ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Unveiling the Partnership
When love and creativity converge: Chris and Maria’s journey.
When people encounter MKSlowinski Photography, the initial impression often centers around a single individual, but as we delve deeper, we discover the talented partnership of Chris and Maria. This beautiful collaboration not only unites you in marriage but also in creativity. Chris, could you share with us how this extension of your marriage became intertwined with your creative endeavors? Did your collaboration with Maria begin before your marriage, or was it something that naturally evolved along the way?
MKSLOWINSKI – Photography: A Union Beyond Borders
From chance encounters to creative coexistence.
We actually met thanks to photography. My uncle had a passport photo and film developing shop, and this is where I met Maria. She was working there part-time, and we became friends. A few years forward, we lived together in Ireland. Things weren’t easy at the time, being away from our families, missing their support, being entirely on our own at a very young age in our early 20s. We started with newborn photography. This kind was nonexistent in Ireland back then, so the entire market was just for us. That’s what we thought…
MKSLOWINSKI – Weathering Challenges and Finding Success
The golden moment that turned the tide.
Here’s something for everyone who feels down, especially at the beginning of their career. We were close to closing down and giving up. We even said it to one lady that we don’t do photoshoots anymore and we are going to sell everything, but she was persistent. And we booked her in, not knowing she was the “Golden Client.” After her photoshoot, our little business started to thrive! Thanks to her, we managed to create the market, and we were very popular in the south of Ireland…
MKSLOWINSKI – Evolving Through the Lens
Shifting focus, divided responsibilities, and creative harmony.
Then we got to evolve, shifting away from newborn photography into portraits in recent years. It’s been great working together. We share all the happiness and fun, but also all the disappointments and those moments of failure. So there’s no one home to cheer you up. Luckily, that rarely happens. We developed clearly divided responsibilities based on our skills. I’m responsible for all technicalities, starting from computer setting up, maintenance, setting up lighting in the studio. It’s also me who shoots. I often say, “I just click the button here,” and I admit it’s been a pleasure to have the model styled and everything prepared by Maria…
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Conjuring Creativity as a Couple
Marriage, parenting, and the photographic evolution.
How has working together as a married couple influenced your photography style and the way you approach your creative projects?
MKSLOWINSKI – A Fusion of Love and Creativity
Syncing life stages with photography genres.
Well, we can’t separate from photography, work you could say. We talk about ideas all the time. Our photography friends are often not understood by their other half; we don’t have that problem. We found recently that we follow our son’s age with the type of photography we do. It’s funny, but when he was very little, we worked with very little babies, and as he got older, we were shifting towards older models. And now we work with teenagers mostly. Maybe because we have something to talk about with them, so we all feel comfortable? It’s certainly easier to share the workload. Maria handles all her stuff while I do mine, but the problem here is, we got so dependent on each other that if one of us gets sick, neither of us can do anything. You could say we are one!
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Crafting Distinctive Family Narratives
From newborns to fine art portraits: A creative journey.
Your specialization in family and child photography, particularly in the fine art style, is truly distinctive. It’s like a fusion of three genres in one captivating package. Could you share the journey that led you to this style of photography and shed light on the nuances of capturing family portraits in this fine art approach? Your work is undeniably exceptional, and I’m curious to learn more about its origins and the intricacies involved.
MKSLOWINSKI – A Creative Evolution
Transcending techniques from newborn to portrait photography.
We say it on all workshops; we transferred all the techniques used in newborn photography into portrait, of course with some tweaks, but Maria is still using resources that she did when we were at the very beginning. We still can’t believe that we got that far; we never even dared to dream. Our initial goal was being able to afford rent and bills. A lot more happened along the way, and we realized our priorities were all wrong. But we all dream about things we don’t have, don’t we? That’s the idea of a dream. We know now money isn’t important! Of course, we all need it, but the number one is just having fun and to enjoy life, to do just the things we really love, and money is just a “byproduct.” It’s no longer a goal. If you do something from the bottom of your heart, it shows. I also believe we can’t be limited by our equipment, so we upgrade from time to time. I mentioned before Maria must have perfectly focused shots on the eyes…
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Maria: Mastering the Art of Creativity
Behind the scenes of creativity: Maria’s meticulous touch.
Maria, when we had a chat with Chris, he was quite modest, playfully referring to himself as the “button clicker” and giving you the spotlight for your incredible attention to detail and set design. Your photographs clearly reflect your meticulous approach. So, let’s keep this conversation fun and relaxed – can you tell us how you and your clients collaborate on the creative aspects? Do they often let you take the reins with your creative ideas, or do they like to be more hands-on, picking outfits and set designs? How does this dynamic play out in your photography business, and what kind of creative adventures have you had with your clients?
MKSLOWINSKI – Creative Adventures Unleashed
Spontaneity, creativity, and trusting the process.
