Interview: Photographer Michał Długokęcki (Poland)
Can you tell us a little about you?
I am a visual artist and media creator. I run creative agency where we produce video, images and design for businesses. Photography is my biggest passion and way of life. Every free day I spend on shooting female fashion, portrait, sensual and classy nude photographs.
How and when did you get into photography?
It was in May 1995. Back then I was 8 years old and just finished my First Holy Communion celebration day. In these times according to tradition all kids got a bike and money as family gifts. When I finished my first test ride around my block I sat on my bed with an envelope to count my first serious money. I didn`t know that it was my first photographers` experience – excitement before a purchase of a new gear! The next day I went alone to the local photo shop to buy my first camera. I spent all my money for an Kodak point-and-shoot camera with couple film rolls and I was proud of it!
What does photography mean to you?
All these years I have been shooting photos I always wanted to remember the moments, thoughts and emotions and share them with the others. It didn`t matter if it was a school trip to the mountains or a portrait photoshoot with a model. I always wanted to take a viewer to the other side of the picture and make him or her to feel in a certain way or feel the way I felt in that moment.
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.
When the digital photography appeared I was so excited! Unlimited photos to take and the whole new world of edition possibilities!, yaay I got one of the first DSLRs – Canon EOS 300D. Till then I was absorbed only by digital photography. Couple years ago I grabbed my first point-and-shoot camera and my I fell in love again. Most of my commercial projects I make are still digital but all my personal photoshoots are made on film. Moreover I explored the world analogue cameras. I shoot on various Canon SLRs. I tried middle-formats and also plenty of other point-and-shoot cameras. And I like the way of work and the effects they all give! So sometimes I feel like on the crossroads thinking that I should choose one or two favourite cameras and stick to them. On the other side I can explore different gear and always be surprised. I am aware of the fact that style of photography doesn`t depend only on the camera.
However there is a big difference for me when I hold a plastic 100$ camera with flash and 60 years old middle format from USRR. The style of work and the image quality suggest the style of work and mood. The best example for me is my new discovery of crazy and fun photoshoots with model made by point-and-shoot cameras. Lightweight and even childish look of these camera are perfect for that! I can`t imagine doing a party-style photoshoot with Pentacon SIX!
My style of work is rather quick. I don`t like spend too much time for each photograph. Probably this reportage-style comes from my first experiences with photography experiences. I believe that first moment is the best to keep an idea on image. The spontaneous position of body, emotion of face and freshness are the keys to successful picture. I hope this can be seen in my works.
Where do you get inspiration from?
I am inspired by many people and things. Works of other photographers are great source of inspiration (and motivation!). I am also a cinematographer so I watch movies analyzing all aspects of the production – from the story, acting, scenography, costumes, light, camera moves to editing. It helps me also in my photography projects, expecially to focus on emotional aspect of the photoshoot. I also started to cooperate with stylists, especially with amazing Kinga Stęplewska, who opened my eyes widely to the stylization world. I am much more focused to details of each set of clothes we plan with the model and team. Thanks to that I enjoy fashion photography even more!
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?
I am in the moment of my life that I can decide on project I make. In Firmedia agency we make projects for companies who are open to the new and fresh media. We don`t work for everybody who has a need for random photoshoot or film to be done. The fact we are paid is an important factor in the creative process. But passion and good vibe between all team members are essential for us to start any project.
I make my private photography and videography projects to develop my skills and share my emotions to the others. I think this is the best hobby for me because it is connected to travels and meeting amazing people.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?
It all depends on the project. Of course in commercial photography there is not much space for spontaneity. But when go for a walk with model to shoot outdoor portraits I like to have my mind clear and plan every picture just before it is taken.
Studio, on location or both?
Everywhere where is a good light!
What has been your most memorable session and why?
During the first lockdown in 2020 I was stayed home for about 2 months. I was out only for some essential meetings or to do the shopping. After 8 weeks I started to
miss photography that much that I figured out a way to avoid crowds but also spend some nice time shooting pictures. I asked owner of green house complex to enter her peasants. We made a beautiful fashion photoshoot with more than 10 stylizations. I felt like in some Mediterranean garden full of beautiful plans and flowers they were grown there. It was a magical time, almost surreal because of the pandemic reality.
Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?
Canon 50mm 1.8 should have a statue built in Tokio!
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Your gear is not important. Don`t look for any clients – find those who value your work.
What do you think of our new magazine?
Your magazine is great! I respect every institution, organization and individual who promote art and creative people! I do appreciate invitation to your magazine and hope it will be just a beginning of our cooperation.
And at last - thank you, dear Reader for your time! I hope you will enjoy this gallery of my recent works. Feel invited to follow my activities on Instagram and also to support my art on my Patreon page. Peace!
Behance: www.behance.net/dlugokecki Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/dlugokecki