See The Fashion World Through The Lens Of Lypsky
We had the chance to sit down and pick the brain of fashion photographer, Paulina 'Lypsky' Lipińska. We learned a lot about her creative process and what inspires her through various photo shoots. Paulina was kind enough to share with us a little career advice for those looking to enter the visual arts industry and what we can expect to see from her in the coming months. Check out her full interview below!
Occupation: Fashion Photographer
Location: Warsaw, Poland
NKC: Growing up, where did you look for inspiration? Who or what inspires you now?
PL (Paulina Lipińska): While growing up I always had a book with me, mostly fantasy or science-fiction. I think this had a huge impact on me back then as I wanted to be a writer, photography appeared later in my life. First idea was always about the book, writing fiction and creating worlds, manipulating my heroes and challenging them into fights. Authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, Susanna Clarke and fantastic Polish writers such as M.L. Kossakowska or A. Sapkowski were my inspiration. Their visions were painted in my mind after reading books and short novels written by them. Right now I still have an immense sentiment for my favorite characters, their way of dealing with life on paper pages, especially king of sarcasm - Witcher.
I guess not much have changed since then because these authors still inspire me. It's a proof that man can create something utterly irresistible, I'm coming back to these books again and again after more than ten years, still fascinated by some tiny details I haven't noticed before. Although my list of things and people that inspire my is always growing, mostly within fashion world now. Names I just had to add to it are Alexander McQueen for his absolute desire to link impossible with obvious, Rei Kawakubo for challenging minimalism in most unexpected way, Mario Testino for simply being great and Benjamin Kaufmann for expressing simplicity in most extravagant way. I could go like this for few pages, but these are first names that came to my mind.
NKC: When was the moment you realized your craft was more than just a hobby?
PL: Actually, I'm not sure when it became obvious to me. I guess it was the moment when I applied for photography school that I decided to do something different, something for myself. It wasn't final step towards building up a career, it was more like developing my skills just for myself, to be better. After a year or so of taking photos and polishing - my back then poor skills, I got my first job as a photographer - and that was it, my lacking ingredient to build my self-esteem and take life into my own hands - be a photographer.
NKC: What advice would you give to girls who want to do your job? (or at least want to start the process)
PL: Be extremely patient, learn from every failure - these are most valuable lessons. As it may sound like a cliche it is true, believe it or not. Invest in yourself, photography is not easy to start with. If you really want to build a career as a photographer, you have to sacrifice a lot, mostly time and assests. There are a lot of amazing artists but only few of them can make it to the big fashion world so push your luck as hard as you can.
NKC: If there was one fashion house you could work with who would it be and why?
PL: That is truly and horribly tough question ! There are so many exquisite fashion houses that choosing one is nearly impossible. Some time ago I would say 'Prada, of course!' but now, I'll go with Burberry. It's simple, classic and I would wear it straight from the runway.
NKC: Anything we should look forward to in your upcoming working?
PL: Och yes, I've been working on many projects lately and one of them will be launched in two weeks - lookbook for a new brand for women. I also did few amazing editorials with my superb team and now cannot wait to show it to everyone ! But, unfortunately, I have to patiently wait for a magazine to come out before I can publish it on my Instagram. But, time is running so soon it will all be out !
NKC: What is one closet item that you feel is absolutely necessary?
PL: Black shirt, obviously. Elegant and sporty at the same time, depending on the accessories. I have ten different black shirts, I'm addicted to buying them.
NKC: How do you brand yourself as a photographer?
PL: I would go with 'passionate amateur'. I have experience and knowledge but it's never enough, in this profession you always have to keep up with technical news, fresh tricks and fashion, of course. Everything in here changes really fast, only basics stay the same.
NKC: Recently for Nakid Magazine you directed a group campaign. Is there a different approach you use when working with multiple people at once?
PL: My approach during photoshoot is always the same - stay positive and hype up everyone in the studio. Atmosphere is very important when you meet with strangers and you are about to do something great. I try to be flexible, adjust myself to the needs of situation. Not every person wants to laugh or make jokes, few of them want classical music and a friendly chat. It's always a matter of being considerate, I'm not fond of artificial snobs nor nerve-wreckers.
NKC: Surviving in the fashion industry as a photographer no easy feat. How do you make it work?
PL: I honestly have no idea ;) I'm just doing what I truly like and try to be positive about the outcome. It's my team that pushes me forward and challenges me. We met by accident during photoshoot and just stayed together, coming up with crazy ideas for editorials and dreaming big. My biggest luck was that I found them in this crazy industry, extraordinary hairstylist Kamil and down-to-earth make up artist Anna. Also I treat this as an adventure, not an unpleasant obligation, this way you can have fun while working. Failures always leave a little scar and raise doubts about one's skills but it is not a reason to give up, just keep going.
NKC: If there was anyone in the world you could shoot with who would it be? Why?
PL: Definitely Lara Stone, perfect model for me. Her beauty is astonishing, amazingly proportional body and magnetic eyes - I need nothing more, just Lara and my camera.
NKC: Tell us about the meaning behind your 'On Time' campaign for Elegant Magazine. What inspired the experience you had?
PL: To be honest, it was all made on a whim. I called my friend and make up artist Anna and started babbling about how it would be fun to make something new, maybe shoot outside and prepare an autumn inspired editorial. And that's how it all began, we set the convenient date for us and I started looking for matching designers, buzzing with ideas. Two days before shooting Anna wrote to me about her colleague who is a hair stylist and wanted to do something fresh outside work so I was thrilled that the project is getting bigger. Turned out we get along so well that we teamed up - and work together ever since ;] I can say that this little idea of shooting with a model in natural light evolved into making a great team, my team.
NKC: Tell us a little known fact about yourself.
PL: Sometimes something can actually move my emotions a little bit. On daily basis, I am a stoic.
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