczko
fot. Bartek Syta , make up Kinga Radomska
fot. Marcin Lila make-up Marta Kowalewska
fot. Sławek Patoka
fot. Michał Buddabar, make-up Agnieszka Nortey
fot. Michał Buddabar
fot. Sławek Patoka
Leszek Kowalski, make up Magdalena Milewska
fot. Justyna Zduńczyk
fot. i make-up Róża Sampolińska
fot. i make-up Róża Sampolińska