Magda Zofia is a Canadian photographer who we linked up with after shooting an Assignment for us in New York. I had been following her submission and quickly got drawn in to her photography. She was able to make a car transport service look expensive, exciting and fresh all in one frame.
I contacted Magda to tell us a little about where her journey with photography began, what her inspiration and motivators were, how her experience was with the shoot and if she had any tips for aspiring or other professional photographers.
This is what she had to say:
I am an exploratory person, and all facets in my life are evolutionary in some way. One can only make a handful of values a priority, and family is at the top of the list, which is a series of relationships that have taken many shapes and forms throughout the years. I make sure to nurture my friendships, no matter where I am in the world. It's these people who make me who I am, without them, none of this hard work really means much.
In the same spirit of evolution, photography is the medium for my personality type. I decided years ago to "marry" it.. through sickness and in health, I am sticking with this medium for life, which means that I will constantly keep my relationship with it 'fresh'. So much about photography inspires me; I'm kind of obsessed with colour, and there are millions of new ways to explore that facet. Expression and genuine moments are huge for me. I love the idea of shedding a person's outer layer to get an image that they wouldn't normally capture in a selfie. It feels pretty awesome when people can do that for me, it makes me feel beautiful, and passing that feeling on seems to be a part of my purpose.
I started out by rummaging through my dad's shoeboxes of old photos. He immigrated first to the US from Poland and brought his incredible Pentacon six TL (which by the way was quite tricky to snag while in THE grip of the Iron Curtain. It was smuggled in from West Germany). He was a hobbyist, shooting landscapes he'd never seen before, there were also a lot of moments with friends in their dorms back in Warsaw. I believe this was the first unconscious spark that drove my need to document memories and sights. The rest involves disposable cameras, school, freelancing, the fairly typical (though unique in its own way) path to the professional freelance world.
Working with 500px was super interesting. It's a company and brand that I've respected for years, so it was pretty exciting to be asked to work on assignment for them. I'm looking forward to the next project. Since I travel all the time. It's looking like there might be opportunities to pick up gigs while on the road. Plus I'm based in NYC, and there's no shortage of businesses needing fresh photos there - that's for sure.
My favourite aspect of this assignment was the autonomy. Though it took more time than I expected, I did enjoy being the director of so many aspects. It was a huge compliment to be trusted to make this look good, and a very exciting challenge. I chose the models, styling, locations, and was in charge of the post-production. The day went unusually smooth - I don't know if it was the position of the moon, or my over-prepared, pre-visualization, but the light was perfect everywhere we stopped, and the locations easy to find and settle into. I wasn't getting too stuck creatively - a photographer's worse nightmare.
The best advice I can give is to keep learning. Brush up on things like composition, multiple portable flash units, business, editing techniques, posing, archiving etc. Take courses, watch YouTube videos, consume images in all the books and magazines, save what you love, and keep striving for new results. The beauty of photography is that you'll never learn it all.. so admit that, embrace it, and keep going. By having new challenges, you'll take the monotony out of your 'bread and butter' gigs, and with such a fast moving industry, you'll stay relevant while keep the love for photography alive.