Living the Dream
Growing up skateboarding in Arizona, photographer Magdalena Wosinska is living every photographer’s dream. Working in the advertising fields and also photographing for herself, she travels the world in search of new places and new people to photograph. Her images focus on people, their lives and what they’re doing at that particular moment.
Wosinka’s images are composed as though they are from someone’s memories, encapsulated on her website for people to scroll through. Photographing for major brand names such as Converse, Sony, Dell, Booking.com and Steve Madden, the advertisers allow her creative freedom; expressing what she feels will work for not only the company but for her photography. We caught up with Magdalena and talked about all things travel, advertising and capturing moments.
Hi Magdalena how are you?
I’m well thank you.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you wound up with a camera in your hand…
Well I grew up skateboarding in AZ and I wanted to more involved in the street skating scene but I didn’t have the skill set to jump of 20 stair hand rails so I started shooting photos of other friends doing it. This allowed me to hang with people not just at the skate park and it was a thrill getting chased out of streets spots by cops. Before that I was always into art and painting and drawing and I started to be curious about taking photos around the time I started to shoot skating.
How did you become involved in the advertising field and develop your style? You seem to have a very vintage/pastime feel to your images, like we are looking at snippets of somebody’s life from the 70’s.
Ahh, the 70’s is inspired by music I guess. I played in a metal band called Green and Wood for eight years till just recently. A lot of the images in my first two published books was about me and my band and friends in bands touring and travelling the world. The advertising attraction came to me when people simple wanted to shoot brands based off something real, and some based off of my lifestyle in itself, which was a great honor but also a lot of fun!
Photography is about capturing moments, whether the photographs are used for art, for advertising, or for holiday snaps, what is it about photography that drew you to the medium?
Just that, I would regret not capturing a moment in time, taking photos is a timeline that can at times be timeless, I can preserve my youth and my surroundings by capturing that space in time,
Shooting in the advertising field must be quite rewarding but also come with some limitations. What is it like photographing for an advertisement and do you enjoy it as much as your other work?
I am actually very luck with my ad work because unlike a lot of photographers I have a lot of freedom to do ” my thing” I guess that’s because my clients want our ads to look as authentic and genuine as possible, so we make it happen with the freedom Im given. Its all about trust.
What does an average shoot look like for you, and how long do you spend editing your images?
Well that all depends, we live in an INSTANT world so I edit as I shoot. I shoot a lot and fast and usually very high energy. And a lot of people, so just imagine at times that you are at a party and someone is capturing it while it goes, but in a professional way. haha
Your images vary lots of locations from Iceland, South Africa, Costa Rica, you must do a little travelling. What do you enjoy most about photographing somewhere new and somewhere you have never been before?
Travelling and waking up in the morning having no idea whats next is a huge inspiration for me! I love, love new adventures, surprises and being visually challenged and stimulated.
What do you look for when you look through a lens? Essentially, what sets apart a bad image from a good image?
Composition, and that takes time. One must train the eye and practice makes perfect.
What is it about people and the human form that drew you into photographing them?
I want to know how they feel in an image. A place has another story with someone in the frame that’s a bit deeper. Who are they, what are they doing there, why are they there.
You also have projects that you continuously photograph such as ‘Lovers’, ‘Dudes’, ‘For The Boys’ and ‘Babes’. What do you like most about shooting for yourself and for various projects?
Well projects and publications are just an extension of my personality in the public eye and media. All the other stuff that is personal I shoot so much of that it needs to get organized and once you build small bodies of work, you kind of make chapters of eras. Its my favorite thing ever!
What was it like photographing Rutina Westly, Jenna Malone and Shailene Woodley?
They were all very wonderful women. I had the easiest time shooting Jenna as she is also a photographer and is full of fun ideas. She really is dynamic in front of the camera!
Do you have a list of people/locations you would like to photograph? If so, who and what locations are on there and why?
Id love to photograph more inventors so I can learn from them, some other photographers, and shooting on the moon would be pretty amazing!
Out of all your images, if you could only show someone two, which ones would they be?
That is not possible. I change my mind from favorites every time I do a new shoot! (laughs)
Do you have any advice for a photographer who is struggling to get their work out there?
Just to keep shooting over and over and over till you start seeing a style develop. And take risks, go on adventures, when something seems like a pain in the ass or impossible, make yourself do it and prove yourself wrong. Always try harder and have that camera with you!
What are five things you wish you were told before embarking in the field of photography?
Well I assisted a lot of photographers before I was shooting on my own so most of those things were already answered. I guess the main thing is to know your worth, hustle, be a good business person, be up to date on computer programs and cameras, and know there is always enough work out there for everyone.