With everything going on in our city right now we wanted to focus on our photographic community by sharing and acknowledging the work of one of our clients and friend of Foto Care, Karolina Wojtasik. Her work spans across documentary, portraiture and commercial photography. Karolina agreed to answer a few interview questions for our blog as well as share some of her images.
We hope you enjoy this piece and feel free to share it amongst your peers!
❏ Tell us about yourself / fun anecdotal information you’d like to share.
Karolina Wojtasik works in New York, Los Angeles and across the globe. Most recently she shot her signature portrait series in Peru, Argentina, Siberia, Africa, and India. She specializes in Portraits, Entertainment, Advertising and commissioned photography. Her work has been featured in key art campaigns for leading television networks and magazines. Her portraits are featured in high-end personal collections. In 2012, she was selected to show her “India” series at the world renowned Art Basel in Miami and was featured in a solo show with Gallery I/D. Her work is part of a permanent collection at the prominent Martin Z. Marguilies Collection in the Wynwood Art District in Miami. Karolina graduated from the International Center of Photography. Born in Warsaw, Poland, she resides in Brooklyn, NY. Listed on the prestigious Jill Greenberg’s Already Made organization: https://alreadymade.org
I guess a fun addition is I’m also a certified drone operator but honestly I just do it for fun. Also I’m an avid motorcycle rider it’s how I get around for most of my personal documentary work over seas.
❏ How did you get started in photography?
My fascination started in 7th grade, I had an art teacher in Greenpoint, Brooklyn that was a big inspiration. She gave me my first copy of Diane Arbus’s self titled book (with the twins on the cover) She also got me into the dark room that was a pivotal point in my life. I loved everything about the process and proceeded to spend most of my High School life mixing chemicals and playing with alternative processing.
❏ Why did you chose photography?
I really didn’t have another choice, it was all I thought about and all I dreamed of doing.
Humanity is a huge inspiration for my personal projects. I love to see the similarities across the globe whether I’m shooting in Nepal or Peru there’s one consistent thing that binds us; we all seek happiness and it doesn’t ever come in monetary value. Women that have come before me in the field are a great inspiration and guide. They paved the way so I can have a chance to take a seat at a very male dominated table, I hope to cut the path a bit more for the ones coming up behind me.
❏ What are some of the biggest challenges you have faced in your career?
I graduated with my MFA in the early 2000’s so to make a living as a female photographer at the time was no easy task. I wasn’t going to shoot weddings and babies to make rent that just wasn’t my calling. I wanted to shoot Key Arts for entertainment, I wanted the big clients, I wanted the billboards. As a woman in an already saturated male market there is ZERO room for mistakes. So I think my biggest challenge has been not second guessing myself and knowing I have something great to offer the industry.
❏ How did you face them and learn from them?
I think it comes down to sticking to your creative gut. The industry will always be fickle and styles will change, try to always be true to yourself and your vision.
❏ How do you keep the passion of photography going strong?
I love the innovations happening in the field. Getting my FAA drone certification allowed me to offer my clients a whole new perspective. Strobes are getting lighter and stronger allowing me to travel solo to any corner of the planet with top notch studio gear on my back.
I’ve recently moved over to a completely Sony platform and I’m really loving the low light results. For my personal work I couldn’t live without my Profoto B1’s.
❏ How do you create your work?
When a client approaches me with a project, I drive deep into the subject. Try to do as much research as I can and formulate a blueprint for the day, I like to have my gallery days meticulously planned out. My personal documentary projects are much much different, I’m usually in an extremely rural part of the world on a motorcycle seeing where things take me.
❏ How have you adapted to changes in the industry?
Reaching out to old and new clients with personal emails and curated mailers just has been my strategy. I will create a look book just for one potential client. I don’t mass produce one mailer with all my latest work and blast it out to everyone. I’ll create 4-5 books just for one portion of the industry and send a personal hand note to each potential future client. I think it puts you one step over the guy that just mass mailed the same booklet to everyone.
❏ How do you see your business changing in the next 5-10 years?
Who knows what change the industry will bring but I love where it’s going and I absolutely love seeing more and more women getting hired for the bigger Key Arts. www.alreadymade.org is a great source for some of the best women shooting right now, I urge creative directors to give it a look if they want to diversify their photographers.
❏ What one piece of advice would you give to a younger version of yourself about the road ahead?
Stop second guessing yourself. You are talented and you don’t have to apologize for getting the job.
❏ Why have you chosen Foto Care as part of your support structure?
I’ve used Fotocare for several years now. The equipment is in great shape and I usually call panicked with a job in 24/12 or even 2 hours away and things get handled fast and efficiently.
To see more of Karolina's work visit her website: www.karolinawojtasik.com