Oh! Each photoshoot or workshop with Maria is an adventure. No one knows what we are going to get. It’s an amazing creative process. She always spends a lot of time preparing the style and outfits, but a lot depends on the model’s “vibe.” Maria can sense that some things would work better than others, and she can change everything last minute, and it just works! Luckily, our clients trust us 100%, and they may ask for something particular, but we are free to do whatever we want most times. The good thing is we always want something new, something we haven’t done yet. It’s like a collection; we are all collectors and creators of beautiful images. It happens sometimes that teenagers come in with parents and say okay, but please don’t ask me to put on those old dresses…
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – A Canvas of Earthy Hues
The magic of color: Crafting a signature look.
The palette and tone style in many of your works have a distinct earthy, warm feel with subtle hints of blue. It’s almost like a signature look for your photography. Could you share how you developed this unique palette and what inspires you to use these specific colors in your photographs?
MKSLOWINSKI – A Cinematic Influence
From the big screen to your lens: Cinematic inspirations.
Apart from the color wheel and color theory, there was a movie we watched, and this color theme just sank into us. It’s “Gretel and Hansel” from 2020, a must-watch. We watch a lot of movies; they are full of inspiration!
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Crafting Dreams with a Soft Touch
Soft, dreamy, and delectable: The art of editing.
It would be almost criminal to not talk about the editing style; your pictures are so soft, dreamy, and so candy-like, almost like you could taste them just by looking! Can you elaborate and talk more on this amazing edit that is unique to you?
MKSLOWINSKI – The Art of Hand Edits
I’d wish she had an action or a preset; she would be more present downstairs, but it’s a lot of hand edits. For color, she’s using the Exposure plugin, and she works a lot using color balance and selective color with great attention to detail. Photos shared on social media are far from showing the level of detail she goes into. We have upgraded our camera to 61Mpx, so she gets even more details that she can work on.
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – The Harmony of Marriage and Business
Making marriage and business harmonize.
A lot of couples would love to work together, but it seems like an impossible feat, but here you are making marriage so beautiful and also a business. For couples that want to do something like you, tell us the secret!
MKSLOWINSKI – A Recipe for Harmony
Balancing life, love, and business.
There’s a simple recipe; we all must understand we only have one life and a limited amount of time. Its quality depends on us and the relationships we build or destroy. Some choose to live in stress and arguments; we don’t. Time is the most precious thing we have; why waste it? It’s the only thing no one can give you back. We never go to sleep without a kiss and goodnight. Lockdown was nothing unusual for us. We are also good friends, having a good laugh every day.
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Reflecting on Business Growth
From dreams to reality: Navigating the growth journey.
On a business level, what are some key ways that you have been able to grow as a business, and if you could go back, is there anything you would do differently?
MKSLOWINSKI – Embracing the Journey
Embracing the journey and staying true to oneself.
No, we wouldn’t change anything. There are many opportunities we missed, but we never wanted to live a life for show, to impress anyone. There’s actually a great theory of happiness from A. Einstein. If anyone is not familiar, please google it; it’s only a few lines of text, and I believe it’s true!
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Embracing Technology and the Future
Navigating the landscape of A.I. and its implications.
Maria, my last question is for you. What do you think of the new A.I. trend of using prompt generators to create images, and do you think you would adopt it in your editing in the nearest future?
MKSLOWINSKI – Navigating the A.I. Landscape
Balancing innovation and caution in the age of A.I.
Yes, we say, don’t be like Kodak who was once a big name, and one day a digital camera inventor came to their office to present his invention, and they weren’t interested. Now they are gone. So I believe we must be familiar with all new technologies and get the most out of it. On the other hand, we fear A.I. in general and its further unregulated development. Of course, it may come up with new medicines and be a life-saver for many, but history proved that “good inventions” are often the opposite. Just think about social media, for example, that is antisocial.
ARTISTIC VIGILANTE – Parting Wisdom for Aspiring Photographers
Chris’s words of wisdom for budding photographers.
Chris, as we wrap up, we’d love to hear your advice for aspiring photographers, especially those in Europe, considering the vibrant photography scene. What guidance or tips would you offer to those looking to turn their passion for photography into a career, especially in a country like Poland?
MKSLOWINSKI – Embracing the Passion
Passion as the driving force.
Poland is an amazing country when it comes to creative jobs or central/eastern Europe in general, with many fabulous names presenting different and unique styles. You will find nostalgia, sadness, mystery more often than smiles and happiness. It may be something to do with post-communism in eastern countries. My suggestion is: don’t be a businessman; don’t focus on money. We do many photoshoots just for fun, where you can steer your portfolio the way you want it, plan, choose a model you want, just do what you want. There’s a saying, “you attract what you show,” so doing what you like will attract clients interested in this. That way, you’re doing what you love without even realizing that you work, and that’s the point of it!
Don’t get discouraged.