Interview: Photographer Agata Rutkowska (Aga Ruda) (Poland)
Can you tell us a little about you?
I'm a woman with too much sensitivity, who learns to talk about herself through pictures. An introvert with a passion for books, independent movies, handmade (crocheting, knitting, renovation of furniture) and of course photography. If I could I would spend my whole life in the woods.
How and when did you get into photography?
I think it started when I was a child. Analog camera was in my home since I remember. All the photos from my family albums were taken on film by my dad, he gave me my first camera when I was a teenager. It was a digital compact and I remember I was taking it with me everywhere, even to school. But my real adventure with photography started only when he gave me the old analog camera he was using during my childhood. When I tried to take my first photos on film and I was lost, I felt in love.
What does photography mean to you?
To be honest I don't know yet. I'm still trying to get to know that. At the beginning it was just fun. But now I know for sure that this is a very important part of my life. A few times I decided to stop photograph and leave it, because I was constantly dissatisfied with the results. But now I know I can't. I just need a break from time to time and then come back with new thoughts and ideas. I think it helps me say something I cannot express otherwise.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
Where do you get inspiration from?
My biggest inspiration is the light, the places where I am and people that I meet. It is the light that creates the mood in the photo. Its character also depends on where we are. Although the model's personality gives the final style.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?
Sometimes I plan all the details and I know exactly what I want to do. Sometimes I need to see my location first and then I can feel the mood and catch some ideas. But I also love those moments when I don't have any plan and I feel a perfect connection with my model, and we flow together to see where it takes us. Then we don't need a lot of words, we just act intuitively, we trust each other and create our common world.
Studio, on location or both?
Definitely on location! I like to have a space where I could move during a photoshoot (I'm walking all the time). And as I said, I get a lot of inspiration from places. It gets a little bit easier when you have some context or nature of the place. But lately I’ve started thinking about the studio...
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I'm a typical hobbyist. I'm not able to take pictures on request, then I would lose passion and commitment and I’d probably burn out quickly.
What has been your most memorable session and why?
I don't have this special one. I see something special every time when I meet someone with whom I feel an unique connection, that we both know this is it. And this is happening from time to time.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
I usually use Yashica and Revue. Honestly I don’t care too much about equipment, there are much more important things than that.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Photography is not a business for me. But if you want to take a good photo, be open minded, don't be afraid of failure and try as much as you can.
What do you think of our new magazine?
It can be quite an inspiration :)
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