This week I had the pleasure of interviewing Aneta Kowalczyk aka *hellwoman, a great model photographer from Poland. Her work is expansive and covers a variety of different styles, all perfectly executed.
So let’s get down to the interview.
Hiya, could you tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Aneta Kowalczyk and I come from Poland. I’ve been in the photography field for about 3 years now. I studied international relations but one day I realized that photography is my passion and that I enjoy it most. I’m in love with portrait and fashion photography, it’s just great to my eyes.
What made you choose your username?
No special reasons really. I figured that my username suits my first photos that I presented on dA. Overall, I took many self-portraits and many behaviours came with it. Sometimes I acted as a bad girl in my photos being a nun with a cigar and at other times, a girl with a collar and a tempting look.
What was it that brought you to deviantART?
A friend of mine used to present photos on dA and so I visited this site before I started taking pictures, I liked it a lot so then I also decided that I myself too, should present my own photography and stay for good.
How long have you been a photographer, what was it that made you pick up a camera in the first place and what was your first camera?
As I mentioned before it was in 2006 when I started to think more seriously in terms of photography, I moved to Sweden then and I decided to reveal a new hobby. I bought my first camera and started shooting.
Are you a self taught photographer or did you take classes/lessons?
Well, I didn’t take any classes, at the beginning my friends who were also photographers helped me to get some technical knowledge. But it’s mostly courage that pushed me forward.
Where do you get your inspiration from for your photography, especially your fashion photography?
Mostly from magazines and internet. Many photographers inspire me, Peter Lindbergh, Patrick Demarchelier, Ellen Von Unwerth, Helmut Newton, Paolo Roversi and Steven Meisel. I also consider Camilla Akrans to be a very talented photographer and with great pleasure, I watch and enjoy her work.
What processes do you go through when composing and arranging a photograph?
Well, it’s like preparing a dish for others, when it’s nicely composed it looks more tasteful, doesn’t it? I try to think of many things before I take a certain photo, it’s about catching the moment, the look, gesture. A photo must also have nice light and mood. Besides when I take photos I usually pay a lot of attention to the model that I work with. As I always say, model’s eyes or gestures are very important to me while shooting, they have to say something to people who look at the photo. Even if it is just a simple portrait I try to catch a unique moment, look or emotion.
What set-up do you normally use for a shoot?
I used to work with a Canon 5D some time ago, and then I got familiar with a Nikon D3. And yeah, I love my Nikon D3.
Where do you hope to take your photography in the future?
Top magazines of course!! haha. And definitely to another level.
Do you have a dream camera set-up, and if so what is it?
I love my Nikon D3, but if someone would want to give me an H2D-39, I wouldn’t say NO.
Have you ever played with other medium of art apart from photography?
Yes, I wrote some funny poetry in primary school, and in secondary school I used to draw a lot of portraits but nothing gave me as much pleasure as photography.
Is there any advice you would give to new fashion/model photographers?
Never try to be a copy of someone else. Do it the way you feel and don’t give up when you sometimes happen to fail. Believe in your dreams. Work hard to improve your skills if you want to succeed. But overall originality is the key.
Which images from your gallery do you feel best represent your style?
Dolly series. I took those photos with my daughter, it was my idea, it wasn’t work being done for a client. I remember telling my daughter spontaneously let’s take some photos so we did. I put effort into the styling/make up/ hair and at the end of the day I came to realize that this was something different.
What sort of experiences and inspiration has deviantART given to you as an artist?
Many good photographers, nice inspirations, helpful advice, even if it turns out to be a criticism.
Any final words?
I would like to thank all the people who support and take their time to check out my work on dA, it really means a lot to me. Thank you for all the comments, critics, and emails. It’s nice to be surrounded by people who love photography as much as I do. All the best to dA lovers.
I will leave you with a few more gems from her gallery.