Snapping pictures of models on the streets, taking photos of artwork in empty museums, combining painting and photography. What inspires the young artist, Marcelina Sosnowska?

Originally from Poland, the talented photographer moved to Barcelona eight years ago. Since then she did internships in Hungary and Poland, then lived and studied in Portugal for a semester. Now she is back to Barcelona again, but she could always continue travelling. Sitting in a café at Barcelona she explained about her favourite styles and types of photography, and where she gets motivation from.


Marcelina Sosnowska: Error

I’ve seen on your website that your passion for photography started when you were only six years old. Do you remember the very beginning?

As a child obviously I wasn’t thinking about being a photographer, I just had fun. Three years ago my grandma sent me some photos. My first roll was among them: 36 pictures that I have taken when I was six. I brought the analogue camera with me for a one-day-long school trip: we went to see some castles in Poland. The funny thing is that there was only one picture of a person, all the rest was landscapes and architecture.

Which is not typical for a six-year-old…

Even now when I go travelling I don’t take pictures about people, more about landscapes, buildings or even abstract architecture. The typical travel photos I just picture with my mind.


Photo: Marcelina Sosnowska

It’s interesting that you are photographing models, but your photos made on the streets are without people.

Also in fashion photography what I like the most are the clothes. I’m really into fashion, plus I enjoy teamwork. From commercial photography I mostly do fashion and art photos. The documentation of artworks is really calm, but you have to be careful with the lighting, and you have to focus on all the details.


Sculpture of Monika Sosnowska (Photo: Marcelina Sosnowska)

Can still photography be as interesting as photographing models?

I like being inside museums, photographing the rooms, interacting with an empty space, which is full of objects, and still it feels like empty. Art always creates different ambient, and the works can also inspire you. As my auntie is an artist, I went to lots of exhibitions when I was a little girl, so it also brings back some memories from childhood. While taking photos of these objects, you can touch them and look at them for hours. Like this you can get closer to the mind of the artist.

What is the part of the photography process that you enjoy the most?

I like all the parts, but at the photo sessions I enjoy laughing with people a lot. You know, I’m not a very social person. I used to tell all the time that I’m critical with people, still at the photo shootings I’m somehow opening up really easily.


Photo: Marcelina Sosnowska

Do you prefer photographing outside or in the studio?

I have my own style in natural lights and in studio photography as well. I like the action of being outside. The light is changing every second, you have to think about where to put the model and how much time you have to get the light to the perfect point. In the studio sometimes you can experiment with the light or the poses of models, other times it can be really classic.

How can you combine commercial works with your own ideas?

I was doing a photo shooting for a Chinese shoes brand, which was enough for me to realise that I don’t want to do this kind of things any more. From now on I would prefer to make photos for clients who appreciate my work. I have just started working full time as a salesperson at a clothes shop, which is combined with a hairdresser’s saloon on the top floor. This way I can earn a living, and parallel to that I can just accept the photography offers that I like doing. Later on, hopefully I will have more clients, so that I could live only from photography.

While working on personal projects you can surely experiment more. What are the new directions of your photography?

We had a really good teacher at Porto where I studied photography last year. He inspired me to do more dirty stuffs. I told him that I used to paint as well, and he made the suggestion that I could mix painting with photography. I am going away from the ideology of fancy objects as art. I just want to set the concept straight to people.


Marcelina Sosnowska: Who

One of the projects that I made in Porto is called Who. I don’t like typical street photography. I find it really easy to make a nice, eye-catching picture. I used these pictures and I wanted to take them to another level. I was going around the streets, with my camera held in front of my hips, making random photos. Then I printed the photos, and then painted over the figures. Another project with painting is Urban Line, which shows the skyline of buildings in Porto.


Marcelina Sosnowska: Urban Line

How did all the cities where you lived influence you?

Each one left a stamp on me. The culture, the landscapes, the cities change and inspire me to do different things. With each step I progress more and more. You don’t know yourself totally if you are always at the same city, walking on the same streets, getting stucked in the routine. With moving and working at different countries, I can get closer to myself.


Part of Marcelina’s work is presented at a collective exhibition at Peacock Art Festival in the town of Rubi until the 18th October.

For more photos you can check out her website.