"I think that my passion for photography allowed me to gain solid knowledge without having formal education in photography."
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Firstly Art, how would you best describe yourself?
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Art. Tell us ABOUT yourself.
I am a self-taught photographer. I was born in Poland, but my photography journey started in England in 2007. In the beginning, I have been shooting landscapes most of the time with my bridge camera. I have always been attracted to the beauty of the world and people and by capturing that beauty in photographic form has given me an ideal opportunity of fulfilling my creative needs. What I missed the most when I was shooting landscapes was interaction with people, expression, and emotions.
It was the reason why I have started working with models, and I have set myself towards a few styles that I love, such as classic and Hollywood style portraiture, classy, sensual art and fashion photography.
Great photography is about connection - you have to connect with the model on the set to produce a great image, and later on, the image you've taken should connect you with your viewer.
I have continued my education in photography by attending workshops and looking up to few great photographers and teachers who I admire and whose work and career achievements are without a doubt my source of inspiration.
Today I am Birmingham based photographer creating mainly boudoir/sensual and portrait photography, but I am open to fashion photography trying to shoot new ideas whenever I can. With a huge support of my fiancée Magdalena Lenar I have founded Eris-Art Photography.
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Our readers would love to get to know you more Art. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I think that my passion for photography allowed me to gain solid knowledge without having formal education in photography. Striving to develop my skills and the way I handle Clients and models let me to be noticed as a Professional Photographer.
Art, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
I was born in Poland, but my photography journey started back in 2007. I am a self-taught photographer, and I gained photography knowledge and experience in the United Kingdom. I started out from shooting landscapes, but I moved on to shooting people shortly after.
My aspiration is to become as great as Helmut Newton or Szymon Brodziak. Both are my absolute photography gurus.
Who is your inspiration in life Art? How do you keep inspired?
My fiancee Magdalena and other interesting people, of course, are without a doubt my inspiration in life.
One day I saw Philip Bottenberg’s photo on the Instagram, and the idea for an urban fashion shoot came straight to my mind. I got in touch with him, and three weeks later we had a shoot in London. In general, things that surround me are a huge source of inspiration. Sometimes when I see a certain part of a garment, almost instantly I see the image of the character I wanna create or a whole idea. These things happen all the time. Even I have a special folder where I keep the drawings of my ideas.
We all make mistakes Art; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about a time being a Photographer, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
A few years ago I was looking for a female model with a particular Italian/Spanish look for a shoot I was planning. My colleague had recommended me a model. I saw her pictures on social media she was exactly what I have been looking for. I had contacted her, and I sent her a mood-board. She has arrived at the studio, and it turned out that she wasn’t prepared for the shoot at all. She hasn’t brought garments that we have discussed before the shoot. Moreover, she had no idea about posing at all. I didn’t turn the model away, and I have conducted the shoot as scheduled. I didn’t hold a grudge with anyone involved (neither the model nor my colleague) but if I could turn back the time I would refuse to carry out the shoot, and I would not lose the money on this project.
Art , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
Creating a list is a great way of getting things arranged to deliver a high-quality service. In my case, it works every time. I also keep my list on the whiteboard just to review it as often as it is necessary. Any changes to the original plan are being updated as soon as I am notified by the Client
Please tell us Art, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
There were quite many situations related to the above question. The recent one was when we had a very busy weekend shooting 120 female models for a Calendar Girls a charity casting day held in Bristol, England. We had only two days to deliver the images. The casting was on Sunday so on Saturday we had to prepare and check all the equipment for it. The day after the casting we had a workshop scheduled in Blackpool (4 hours drive from Bristol). Due to a good planning, we have managed to meet the deadline :)
Art, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
It was during quite a recent shoot in the north of Poland. My partner and I we were shooting a great model on the seaside by the boat. My partner loved the angle, but her plan was to shoot the image with the sunlight. I wanted to add some dimension to the shot hence I advised my partner that it would be more beneficial for the project regarding lighting, if the model would be photographed in slightly different angle and the shot should be taken with model positioned into the light with the reflector set as a fill light. She took first shot using her own idea and then she had followed my suggestion with shooting into the sunlight. My partner immediately understood the difference in lighting and the quality this technique produces.
Art, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
One of the greatest accomplishments was the Sharpshooter project. This project helps the next door girls to become a model or to participate in professional photo-shoot in the best photo studio available. Due to the popularity of the project and the attendance, it became an event that we arrange twice a year. This gives talented girls a chance of building their own portfolio at no cost. As co-founder of Eris-Art Photography, I arranged the first event straight after a huge casting day for Calendar Girls, by picking four the most talented girls and inviting them to a specially hired studio in London. One of the models didn’t have transport to London, so we offered her a lift just to prove that everything is possible. Seeing the happiness of all four was priceless!
Art, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
We shot a quite popular in the UK lingerie model in one of those modern apartments in Manchester. Due to the very small size of the bedroom, I couldn't use regular 300 watts strobes we are normally equipped with. To keep the fairly shallow depth of field (around f3.5-f4) I've decided to use standard 20-inch reflector with a defuse cloth. 150 watts modelling lamp was the only light source in this scenario allowing us to not only maintain our favourite depth of field but also gave us a chance to not blow out the images. Beautiful grain we achieved as a bonus
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
First of all, people who wish to be successful photographers must be honest with themselves and should take a close look at the quality of their photography. Learning is a lifetime process, and they never should stop learning. You can’t take great images without having a solid knowledge, practice and continuous development of your skills.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I would love to work on great projects with talented models and creatives for great brands from all over the world.
Now for the best part Art! Please upload 5-10 photos so we can get to see your work.
Photographer: Art Jensen (Arkadiusz Lepkowski) @erisart_photography
Assistant: Magdalena Lennar
Model: Philip Bottenberg