Hello Michal, glad to have you with us this month. Tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hello Shutterpass! I am glad that my photo shoots became interesting for You! You might be surprised but I am not a professional photographer, but a Master of Science in telecommunications and I am working in IT industry. However a photography was my passion since few years and it is what I am doing in a free time.
For how long have you been a photographer?
It is hard to say when I became a photographer. I have been taking photos since I was 15 years old, what was 10 years ago. I started with photo shoots of polish mountains and landscapes. It was about three years ago when I started to publish my photography in an internet and I made first steps in portraits.
When did you realized that you want to be a photographer?
It might sounds funny, but it was when I started receiving very positive feedback under photos which I published on the site deviantart.com Then I realized that it gives me a lot of pleasure if other people really like my artworks. I decide then to start taking photos more seriously and I bought my first DSLR camera and prime lens.
Did you study photography at to school?
You can call me a self-taught man as a photographer. As a teenager I was interested in a digital graphic. I was preparing graphic materials for my school, as the posters, flyers and the elements of the websites. In this way I got an experience in graphics editing what was very useful knowledge when I started to retouch my photos. The knowledge about photography I got mainly from the books. I started with books concerning photography fundamentals written by the Bryan Petterson. From his books I taught the essentials of the composition and the exposure.
How would you describe your style?
I felt in love in making portraits of beautiful polish woman. Nevertheless, classic, fashion looking portraits are little boring for me. I always want to create unique, dark or fairy-tale atmosphere in my photos. I think it is related to the thing that I am lover of the fantasy books. I love the most colorful, fairy-tale looking photos. However, for the contrast I also trying sometimes to add dark, cold vibe to the photos when the my models are clothed in a Gothic style.
What it feels like being a Gothic photographer/artist?
Personally, I consider this as something exceptional. There is a lot photographers and models around the world who create portraits which looks very similar. Photos in a Gothic style are always stands out from the crowd. Mainly because You rather not see very often ladies in Gothic clothes when you are walking along the streets. Nevertheless, it is not easy to find a perfect model for a photo session in a Gothic style. The main thing is about the stabilization. Most of girls do not have own corsets and Gothic clothes. It costs a lot and only few shops are selling this kind of clothes. Another thing is about the post production. I personally consider that editing photos in a Gothic style demands some additional skills and a creativity. I must admit that I am not as good photographer to create such atmosphere in the time of taking s photo, so I need to create the atmosphere later.
Is there a movie, a book or an image that you remember for the first time truly influencing you?
I think the most influencing for me a the screen adaptation of the Tolkien’s novel Lord of the Rings. I am really in love with the New Zealand’s landscapes enhanced by the special effects. I love the fairy-tale looking scenarios of the Rivendell and Lothlorien forest and also more scaring places, like a dark forests/mountains. Moreover, in one of my last photo session I used an artificial spider’s web to create an atmosphere of the girl imprisoned by the giant spider. Beside Tolkien’s novel I recently got inspired by the landscapes from Vikings TV series.
What inspires you before a shoot and from where do you get your inspiration?
Usually my initial inspiration came from my models and their stabilization. On the current level I do not own a great wardrobe with the extraordinary clothes so I have to rely on my models. When the styling is ready then I am looking for the place which will match to the model’s stabilization. Fortunately, around city where I am living, which is Wrocław I can easily find a lot of places with the historical architecture or places filled by the trees and flowers.
What is the last project you’ve finished?
The last big project was the lingerie session in the Gothic Lolita style with two beautiful models: Revena and Silver Wolfie which was taken in the old-fashioned looking room. It was a first time when I took indoor session in this atmosphere, but I am very glad from the final effect.
Are you currently working on any project? Could you describe it?
I have plans for a few Gothic and pagan style sessions with the well-known polish alternative models. However, currently I am working on the photos from the session which I called “In the secret garden”. There are photos of redhead girl stylized for the princess which was exciting the blooming flowers in the abandoned and wild looking garden. I think the photos will be thrilling because I got an excellent match of beautiful model, her expression , interesting place and the sunset light.
Do you work alone?
Photography is the passion which I am sharing with my girlfriend. I can say that She is my muse and without her I would not be able to go so far. She was the first girl I was portraying. She turned out very talented model and she is now known in the internet as the Revena, polish alternative model and stylist. I have to admit that her fan page is 4 time more popular than mine and during last two years she worked with several high class polish photographers! She is helping me during preparations to the photos session. She is finding interesting places for photos and helps less experienced models in preparing styles. Many people who knows both of us consider us as the great team and I can’t disagree with them.
What type of cameras do you shoot with?
I am a Nikon user. I started with the amateur DSLR camera Nikon d5100 but few months ago I changed it for full frame model: Nikon d750 and I loved it.
What is your favorite photographic accessory, other than your camera?
First of all I love my prime lenses. It is most powerful thing in portraying. Most of my photos I took with 85mm prime but I am also using 35mm prime indoor or for photos, where I need more space on photo. Recently I started using external Nikon’s speedlight mounted on the tripod with the reflecting umbrella. It is used to allow more exposure on the models face, also outdoor. However I am beginner in use artificial light, but I see a great potential in it.
What else is in your photographer`s backpack?
I think it will be surprising for You but it is a vacuum bottle with hot tea or coffee. It is essential for the outdoor photo session during the low temperature. My models could not pose longer than fifteen minutes when the temperature outside is low without a cup of tea. It is always important to warm the fingers that freezes during taking photos, because I usually forget to take glovers with me. I take a vacuum bottle also when the temperature is higher because I am coffee addicted man. I love to make a break during the photo session, watch the photos on the camera with the model and refresh myself with the cup of coffee.
Which programs do you use to process and edit your images?
I am using Adobe CC plan for photographers – Photoshop and Lightroom.
Any words of wisdom and advice for our readers?
If you are portraying other people You should remember that photo session should be a good time for both sides, the photographer and the model. I always try to put a special attention to create good atmosphere during the photo session. It is an excellent way to make new friends from the models as the addition to the excellent photos you can get with them.
You can find out more photographs from Michal Piotrowski HERE
Journalist: Pavel Ivanov