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Photographer Staszek Dragan “Stan Smok” (Poland)

Can you tell us a little about you?

I am photography hobbyist based in Poland. Photography is my passion and every day I try to devote it some time to develop my skills.

How and when did you get into photography?

I started my interest in photography when I was about 12 years old. In the beginning I made black and white photographs which I developed in a school darkroom. Camera used to accompany me on all parties and trips. However, when I started my professional work, photography became secondary. Then 7 years ago, thanks to my wife who gave me a semi-professional photography course as a birthday present, I came back to photography and started to develop my hobby seriously.

What does photography mean to you?

Photography is more than just a hobby to me. It is a way of conveying emotions, beauty and delicacy.

Photography connects me with the people with whom I create it – models with whom I cooperate and photographers I meet during my adventure with photography. It is a way to break away from work and everyday life. It is the time I devote to my development.

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

When I take photographs, I always care about expressing emotions, feelings and sensuality. That is why portrait and sensual sessions are closest to my heart. In short, I would describe my style with the words "Woman, light and emotions"

Studio, on location or both?

I definitely prefer outdoor photography or indoor sets with natural light.

Sometimes I opt for a studio, but rarely take photographs using flash lamps.

Where do you get inspiration from?

I am inspired both by works of acknowledged photographers and by my cooperation, meetings and conversations with other photographers and models whom I had the pleasure to meet and get to know. But most of all I am inspired by the emotions that I want to convey in my pictures.

Do you think in advance what you want in the picture?

Before the session I often visualize in my head what I would like to see on the photos. However, due to cooperation with a model on the set, it often happens that the original plans are slightly changed. Photography is an art of creation that is why I do not rigidly follow the plan.

Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

Photography is my passion, my hobby. So far I do not do it for money.

What has been your most memorable session and why?

That was a session many years ago, just after getting back into my hobby. It was my first 1:1 session with a model in a studio. I was a little nervous if I could handle it, but the results turned out to be great and the cooperation with the model was excellent.

Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

For many years I had been a Nikon devotee, but a couple of years ago I switched to Sony A7 III and Sigma Art lenses.

What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

Believe in yourself and develop your passion. Don't give up on your dreams.

What do you think of our new magazine?

It's a place to get inspired and meet great artists.

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