Photographer Milosz Wozaczynski (United Kingdom)
Can you tell us a little about you?
Photographer, retoucher, sometimes videographer, keen motorcyclist living in Brexitland but originally from Poland.
How and when did you get into photography? In my primary school days there was a youth photography club, which I started attending. Soon I found out that it is a thing I really like doing so I started to treat it a tad bit more seriously... To the extent that I ruined our washing machine when I spilled some fixer all over it. No need to say my parents were not happy. Unfortunately though that youth club was shut down later on and I was left without all that necessary equipment. At that time I lived in Poland and the country went into a bit of turmoil after communism failed which rendered us pretty poor at the time with no money left for hobbies like photography. I was left without a darkroom, with my only broken camera and no money left to do anything with that... I was only shooting pictures occasionally, when someone asked me to. Much, much later when I finished Uni and started to work I finally had enough money to buy myself a proper camera (at least that's what I thought as it was a digital dslr) and everything came back to me. I started shooting everything I possibly could but couldn't find what I really wanted in it. I was working as a teacher and one of my students was an international fashion model. We started talking about photography and soon enough we set up a portrait session. Just after shooting the first few pictures with her I knew that portraits were what I really wanted to do. And almost 20 years later here we are...
What does photography mean to you? I don't really know. It looks good... sometimes haha
Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers. What I like to think is that it looks like Irving Penn mixed with Monty Python
Where do you get inspiration from? From Irving Penn and Monty Python... On a bit more serious note though I'm inspired by human beings, faces, bodies, surroindings and my own stupid ideas.
Do you think in advance what you want in the picture? Depends what sort of time you mean. I always think before pressing the shutter but sometimes I'm improvising with no precise ideas before the session. If I see the model for the first time and I don't know the character of the person I usually struggle with a plan but sometimes I have a long term plan and am looking for models to fit in.
Studio, on location or both? For portraiture in general I much prefer the studio or atelier. I don't mind shooting on location but it's very limiting sometimes. Especially with nudity haha.
Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional? Both at the same time. Paid professional sounds a bit like a pure craft with not much art involved. And it usually is just that (probably 99,9% of the time). I took many commercial jobs in photography; I'm also working as a retoucher and all my experience can only confirm that. Then when it comes to hobbies – it means that you are passionate about that. After all those years earning money on photography I'm still passionate though and it is my hobby, however I'm only passionate about a small area of the whole photography thing – fine art portraiture on film. I don't feel like a paid professional even though all my income comes from various fields of imaging.
What has been your most memorable session and why? It would be easier to say which ones I want to forget, haha. Most of the sessions resulting in good pictures are memorable for me but if I had to choose – probably the session for Hasselblad Masters 'Evoke' album. Why that one – because it was like 10 sessions all shot in 3 days. With the crew we all stayed together in those 3 days, eating, shooting, having one long party and fun all at the same time. Basically fantastic time spent with a bunch of awesome and creative people. But it was also one of the most difficult and exhausting sessions I ever did. Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens? I don't give a flying f... about the brand. I just like good looking things like Rolleiflex or Hasselblad, or big cameras like my 8x10” large format – possibly it's a syndrome of something haha. When it comes to lenses – it would be Tessar 360:4.5 on 8x10” but I don't care that much about that. It just needs to be sharp enough to see the subject right and soft enough to make the image pleasant.
What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?
Don't do that. Find another job... Not that I want to discourage anyone or hate working as a photographer but there are much better paid jobs out there in which you don't need to work that hard. Doing that, you won't lose your passion for photography and you will be much better off financially. But if you think you still want to go for that... hmmm... prepare yourself for long hours, shitty wages, tasteless clients and constant insecurity with not much of a reward. But when there is one, it's usually a very very good one. The main question is if that reward is not possible to achieve as a hobbyist? It absolutely is.
What do you think of our new magazine?
It's brilliant as you are interviewing me, haha. But seriously though it's great, plenty of good photography inside, loads of interesting people there. Good job.