What was the idea behind your series ‘Warsaw Nights’?
The process of capturing the nightlife came quite naturally. Going out, I would simply take a camera with me and take pictures. I didn’t think of it in terms of a project. Most of the shots were taken in the years 2011 and 2012. In 2013, when I had to prepare a set of pictures for a photo editing class (I studied photography at the University of Warsaw), I thought it would be cool to make some sort of a selection of these photos, make them into a whole with a thought behind. That’s when a few new frames ware made and the general concept crystallized – showing the reluctance to grow up and the insecurity of the young people living in Warsaw.
What’s the most memorable thing that happened while you were working on this project?
It’s hard to find anything special that could have occurred when I was engaged in this project. The environment within which I worked was easy to cope with, even though the photographs show people who are strangers to me. Nothing I hadn’t expected happened.
What do you like or dislike about Warsaw? Why did you choose this city for the project?
I was born, I studied and I live in Warsaw. I took pictures here simply because there is no other place where I spent so many nights. And I like Warsaw for its creative potential, the people who live here and the demanding beauty it offers to those who devote enough time to seek it. When it comes to the city’s nightlife, the only thing I dislike is the fact that places with character get shut down too often and, as I feel, too quickly. Fortunately, new ones keep appearing.
You have a heavy emphasis on street photography on your website. What do you find most intriguing about it?
I don’t know if the word ‘intriguing’ really applies to street photography. This form of photography has been practiced for decades and it’s hard to be original in this matter. I do like its naturalness, though. The fact that wherever you are, you see something and you just document it. You don't have to think of it in terms of a project. Of course, this apparent ease can be pernicious at times, it’s a straight path to repeating patterns. Personally, rather than catching funny scenes in the streets, I value creating the image itself – the form, the colours, the emotions.
Are there any street photographers you admire yourself?
There are plainly photographers who I appreciate and who happen to take pictures in the streets from time to time. I don’t think anyone self-conscious would like to be labeled as just a street photographer. My master's thesis concerned the American colour photography and from among the artists I mentioned there, some I particularly esteem – those are above all Saul Leiter and Joel Meyerowitz. Not only do I admire their work, I also respect them for what kind of people they are. I do like the works of Harry Gruyeart, Alex Webb and Patrick Zachmann as well. From the younger generation I would pick Trent Parke and Jesse Marlow. And for something completely different – Nan Goldin and Antoine D’Agata. There are plenty of artists whose output I follow and I could probably carry on naming more for a while.
Would you consider working for a news agency full-time?
I once thought of working for a news agency. Now I know it’s not something I could do. Questionable financial aspects aside, I’m mostly concerned about time and topics. I’d rather be the master of both. Otherwise I’m afraid at some point photography would no longer bring me joy. And I prefer to treat photography as a source of joy.
Which camera(s) do you use?
I always carry a Fuji X100. I use a Nikon D7000 and an analog Ricoh G500 as well.
What are/will you be working on in 2015?
Good question. I’ve been having a break from photography for the last few months. It’s not like I don’t take any pictures, I’d rather say I’m 'recharging'. When I make something I find worthy, I might share it.
Do you prefer to work alone or in company?
I definitely prefer to work alone.
What’s the perfect midnight snack, at home or out working?