Hi Iwona! Could you please introduce yourself?
Hi, My name is Iwona, I'm 37 years old. I live in Poland. I'm a mother of two boys: Adam 7, and Jaś 8. I'm an architect and a photographer. I stopped working in architecture a couple of years ago and started my career as a photography educator. I run workshops all around the world, create tutorials and tools for photographers, and occasionally do photoshoots for clients. Mostly I shoot my own kids or my friends' children.
How would you describe your photography style?
I'm looking for something with atmosphere, it can be a portrait, or can be just a silhouette or a landscape as long as the photo is moody. I love working with kids because they are very natural, I don't pose them, rather just put them in a certain situation and observe.
How did your interest in photography begin?
I started with my own kids. I had them at home, I had a camera and I wanted to take some photos. I started looking for inspiration online and fell in love with photography. In the beginning I was crazy about it. I would spend every second of my days either watching tutorials, reading books, trying to take some photos, or trying to edit them, or just thinking about how I could do any of those things.
When did you decide to become a professional photographer?
There was a time when I was still working full time and had already started giving workshops and I felt overworked. I felt that nothing was done the way it should be because I couldn't be in two places at one time so I decided to put architecture aside for a moment and try to put more attention into photography and I still haven't come back to my old job and I hope I will never have to.
What equipment is a must-have for you no matter where you are going to be working?
My equipment is very simple- a camera and lens, I shoot natural light so I don't need anything else. If I could take only one lens with me it would be 85mm 1.4
Natural vs artificial light. What is your preference and in which situations you use one or the other?
I use natural light in 90% of the cases. I sometimes add artificial light only when it's either overcast or late in the day.
Could you share any tips for taking advantage of the natural light?
I think it's very complex and at the same time simple. I could tell you that I mostly shoot against the light. But there are things that you need to pay attention to at the same time to insure success. Looking for nice lighting is a huge part of my workshops.
What is most challenging about the job?
When I arrive at the shooting, I'm always a little nervous because natural light is unpredictable and so are kids. I have to admit that this a reason that I love both of those things. But it also makes me feel a little stressed. It's a good feeling. It helps me to be more creative and perform better. I think I wouldn't be a photographer if I had to shoot in a studio with a still subject. I love to be surprised and I love to be forced to come up with ideas as things are happening. But it's also the most challenging.
What type of editing software do you like to use and what do you like about it?
I use Adobe Lightroom 90% of the time and Photoshop 10% of the time.
What is the most rewarding part of being a photographer for you?
A good photo, of course. The one that I love to look at. I know if I create something and I don't have the urge to look at this it's not good enough. I always hope for something new and something exciting in my portfolio.
World Class Creators Series / Iwona Podlasińska / Interview by Marina Shipova / 2020