Portrait in the studio. Henryk Ross.

baby portrait and lifestyle  photography by anna nowakowska-

Henryk Ross is a well known World War II documentary photographer that was working under the pressure of Nazis in Lodz Poland. His work was well regarded as a social portrait of a Jewish in Lodz’s ghetto community during the occupation.
He was able to document an every day life in Ghetto and then he buried every negative and print under the tree in 1944. Thousands of prints were discovered after War giving priceless testimony to the facts of life we don’t know about.
Those pictures of a high graphic quality complete the poor visual memory we have of the daily life of jews in Poland during the nazi occupation. Criss Booth VU L’agence.

I saw a passport portrait of Henryk Ross’s recently and he was smiling on that picture. I wanted to recreate this look as a tribute to this documentary photography master.

henryk ross                     Henryk Ross, Kissing couple, Lodz 1940-44

More here: http://www.foto8.com/reviews/V3N3/lodz.html

and here my recent photography passion – newborn photography

Studio portraiture.


Who said that the studio portrait photography has to be always conventional and beautiful?Nobody indeed. How to for example capture a hipster that is your own tutor a the the same time and is very strict but on a verge of bursting with laughter, bursting like a pink bubble. What I really like about photography is that you can do whatever you want and take inspiration from whatever you need to. this grotesque portrait and naughty wink came naturally as a rather great sense of humor than religious inspiration. There was a small problem with the halo though. we had to cut it as a perfect circle fro ma paper mache that’s been leftover form an exhibition and mount it to the beauty dish that’s been firing form the back of the subject. Maybe because we had Edward Sharpe’s Man on Fire on mind?

Eyes in portrait photography.

family portrait and lifestyle  photography by anna nowakowska (1 of 1)

This is a portrait of my father. I took it last year in his apartment. The light comes from both sides. North and South. I had in my mind the idea of what I wanted before. It is very important ( she says) to have a plan before starting to shoot. Mine was to expose the dark and watery eyes. It comes quite naturally regarding the fact that eyes are always the main focus in portrait photography. I never liked the decor and space of my parents home. But somehow our parents do stay there. And we come to visit. And what we see all of sudden is so different when you are coming back there as a photographer than what you saw as a child. Overgrown child who is a photographer sees a inhabitants of certain place rather than parents. The worlds are colliding. Nevertheless family is the first modelling crowd and your first censors, going back to photograph them and nag about taking portraits is very important adventure and start for every photographer. All the mums and sisters moaning and stiffness and exaggerating… when you brake it-you will make it. They are just people that you photograph. Like all those on the streets or studio. But it is easier when you have one thing significant in focus. And eyes tells a lot of the whole psychological story about every human being. My fathers eyes are a history themselves. Not to mention the ones that he has to say…

A picture of a human face.

family portrait photography by anna nowakowska (1 of 1)-2

Portraits of people on the street – what to look for.

Watch your angle..Bend your knees if necessary. Or shoot from above.
I often hear that the best chance for finding an interesting face is on a busy street in a big city and
Best suited for such a project will be prime lens with large maximum aperture, which allows a nice background blur. That is true. But I have taken this portrait in a completely ruined small and disgusting shed far away from busy Dublin City Centre. I just asked this man to pose for me and he agreed.( Lucky me!) I found this shed few days back and was amazed by the fact that the light comes from above from the part of ceiling that suppoposed to be there, but wasn’t existing anymore. I had a Julia Cameron like studio just for myself! With that small difference that she was an elite female photographer. And I am just..: female photographer.
Watch out for the ugly shadows on the face of the model. If possible, use the shade or photograph on cloudy days.
Do not be shy when approaching people. At the beginning is always the hardest. But it pays off.

What makes a good portrait Vol”

portrait and family photography, by Anna Nowakowska

photographers talk too much about the equipment. I always say thought that a good portrait photographer must be a people person , can’t be distant, Robert Capa always said that if your photograph is not good enough you are not close enough, and therefore the subject at no time may feel exploited. Of course, it almost always interferes with someone’s life, because it is not natural that we approach someone and say that we want to take a picture of them.

It is a bit like in a relationship, you must be honest and the whole situation must be clear from the beginning. When no one feels discomfort when we do not do anything by force, portrait will be brilliant.
Taking portraits of people is a bit like selling a product, we always have to start from such a psychological approach and tame the client a bit. It does not matter if we’re doing a tattooed guy or dad who is walking along with his child. Both are in the moment of privacy, which we will enter, but doing so we are still happy. There is one beauty about being a portraitist: we intrude but never want to hurt anybody, we’re not the paparazzi.

What makes a good portrait?

portrait photography by anna nowakowska

We have good lenses,great cameras, tutorials, books, affordable courses so why these portraits that we do still aren’t perfect?
Each portraiture photographer will tell you that the equipment is really limiting you instsead of giving more possibilities. In portrait photography, which I do, very important is the psychological aspect , and a device that stands between you and the person portrayed, does not facilitate the task( quite often) This causes some discomfort, especially for the person photographed and IT IS VISIBLE on the photo.. Of course, you can shoot as a surprise or without the knowledge of the model, is also kind of portrait photography , but honestly: a good portrait taken as surprise doesn’t happen too often. For me, this direct contact with people is the most important.Know your model, know your camera and environment. Make a plan. But most importantly get in touch.Start dialogue. Engage.

Be careful in the selection of equipment, so that there is not too much, so that we can focus on the subject. Pointing huge camera right in front with a long lens and targeting the person who may have any doubt as to whether he wants to be photographed – it certainly does help.

How, then, to persuade our subject, how to start a successful relationship?
You need to start with a simple interpersonal communication, to convince him to her, because it is the most important in photography especially portraiture. Later ask for the opportunity to take picture. I know from experience that people almost always do agree, rarely someone rejects me.

It is also good to think about “before”, what we want to do what we want from this person that this portrait is to be. Let us remember that a good picture consists of several components, only the appropriate link puts together and ensures a successful image. Therefore, it is important to select the right model and an appropriate setting.

find more on kids photography

Family portrait. Studio.

The art of portrait has a very broad history dating back to ancient times. Through several thousand years in sculpture and painting portrait has been restored to perfection. However, the most popular it has become with the spread of photographic art. Currently photographic portraits encounter almost everywhere: in old publications, in family albums,personal documents, internet, […]