Interview with Marcin Majkowski
TIFA 2020 Winner, 1st Place, Non-professional, Book category – “New Faces and … In The Class, Automotive Class”
As an amateur photographer, Marcin Majkowski’s passion for photography stems from analog cameras in 2002 and the fact that for him, looking at daily life through his lens is therapeutic. Through all his years photographing as a hobby, he developed his skills to the level he is at now and, according to him, is still developing his skills to this day with every single photograph.
Q: What role does the photographer have in society? How powerful do you think visual images are as a force for change?
Paraphrasing one of the Polish movie titles, I think these days “We All Are Photographers”. It’s a matter of perceiving what photography is and what is not.
However, I think photography itself is the most powerful source of media these days to change the world for the better or worse. We need to think about what we would like to do with our photos, just because in the end everything is landing on the Internet on one side or the other. And even the amateur has the power to change something for good or bad as I said. We really underestimate it, and except having only the fun, we should think to bring some more important things to the audience.
And that’s how I see my photography activity, and how I try to use it even as a hobby. For me, right now, as for a photographer that’s the “Clean Up Challenge” I started almost two years ago. Paraphrasing Forrest Gump “Wherever I go, shoot or run I harvest the garbage” and I am sharing this via my Facebook profile, so people can understand that being a photographer, having an audience should not only be a fun, even as an amateur you can still do something more than shooting. And that’s something I miss looking at the others, not only photographers.
Q: What are your career goals?
Well, the important one is to develop myself with every shot I take. I would say that’s the most important goal for me still. I really dislike to look back at my photos, but I do it just to see what I could do differently and how a huge effort is still in front of me to make them perfect, or to make perfect the next one if it is of course possible. Having this one I would like to turn my photography into a way of living. I hope I still have time to do it by looking at my biological watch. Let’s see what the future will bring to me …
Q: In your free time, what kind of pictures do you like to shoot and which ones do you avoid?
Hmm, if I will look at my photos the answer is simple. First: Nature, second: Architecture and the really last one: People. This is my sequence. The reason behind that is photography is my hobby and every hobby should give us relaxing time, and it’s obvious to me the only relaxing time I can have is the one in communing with nature, no matter alive or still life.
The point is somehow COVID-19 brought to me plenty of opportunities to make it happen and have less processing due to the fact of restrictions, distancing, and a limited amount of people during traveling. So, with all the above, it’s clear I avoid “shooting” people. However, … there are few who trusted me and come back.
Q: What is your dream photography project?
To be honest, to me, as I am enjoying my hobby, every weekend escapade is a dream project. COVID-19 helped me to appreciate local places I would never visit or would visit as the last one, just because they are close by. Right now, one of the dream projects I work on is Long Play Cover and Booklet for one of friend, the Polish musicians, Paweł Binkiewicz. I would never expect that I’d be asked to do it as photography is not what I do for living. Results will be announced coming May, while Paweł will release his first Long Play and I can be a part of it.
The second one is my own idea and it’s called “Dutch Legacy – Molens”. Started last year thanks to COVID-19. It’s really the huge one, looking at the amount of work and numbers of windmills to be hunted down in the Netherlands, a bit more than 1000 pieces, and the idea to have all of them in 360 degrees panoramas. It really is a DREAM ONE PROJECT. So, yes, I do have it already and it’s running.
Q: Tell us about the pivotal moment that really launched your photography career.
Well, I do not know if I can really call it a career as I am still an amateur, doing engineering for living. However, even amateurs have some turning points so I have them as well. In my case, each reward, local or international is ensuring me everything I do is the right choice and giving me a positive kick to follow my taste. One of them was a reward given by National Polish Artists Association, the second one being published in the National Geographic Magazine – Polish edition.
Also, the trust given by my partners as Thule, Fotocadeau.nl, D3M.pl, or TACS Style, who are supporting my hobby. And last but not least that’s my audience, followers who are following me on my Facebook profile with every escapade and photo shared there. And I am grateful to everybody who supports me. Those are my pivotal moments.
Q: What style of photography do you most identify with?
Hmm, I started with Architectural Photography, living always in the urban environment. That’s a natural start-up, and I still love it. I continued with Landscape/Nature Photography which is the biggest part of my activity so far. And last year I started with Still Life Photography and the results we can see at TIFA 2020.
Q: Who is your favorite photographer?
I hope I do not sound cocky, but I do not have such one. I do observe the other photographers, regardless of their amateur or professional status. Sometimes I found amateurs more interesting than professionals, to be honest. I would say the favorite one to me is the most famous one: Mr. Internet. And depends on the day it can be an amateur one or a professional one, but still, not anyone in specific.
Q: What has been your biggest obstacle as a photographer?
Well, in 2009 when I started I would say ‘gear’; I meant limited gear and lack of special or popular places on the radar. However, now I do not see it in this way. Over the years I understood it’s not the gear that makes the photos. I started with a bit more advanced kit, and I ended up with the one which is highly advanced, but still limited. And special places hmm … I find them everywhere. Every obstacle can stop you, but at the same time can give you the opportunity to make something else. That’s why I stick to my mottos:
MOTTO NUMBER 1:
“It’s not a case to make an amazing shot in an amazing place, everyone who knows how to hold the camera in his hand can do it, almost everyone isn’t it? The biggest thing is to show the ordinary place in a way that no one else has seen it before.”
MOTTO NUMBER 2:
“Limited hardware capabilities, this is not a limitation, it’s a chance to show creativity. Go for it.”
Thank You, all the best and stay safe!!!