For Magdalena Szczoczarz, beauty can be found in the simplest of things. Instead on grand gestures, she focuses on the quiet moments—the gentle way the breeze plays with her muse's hair or the shadow casts by the soft, afternoon light. In this interview, she talks about the inspiration behind her carefree portraits that celebrate the natural allure of women and the earth where they walk on.
Hello Magdalena! Welcome to the Lomography Magazine. Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do.
I live in a small city called Staszow in Poland. I am 33. I sing (Kolakawa), I run, I travel as often as I can (India is my favourite destination).
How did your interest with shooting on film started?
I was a little girl when I discovered photography. Growing up in 80s, there was no other way of shooting. I got my first film camera from my uncle, Marek Mazur. He was an analog maniac, a crazy constructor of beautiful, tiny cameras, and a real artist who inspired me.
Your photographs mostly depict women in their most natural states—inhibited and carefree. What draws you into photographing them?
I always try to feel the freedom in my heart and I think that the state of being natural is extremely beautiful. In every situation.
How do you prepare for a shoot? Do you have ideas in mind beforehand or do you just go with the flow?
I have many ideas and I write them down in a special notebook, but I have no time for all of them. They are mostly connected with a particular place in which I want to shoot. The rest is just the result of an observation and interaction.
What inspires your photography?
The most inspiring thing for me is nature. People and their stories, music, travels, and movie scenes also inspire me a lot.
How would you describe your style?
A style of a life lover.
What cameras and films have you used? Any favorites?
My favourite film is definitely Kodak Portra 400, when it comes to black and white pics it is Ilford or Fomapan. I use Pentax K1000, Mamiya RB67 and Lubitel 166+, which is my pet.
Among your beautiful portraits, which one do you consider the most special? Could you tell us the story behind it?
The picture which I consider to be the most special is the one with a red-head girl (Weronika Cymerys) and a caravan in the background. There was a strong wind that day and I didn't have my car to get to the place that I chose for the shoot so I had to pedal on my bike against the wind for 14 km uphill with my whole equipment. It took me about two hours. And when I finally got there the heavy storm started. Now it seems funny, but it wasn't then. We decided to wait it out. I took the picture just after the storm had finished.The golden hour and the atmosphere after it was just amazing and definitely worth waiting.
Who are the artists that you look up to?
Alex Webb, Mary Ellen Mark, and Annie Leibovitz.
When you’re not taking photographs, how do you spend your day?
I work, I run with my dog, I sing, I cook, I read, I travel, I write a little, I plan future travels, I drink wine with friends.
What’s next for you?
My last travel to India gave me a huge perspective on relationships and I hope to take advantage of it in taking pictures.