For the love of photography - we talk to Gosia Stępień.
Gosia Stępień and Maciej Służenko - privately partners, professionally photographers and owners of the Mint Light Studio photo studio. During the photo session, each of them sees something different and it is beautiful, they complement each other. By entering their studio, you have the impression that they are old friends who take care of you without words.
We met Gosia quite spontaneously in a small cafe in Wroclaw located in one of the streets of the Old Town of Wrocław. With a glass of wine and vegan starters. We talked about the passion of life, values, people, and about the fact that dreams must be fulfilled, and from the skirmishes of life to take valuable lessons for yourself. The conversation was endless. Gosia is a real talkative. The hour's interview got a few hours - we finished after midnight. Gosia - the soul of the company, a volcano of positive energy. He draws the best from life, loves life and people and it can be felt in every word. He tries to see only the best moments. He values openness, honesty and honesty in relationships, but he can also admit his mistake. Persistent, he strives for his goal, but always with full love for the surrounding team he works with. An idealist who inspires, impresses, sets directions. Everything she does must be in harmony with her, with what she loves, in what she believes. She loves people, wine and travel, photography is not only her passion, but all his life.
Why photography? Has she always been something you wanted to do?
Małgosia: I always ran with the camera, when I went on school trips, my friends brought one cliché, and I brought them 13. My mother at that time gave a property to develop photos. Photography has always been my dream. When my younger son went to kindergarten, I started looking for a job (I am after economic studies (laughs) I got a job offer from the retail chain for PLN 920 at goods store (laughs).
I went to the Labor Office with the idea of obtaining funding for my own photo studio - so shyly. The lady in the office was delighted with the idea, because at the present time the reports were mainly from the Beauty industry, and here something completely different appeared. I submitted the business plan on Monday at 7 am. I wrote totally from the heart - that it was my dream since childhood - the letter was very emotional. And at 8.20 I got a positive answer - great joy!
And that's how it started. I came across niches because There were really few photographers in Polkowice in Poland. I had no side, no advertising, there was no social media, only blog that He positioned himself automatically. And it got great - living in Polkowice I had 90% of customers from Wrocław (smile).
If not photography, then ...?
Małgosia: When it comes to studies, maybe journalism - I'm a total talk (laughs). But I went towards finance and it was a mistake. Studying finances I knew that this was not my world, but I lacked courage to give up and I got to the end. I have a master's degree in finance, and I have never worked an hour in this profession.
If not a photo, I would have a travel agency. I love traveling, spontaneity. I am an organizing soul, I like to plan, visit hidden corners. I am such a restless soul, I will not sit still ... Sometimes you have to stop me.
Tell about your 2 projects: Mint Kids / Mint Light Studio.
Małgosia: I started with family, pregnancy, children's photography and at some point I wanted to influence from beginning to end what these sessions look like. I started ordering clothes, styling children and it developed great - I had every detail planned. As I wanted. I had an impact on everything - not only on a photo session, but on the whole scenery, styling.
And together with my Maciek we created the Mint Kids children's models agency.
We have been stationed in our Mint Light Studio studio in Wrocław for over 3 years, and for two we have been renting this space for other photographers, filmmakers, infleensers and bloggers. The studio became a meeting place for creative people. Many interesting projects were created here, even a music video for the Miuosha clip. My friend Hubert once said: studio studio, but create a place where people will want to come to you, where the atmosphere, good coffee and a warm word. And we succeeded. It is similar in sessions, I care about the atmosphere and those who return regularly are people who return not only to photos - they also come back to us, to people.
Working with adults or work with children?
Małgosia: Until January last year I worked mainly with families, I have been photographing women for almost 2 years. Female photography gives me incredible internal satisfaction. We live in the time of the race, we forget about ourselves, we have a lot of complexes. The session is this kind of autotherapy. There is a moment during the session, when the model stands ready for photos, in makeup, in styling and she says "how beautiful I am". It always moves, because how many times you meet a woman who will not only think about herself, but he will say it aloud with her strangers? Such a session is ready for me, full, I already know that these will be good photos. It is absolutely magical, how women can open up while taking pictures and it gives such satisfaction, good energy.
I have also been photographing fashion for 1.5 years, I create lookbooks for brands, editorials, advertising sessions. I feel that this is very mine and I would like to stay here. Of course, development always, but style, nature of work is developed.
Would you say you have a specific style / color?
Małgosia: I focus on naturalness, simplicity. It characterizes me. 100% I hear that my photos are so natural and that's what I mean. If I do a session to the warehouse, I can go crazy with processing, but family photos must be natural, timeless. When you pull them out of the drawer in 30 years, they must still be valid. And I would like to stay here. Simplicity always wins and will always be on time. And when the customer asks me about a stylized pregnancy session, I answer without an irritation that I don't, I don't. I do not have tulle frilling dresses and fairy -tale scenes are not my atmosphere. I try to educate that this natural lifestyle photography is the timeless and I can invite it to such photos.
What is your favorite project you have worked on in your career so far?
Małgosia: Each subsequent project draws me so much that it becomes the most important. I am very happy that our children from the Mint Kids agency are showcase of the most recognizable clothing brands. We see them on billboards, shop windows in shopping malls. What's more, many of these photos were created in our studio and we were their originators and performers.
I can't say I have one favorite. I approach each session emotionally. To make the session natural, mutual flow and trust are needed. I love people very much, I love talking to them, in a job like mine helps a lot. There are sessions that we also do with Maciek and this is great, because each of us has a different view. Maciek is from technical matters, I am from emotions. That is why it happens that I sail on a wave, because a given scene will delight me and Maciek is the one who controls the parameters. And you can hear "Gosia - watch the times", "wait" and I am well Maciek "(laughs). We like to work together. We complement each other and it is beautiful. Each of us brings a different value. With joint sessions, Maciej makes a selection of photos - I suffer when deleting photos with history, even imperfect ones.
Where are you looking for inspiration? Do you have any specific sources, people/places that inspire you?
Małgosia: From warehouses, from movies, books, paintings, from everywhere, even from dreams.
I am inspired by people, their emotions and behavior. I sometimes get somebody on the street and throw a compliment to him "but you have amazing freckles."
Maciek laughs at me that I can't go through the city in peace (laughs).
Małgosia: I often visualize, affirm, think, dream and fulfill.
I would like to make lookbooks abroad. Go more into fashion. A few months ago I would say that I would like to do workshops and I am asking after the first workshops, and in the fall I am planning the next edition. I have a permanent team with which I understand without words and I set common goals for us.
What photographers do you admire and why?
Małgosia: Peter Lindbergh, Annie Leibovitz, Richard Avedon, in Poland Marta Wojtal.
Simplicity and classic.
Tell us about the colors in your bedroom.
Małgosia: My bedroom is earth colors. It's minimalism, wood, gray, beige. I feel the best in such an interior. And necessarily linen bedding, especially in summer.