Przemek Strzelecki is a street and documentary photographer from Poland. A wonderful photographer who loves to be with his camera always and his incredible passion for art has led him to find more about Mongolia, scintillating silence, and indefinite spaces. His views on street photography are entirely different, he feels streets give him a huge boost of adrenaline. The moment he feels to press the shutter is when he feels his legs go soft, with increased pulse and pacing heartbeat.
This ingenious whole thing is what makes him crazy about this genre. For Przemek, the moment and spontaneity are the most significant traits for a photograph. Having said that, he tells us he hates to shoot holiday photographs with the usual elements and compositions. He loves to do most of his work in countries where innocence still prevails, where the people hasn’t lost their minds and time to money and the internet.
Finally, he tells us, whichever country you go, language should never be your problem since body language comes first with a gentle smile. When asked how he capture a photograph, he gives us a very simple and humble answer. “I never plan a photograph nor do I ask for a photograph, if it’s not a portrait, I carefully look around, sniff, keep searching, and then start listening to the street. At last, I make a stupid face just pretending as if I am innocent and just move on.”
Could you introduce yourself to our readers?
My name is Przemek. I was born in Poland in 1977 and I have been living here ever since. I am a fan of hats, good photos, films, and open spaces. I am in love with Mongolia, horses, forests, and rambling. I like beer, books, and photography, of course. You can usually see me with a camera in my hand.
How did Photography happen to you?
It started in my childhood – I can still remember my first Smiena camera which I still keep in a cupboard along with bird’s nests photos. Then, times of Russian Zenits came – from the oldest to the most modern models. About twelve years ago I obtained my dreamed Canon. I’ve tried everything: starting with macro photos and landscapes till nature photos. After that, one day, I discovered human as the main and most important theme in photography and I still stick on to that.
Could you please explain your style of photography?
It is what I call ‘humanistic photography. For me, it is a blend of street, reporting, and documentary photography. It often has a humorous element. Moreover, I love minimalism.
What makes you pursue this significant genre of art, how do you keep up your spirits for this incredible passion?
Curiosity and a childish will of knowing (even though I’m almost forty) are my two main engines leading me in my photographic pursuits. There are three components in making photos that I find most relevant: firstly, the moment of pressing the shutter button – always a thrill, secondly, developing photos – it was and still is magical for me, and lastly, scanning. I feed my curiosity and then forget about all those photos, the film gets stashed in the archives, I take the next one, put it in the camera and everything starts all over again. There is no end to it.
How do you see success in Art & Photography?
Every single photo which I am proud of – what doesn’t occur to me very often – is a major success. All the game of photography is a great experience and it is a bit intimate. My only dream is to issue an album about my ten years of travels to Mongolia. It would be my photographic fulfillment.
Has boredom ever struck you, if yes how do you get back to routine?
- Josef Koudelka
- Pentti Sammallahti
- Kim Thue
- Anders Petersen
- Tomasz Gudzowaty
- Alex Webb
- Jens Olof Lasthein
and many more…
The best compliment & criticism you have received so far?
I have been compared to a Czech artist Josef Koudelka a couple of times, which was a great compliment for me.
Well, once I was walking around Reyjkjavik on Iceland with my friend. Suddenly, I spotted an interesting frame, I put a camera to my eye and in the exact moment of pressing the shutter button, he accidentally came into my line of sight. I said something rather unpleasant to him and he replied: ‘Who the fuck do you think you are? H.C.Bresson?!’ : )
Contax g2, leica mini 3, Nikon fm 2, eos 30 and 300, holga 135 / plastic camera / , pentacon six tl, lenses between 17 and 50mm and a lot of films ; )
Your future plans?
Well, I don’t really know, I’m taking a turn in life so I guess I have to wait with planning a little bit. No matter what, I’d really like to continue my voyages to Mongolia. And I have no intention of forsaking photography.
Any final thoughts for our readers or aspiring photographers & artists?
Yeah, I think I can give you a little piece of advice: be open towards people, smile, have some courage – and you’ll have a good photo. Thanks to these features I have managed to open many doors and was able to take photos in really bizarre places, i.e. an illegal gold mine in Mongolia, loggers life in Ukrainian forests, a Mongolian wedding, or the Gypsies in Serbia. And you should certainly move a lot for it is really hard to take a good picture within your own four walls!
You can find Przemek Strzelecki on the Web:
All the pictures in this post are copyrighted Przemek Strzelecki. Their reproduction, even in part, is forbidden without the explicit approval of the rightful owners.