Meet The Collective: Fashion Photographer Weronika Kosińska On Finding Your Visual Style
By Ellen Clipson - 4 min read
We speak to professional photographer and videographer Weronika Kosińska about what it takes to shoot for major fashion and beauty brands. She tells us how she's developed her unique visual style and her advice for better collaboration between brands and aspiring creatives.
Based in Warsaw, Weronika Kosińska seeks to create beautiful and tender visual stories that reflect her personal perspective of the world.
No matter what the shoot, her philosophy is simple: “shoot what you love”. It’s this commitment to the creative process that allows Weronika to seamlessly combine a certain raw authenticity with luxury aesthetics. Catching the attention of the fashion and beauty industry’s biggest names including Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Clarins, Estée Lauder, and Loreal.
We speak to Weronika to find out what it takes to develop such a strong visual style and why it’s so important for brands to trust their creative talent when on-set.
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Fashion And Beauty Photography: How To Find Your Creative Direction
If you had to describe your portfolio in three words, which ones would you use?
Tender, feminine, and soft.
What inspires you to shoot?
There really is no pattern when it comes to what inspires me. Sometimes inspiration can come from music, a movie, a book, or something that I see on the street. Or it can be something more subtle like a particular color, pattern, or a glimpse of light. Inspiration can appear anytime and so the most important thing to me is that I am mindful of it.
LA FEMME DE NULLE, VOGUE UKRAINE
You’ve worked with major fashion magazines and beauty brands. How have you refined your skills and approach during your creative career?
At the beginning of my career I had the great pleasure of regularly reviewing my work with photographer Ryszard Horowitz, who assisted Richard Avedon. I remember his attentive eye and wonderful remarks which made me look at things differently. He would ask me questions like: Why did I take this particular photo? Why did I choose this model, light, or makeup? I believe this was the perfect way to teach me how to be more mindful about my photographs.
He also taught me that the best way to master photography was to simply take photos as often and with as much passion as possible. So I guess that sums it up–I was just taking photos, without forgetting about the importance of passion. The rest came naturally and with time (as well as a lot of emotional pain which I see as a par to being sensitive.)
UNDER YOUR SKIN, LOUNGE MAGAZINE
UNDER YOUR SKIN, LOUNGE MAGAZINE
When it comes to commercial work, how do you prepare for a shoot?
I think carefully about the marketing aspects of the shoot focusing on specific details like lighting. I try to have a solid plan, but spontaneity and creativity are always crucial for me. It’s the combination of all three elements that create the most powerful and authentic shots.
How does this process differ from your personal shoots or projects?
As for my personal projects, I have a general idea in my head and suggestions for my team which is made up of a makeup artist, stylist, and models. The rest is pure improvisation. I simply shoot what I want to see, letting the child within me play and have fun.
AWAKENING, LOFFICIEL BALTICS
When it comes to creative direction, what are the biggest differences you see between your commissioned work for brands and magazines compared to your personal work?
Each individual shoot, product, campaign, and team is different. However, no matter what, I always try to capture emotions and tell a story. With this in mind, the biggest difference between commercial and non-commissioned work is that I will make less compromises with my personal photographs. What I love the most is when clients trust their creative talent.
PHOTOSENSITIVES, ANNA CIEŚLAK, ACTRESS
Your visual style has an almost tangible softness to it, yet never it lacks visual clarity and striking compositions. Can you tell us more about this?
My way of looking at photography and creating is quite simple–I just shoot what I love. In this sense, my personal visual style reflects the way that I perceive the world, which parts I cherish most, and what I want to hold onto. It makes me happy to think that my images have a certain softness to them.
PAESE COSMETICS, LIP YEAR CAMPAIGN
MIASTO KOBIET MAGAZINE
ALL MINIMAL, HARPERS BAZAAR UKRAINE
Fashion photography can feel like an intimidating industry to get into as a creative. What’s your best piece of advice for anyone starting out in the industry or looking to make that career switch?
It’s important to work on your mindset and interpersonal skills. Being sensitive in the modern world is a challenge and we need tools to manage it. Occasionally I teach fashion and beauty courses at the Academy of Photography in Warsaw. My professional advice has always been to be kind–both to yourself and others. Kindness can go a long way and your approach can change everything in the most unexpected ways.
Speaking of approach, it’s also important to find what is ‘yours’ in photography. Once you know your visual style and your passion, your work will always be real.
KRYSTIAN SZYMCZAK, BREATH COLLECTION
We recently released our International Women’s Day Color Catalog which explores the diversity of the ‘female identity.’ You’ve mentioned that you especially love shooting female portraits. What is it that attracts you to female portraiture?
Women are enormously beautiful creatures! What I love most about photographing women is that they are fragile yet so strong and powerful at the same time.
It’s clear that we’ve got a long way to go before inclusivity and positive representation is achieved for women. How can brands and major companies contribute to change?
Just yesterday I shot a beautiful campaign for a Polish cosmetic brand. Together with the amazing team we created photos that visualized the spirit ‘LOVE IS LOVE.’ I would love to see more bold and open advertising that will ultimately connect us more than divide us.
Download the International Women’s Day Color Catalog for free to explore creative perspectives on female idenity through color and amazing photography
FALLING AT HER FEET, K MAG
How has your creative work been impacted by COVID-19 and how have you found ways to adapt to keep shooting?
In March 2020 all my shoots got cancelled and I was without a job for two months. However, I knew that I was lucky to be in a position to take that time off and I worked hard to make the best of it. I began working again in May and I’m so grateful that I’ve been able to work on projects since.
Like so many others, I have still had to find ways to adapt. Travel disruptions and daily restrictions have changed the way that I approach jobs. To ensure that I could keep producing creative work, I take daily care to ensure that my perspective remains calm, tender, and as kind as possible. I believe it’s my perspective that can create my reality.
So, what’s next for you in 2021? Any projects you’re excited to start or be a part of?
This has been a good year so far and I trust it will stay this way. I’m very excited to shoot my upcoming personal projects. There is one very special project I’m working on with two friends, Agata and Iza, that are professional actresses. It’s intimate and close to my heart. I can’t share more now, but stay tuned for November this year!
FEATHERS ON MY BREATH, LATEST MAGAZINE
Want to see more of Weronikas’s work? Follow them along on Instagram to see their upcoming projects!
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