“I need to feel the atmosphere of the moment which is captured on a photo. It shouldn’t answer all my questions, but should make me think more.”
Aga Luczakowska (born 1981 in Poland) currently based in Bucharest, Romania. After a Master Science in Geography at the University of Silesia (Sosnowiec, Poland), she began to dedicate herself to a photography career:
“I was honored to study photography with photographers I admire the most.”
Aga Luczakowska received a scholarship to attend “Eddie Adams Workshop XX” and took part in “TPW Masterclass FOCUS ON MONFERRATO 2008” with Stanley Greene and “The VII Gallery workshop” Learning To See: Shooting Stills and Video on one Assignment with Christopher Morris.
Interview Aga Luczakowska
Aga, what was your first camera and photographic experience?
I don’t think the camera is important at all. My first camera which I got from my sister was a Canon and later I was working with borrowed equipment from my friend – Nikons.
My first real photographic experience was entering Magnum Photos website. I remember that I was amazed. I spent more than five hours just staring at the page. It was a totally new world – the world of photography, that opened that day for me.
Why did you become a photographer?
I took my photographs to a local newspaper and from the next day on, I was working there as a freelance photographer. After one year I got hired as staff photographer and later I followed photo opportunities that came across my life.
What does photography mean to you?
It’s a way to live many lifes.
Which photographer has inspired you most and why?
Each photographer inspires me in different ways. It’s hard to choose just a one or two names, but definitely I appreciate the most Christopher Morris and Stanley Greene. Currently, I’m also very impressed by Donna Ferrato and her work on domestic violence called “Living with the Enemy”.
What’s your favorite photography quote?
It’s not quote about photography, but it can definitely apply to photography also. Book illustrator Dick Bruna once said:
If you put very few things on a page, you leave lots of room for imagination.
How would you describe your photographic style and way of working? How do you realize a shooting?
I do follow the atmosphere of a place and the people I photograph. The most important thing for me is to capture what the place, the person, or the event is all about. I think it’s more important than the photographic style. Style will come itself with life experience and knowledge about people and life in general.
What’s important in order to develop an own photographic style and how did you achieve it?
I believe that each story requires a different way of work and a different style. It’s important to realize what you like and what is inspiring you. It can be music, design, art, literature – or fashion.
What qualities does a good photographer need?
A photographer needs to be an open-minded, easy-going and flexible person, who feels comfortable around people.
What does a photo need to be a great photo in your eyes?
I need to feel the atmosphere of the moment which is captured on a photo. It shouldn’t answer all my questions, but should make me think more.
Where do you draw inspiration from for your photographic projects?
From life, music, art, movies, friends – life experience.
How do you keep up to date with new developments in photography, to keep on learning new things?
I check online websites about photography. It’s most of the time VII photo website, Magnum Photos, NOOR Images, BURN Magazine and PHOTOJOURNALISMLINKS.
I also follow photographer friends on social networks like Facebook, which gives me a lot of information about what’s going on in photo world.
What kind of photography equipment and photographic supplies do you use?
Digital camera (Canon 5D and Fuji x100) and Holga.
Which advice would you give someone who wants to become a professional photographer?
You do not need to be PROFESSIONAL photographer. If you love photography, you do not need to make 100% on your income as a photographer to be a good photographer or happy photographer – the best example for that is Vivian Maier.