Waldemar Brzezinski is a freelance photographing living in Berlin, Germany. He focuses into portrait, still life and interior photography. In his free time, he loves taking photos of stranger’s portraits using his Pentax 67ii film camera.
– What is the biggest challenge when taking portrait shots?
The biggest challenge for me is to have the portrait shot taken the way I see the person.
I want my shots to be about how I see people, not who the person wants to be seen as.
– How difficult is it to approach a stranger in the street and ask him to take a picture of his/her portrait? Do you remember the first photo you have taken that way?
At my age, it’s not difficult. If I see a person I want to take his or her photo, I just ask. But you have to expect that people will say no, which is totally ok with me.
I cannot remember when it was when I asked the first person, but I do remember, being younger, it was much harder.
– You also took photos of famous people like Wim Wenders. How is it really to photograph someone famous?
There is no difference actually. The famous people that I met were nice and easy-going. If you treat them as a common person, they will act normal.
– There are some people you photograph regularly. These must be the most comfortable people to work with, correct?
I photograph very often my girlfriend, who is my muse. I really enjoy it because I do not have to explain what I’m doing and why I’m doing it.
– I’ve noticed that in many of your photos you are beautifully taking advantage of lighting. Does photographing people help you improve that technique?
I learned photography in a 3 year vocational training back in 1997-2000 and took a lot of pictures since then. . Through interior and architecture I have learned how to use the light and then I applied the techniques to portrait photography.
– I have noticed a minimal and clean approach and a very careful composition. This is clearly not something random, but a developed technique. How long did it take you to find your own style and technique?
I do not know exactly. I keep photographing the things that I like and this did not change through the years. But I have learned to be more focused.
When I take a look at my photo archive and go through the pictures I took 15 years ago, I can see that I kept my style but there are some bad pictures mostly because I was not sure about what I was exactly looking for.
– Do you photograph exclusively analog?
When I do freelance work, I use digital photography. But my personal work is all analog photography.
– What is the camera that is always with you and also, what is your favorite film?
I always carry with me my Pentax 67ii. I have no preference for a film, I just buy the cheapest available (laughs).
– Are there any particular photographers who inspire your work?
I like the work of many photographers and William Eggleston, Martin Parr, Mary Ellen Mark and Diane Arbus are among them. My truly favorites are William Eggleston and Diane Arbus.
– How does your freelance work affect your personal projects?
My work does not affect my personal work that much. But sometimes during freelance work, I meet nice people that I portrait later for my personal photography.