Gabriela Gruszka: would like to be able to learn from the best photographers
Gabriela, can you tell us about yourself, please. Where do you live now and where are you from? How did you discover photography and what motivated you to get started?
It is really hard to say. I was born in Gliwice (Poland). This is the place where I still keep most of my belongings, the place where I come back after a trip. I would rather say that the road is my home. I travel between different countries when a job or project is calling me. Even now, I am sitting at the airport in Rimini.
I was discovering photography when I was a kid. I could see my grandfather, my uncles and my dad doing reports during family ceremonies and trips. I got my first camera (Fujifilm Zoom 76s) when I was 9 years old. I remember when I had got my first film developed and I showed it to my grandfather. Pictures of flowers and plants from his garden were his favorites. He made me feel proud of myself and he created a desire in me to explore this universe much more. This is how it started. While I was taking photos during my school trips, and work at camps I felt over my ears and I decided to start my education. The years still have been passing on, but my grandfather's support at the beginning of my photographic journey is motivating me to be better.
What's the best part of being a photographer? What do you love the most about your job?
The best part of being a photographer is meeting new people. The possibility of creating something together. Every day brings you something new, something unexpected. There is no routine. You have a spirit of freedom and constant inspiration instead. Photography is a powerful tool that I can also use to talk about important issues. I consider it beautiful.
How would you describe your photographic vision?
My photography vision...it is better to ask recipients of my photography. Anyways, I would say it is colorful and dynamic.
What are the most important lessons you have learned about photography so far?
First of all, photography is a process. Most of it happens in a photographer’s mind, much before taking a camera into their hands. You have to know “why?” you make those specific choices - why this theme, why this place, why you should press the shutter button now.
Secondly - be always ready. Thirdly - a competent team where everyone can bring creative space to express her/himself is the key to a successful session.
How do you connect with your models? Do they tend to be people you know or strangers?
I used to work with my friends. Most of them are connected with art. They are dancers, musicians, and painters. Due to this fact they can easily catch my crazy ideas. Being open-minded to new experiences is an additional advantage of such cooperation. However, for the last six months, I've been working with strangers who have much more modeling experience. In both situations, it is very important to me to create a positive atmosphere on set and to allow models to be themself. I think people look best in photos when they are natural in the
way they pose.
Are you the sort of photographer who plans for every minuscule detail or are you more spontaneous with your creations? Where do you find the majority of your inspiration?
I am in the process of learning to plan as much as possible. The creation part is very important for me, nevertheless I leave some space for spontaneous actions and changes. Often this space gives a breath of freshness.
It is hard to point to a specific source of inspiration. Usually, these are conversations, often unrelated to photography, as well as single words, observation of nature, travels, works of outstanding artists, etc. I have wide interests, I am trying a lot of different things. When you add my education in cognitive science and biology to this list, you can better understand that all of that helps me find inspiration in little things.
How do you keep yourself motivated and your photography fresh?
“The more I know, the more I realize I know nothing.” Nobody teaches us how to live or how to find a destiny. I have taken myself on a trip to explore the opportunities that life gives to us. Trying new things, working and traveling through different countries, and
meeting new people and their cultures help me to cultivate curiosity and an inner child and as a result, it motivates me to be a better version of myself also as a photographer.
What's going through your mind when you are on set behind the camera?
Just the set exists then. My mind is mainly focused on the model, lighting, the whole creation and I want to capture a scene as beautiful as it is in my eyes. When it happens and everything is as it should, my heart is overwhelmed with joy.
How would you define "beauty"? What does it mean to you?
My definition of beauty says that it is a specific fusion of dependencies between shapes, figures, colors, individuality, symmetry, and its absence which makes you stop your eyesight. When you remain positively indifferent to the object you observe, regardless of whether it is a model, element of nature or material object. It can evoke a sense of harmony in a spectator of “beauty”.
What are your future plans/goals for the next couple of years?
I will probably not be original in my answer, but due to the fact that I would like photography to become my way of life, I would like to develop my photography skills and knowledge, create my own, recognizable style and enjoy each subsequent session as if it were the first. I would like to be able to learn from the best photographers and carry out important projects. Naturally, some of the plans are more specific, but for now I prefer to not say them out loud and enjoy the slow process of achieving them.
Where can our readers keep up with your work and get connected with you?
For now, you can get connected with me on Instagram. @lece.pa is my photography and travel account. Unfortunately, my website is not ready yet. It is one of the plans to create it. I should mention it in a previous question as well.
Assistant: Natalia Krata @nkrata
Model: Marta Kożuchowska @o_oezu22 Photographer: Gabriela Gruszka @lece.pa Stylist Assistant: Weronika Gruszka @werian
Wardrobe Stylist: Rozalia Chromińska @hefalumpa Accessory Designer: Maja Woźniak @soutacheriajewelry Hair Stylist: Aleksandra Kozłowska @makeup.fryzury.kolor
Makeup Artist: Kornelia Witkowska @nelawitkowska.makeup
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