We bring you an interview with a Polish photographer and a FOMEI brand ambassador Karol Tomaszewski. Karol is the owner of one of the biggest Polish photo studios and a leader in advertising and portrait photography. This interview was published in the March issue of the Photo Video magazine.
Karol Tomaszewski is one of the major Polish advertisement and portrait photographers. He has done advertisement campaigns for companies such as Procter and Gambel, Nestle, Wilkinson, Castrol, Škoda Auto. He has opened a new elegant Vidoq photo studio recently where he photographs. The studio is available for rent too. Karol has also entered the field of film promotion and directed several TV advertisements.
How are you, Karol, how was your last year?
I was busy, it took me quite a long time to build up the new photo studio, this was a big challenge. At the same time, I was looking for people for a new creative team. I worked on a couple of photo campaigns, one of them was for our president. I did some TV adverts as well.
We couldn’t miss you have opened one of the biggest photo studios in Poland. What did you have to do to build it up? When I look around here, it is really outstanding…
This has been my third studio already. The first one was in my mother’s basement, it was 40m2. I built the second one by myself, it was 80m2, and I realized even this one was too small after a while. I found an old industrial assembly hall where they had put subway parts together. The reconstruction lasted 3 months. I had to fire 2 groups of workers and mafia came there twice. I finished the reconstruction, as usual, by myself.
The newest photo studio is 500m2 where 150m2 of the space is used by my creative team, the rest is the photo studio itself and a place for clients and agencies.
What are your plans with this photo studio and how can you maintain such a big place, and expensive for sure, so it keeps making money?
There are a lot of big photo studios, but I focused on elegance. For VIP clients, PR and advertising agencies, I have a special room with great equipment. We’re not cheap but we offer professional background and service. For example, we offer 14 types of coffee, table with a built-in TV and audio panel for music… something like a jukebox.
Photographers will definitely love our concrete cyclorama and more than 12 FOMEI studio flash heads.
And what about your photography, what are your plans?
That’s what I never know. We are supposed to do several photo campaigns but I can’t talk about it. I’d like to do a photo project just for myself. We will see if there is time. As I said, I have a big photo studio so I’d like to do a big scenography. I’m interested in films or stereography or technical experiments more and more.
What has been your most difficult photo project so far?
It might surprise you but my most difficult project was to build up my new photo studio. If you want to have such spectacular space, you constantly face the strangest problems. For example that cyclorama. I really wanted a concrete cyclorama, simply ideal and indestructible. I had to create special form so we could have this ideal curved arc.
How about you and analog photography?
If it’s for fun, it’s ok but I’m not sentimental. I once had a Nikon F90 and my first contracts were, of course, analogue photoshoots. But I really love digital photography. Mainly because it’s very easy to cooperate with clients and that’s crucial.
How do you relax?
I don’t have time for that. I like to learn, I love learning process itself. I read a lot of educational books about physics, chemistry and biology. When I look back, I can say that my own creative projects were my way of relaxing.
What photo equipment do you use?
I only use what I need to have the best results. This is the most important thing. I have a Nikon D810 for small studio photoshooting. I also have Canon 5Dmk3 for outdoor portraits. I often use PhaseOne IQ180 for big photo campaigns. There are14 FOMEI Pro X flash heads in my studio. It’s awesome because you can adjust the power of 1,200Ws, and it’s also useful in combination with a medium size camera. I really like the quality of these flash heads and I’m not afraid to rent them.
What would you recommend to the beginners?
Keep trying, trying, and once again – keep trying. Don’t read, don’t attend courses and workshops, and don’t spend time reading photo forums on the web. Just be in the photo studio, work, experiment, change and combine flash heads, try something new during photoshooting, check these new things, correct them, and try it again and again.
Rene directs the development of our studio lighting system product lines. He is also head of an SLS department in our company. His duty is to take care of the main customers and partners worldwide. He is a founder of FOMEI Ambassador and Photographers projects.