Perspective is important, especially if you take photos. It's ever-changing and evolving. We love seeing how different artists portray themselves and how the photographic process changes the way they see the world. That is why this interview with instant photo and self-portrait artist Zuza Mikołajczyk easily became an easy favorite as of late. Her photos, though delicate and intimate, possess strength and exudes confidence. And during these times when things feel uncertain, we need all the help we can get to make the world a better place even if it means looking at beautiful photos one frame at a time.
Hi, Zuza and welcome to the Magazine! What do you do and what got you started in photography?
Hi and thank you so much for giving me an opportunity to show my work! Professionally, I work as a psychologist but as a person, I am an artistic soul. I always consider myself a very creative person and for a long time, I was looking for some form of art that will help me express myself. I tried lots of things but unfortunately, I wasn't gifted with an awesome voice or painting skills. And somewhere along the way, I found photography and I realized that I am pretty good at it.
What makes you stay with film photography?
I always liked vintage stuff. I usually buy clothes at secondhand stores, I prefer to listen to music on vinyl so it was natural for me that if I am going to take photos, it will be on film.
What's your favorite thing about it?
I like how film photos look. Grain, light leaks, sometimes dust - it has soul and you never actually know what you will get at the end. I don't get why people spend hours at the computer editing photos to look cool when you can just take photos on film and it will always look better! At least for me.
Who are the photographers/creatives you follow?
I follow a lot of people and I am glad that the analogue shooters' community is so big! I really like the work of Francesca Woodman. I even made a series of self-portraits at abandoned places in my city inspired by her. Another person who I admire is Edie Sunday. I just love how surreal her photos look. It's much more interesting than just shooting reality so she inspires me to experiment more with my photos. But my biggest and everyday inspiration is my boyfriend Dorian who also shoots films and always supports me with everything I do.
We're a fan of your instant photos and sensual self-portraits. They look and feel so natural. Was this a particular style you were going for?
Thank you! Yes, I wanted my self-portraits to look natural because they are a form of self-therapy. It's my way of fighting my own insecurities. I associate being naked with being vulnerable so by showing myself like that I wanna say: "This is me. I am not perfect but I am who I am." I always consider Polaroid instant photos as pure magic. When I was a kid, I dreamed of having a Polaroid camera. It was unbelievable for me that you can see and touch a photo right away.
How do you compose your shots? What's the first thing you look for in a scene?
To be honest, I am more of a Lomographer. I don't know much about the rules of composition and I don't want to. I think it kills creativity. I just shoot how I feel, how I see the world. So I don't think much when I compose my shots. It's a more spontaneous process for me. The first thing I look at in a scene is simply something that caught my eye.
What inspires you to take photographs?
Many, many things. I am looking for inspiration in other photographers, in my favorite movies, music, in people I love. I like taking photos of my friends. And showing them the way they are, the way I see them.
If you weren't a photographer, what would you be?
Hmm, I don't know. Probably just a psychologist. ;)
How did the pandemic affect your creative work? How do you keep motivated in these trying times?
Actually it wasn't so bad because I started to shoot more self-portraits. I was stuck at home, I couldn't really go out to take some photos so I started to experiment with the mirror, light that was coming to my apartment, self-timer, etc.
What's the first thing you will do once blows over?
Probably I will travel somewhere. Trips always inspire me. I am checking out some cool places to photograph at a new environment, stocking up with films, looking for other film shooters to meet up.
Any last words for our readers?
Just a big thank you for reading my modest words and hope you will all like my photos.
written by cheeo on 2020-07-11