Interview with Photojournalist / Documentary photographer Tomasz Lazar

Interview with Photojournalist / Documentary photographer Tomasz Lazar


Born 1985 in Szczecin, Poland. An independent photographer, a graduate of the West Pomeranian University of Technology, Faculty of Computer Science and Information Technology. Winner of photography contests in Poland and abroad (e.g. the Sony World Photography Award, the International Photography Award, BZWBK Press Photo, Grand Press Photo, Lumix Festival for Young Journalism, Grand Prix at Photo Festival in Łódź). He took the second place in the World Press Photo 2012 contest in the “People in the News” category and received Picture of the Year in BZBWK Press Photo 2012. Since 2011, he is a member of the Un-posed photography group, dealing with street photography. His work was published in “Mono” book made by Gomma Books about most talented contemporary black and white photographers. Coffee-lover and a good music enthusiast. He derives pleasure from spending time with other people and devotes most of his time to photography. Recently, he is constantly on the move.

© Tomasz Lazar TheaterofLife (9 of 12)

© Tomasz Lazar

How and when did you become interested in photography?

Everything started in 2006 when I was planning a trip with my my fiance to Spain. It was during my IT studies. After coming back I wanted to know more and more about photography. It started with reading books, watching photo albums and talking with other people involved in photography world. I’ve always liked to talk to people, listen to their stories. Photography also enabled me to capture their stories in pictures.

After some time I decided to learn more about photography so I went to European Academy of Photography. I`ve met there people that show me passion for photography like Izabela Jaroszewska, Tomasz Tomaszewski, Krzysztof Miekus or Lorenzo Castore.

Is there any artist/photographer who inspired your art?

I still remember my first album I bought. It was Jeanloup Sieff`s album. I felt that photography was what I love and what I would like to do in the future. After that I`ve seen work from Magnum and other agencies and photographers. I could give names like Weegee, Diane Arbus, Ernst Haas, Philip-Lorca diCorcia. Now a days a lot of inspiration I take from music, books and movies. They help to develop your imagination. I love painter like Rene Magritte, Edward Hopper, Balthus, Eric Fischl or graphic artist like M. C. Escher.

Why do you work in black and white rather than colour?

I think that both technics are really interesting and you should try them. Black and white and colour will develop the way of how you perceive the world. But what I really love is black and white photography. It is very intriguing and exciting. You can show the emotions, amosphere and light. Light is something amazing it changes normal picture to something magical. It helps to enchant the moment. A lot of people would tell but there is no colour – I would say there is but you need to image it.

For me black and white always was very easy to do. When I spoted a scene or moment I knew that I would look good in black and white. I just felt it in myself. Sometimes it is hard to describe why.

How much preparation do you put into taking a photograph/series of photographs?

Preparation for you project/work is very important. It shows how concious you are about what you want to do.. Before my doing my work I`m reading and trying to gather some informations abou the topic I`m interested in.

When I’ve started taking pictures I tried different forms, because it seems to me that the photographer should be like a humanist, trying different forms because each of them enriched your experience and consciousness. In time I’ve spoted that what interest me the most are long-term projects. I could say that such works are like wine: the longer they ripen the better they are.

What is also very important to me to create strong visual images that will atract the viewers.

Where is your photography going? What projects would you like to accomplish?

As I`ve told I really like long-term projects. You can spend a lot of time with your subjects or place you are interested in. I think that Ernst Haas
qote tells a lot what I`m seeking in photography. He spoke of photographs that “the less information, the more allusion; the less prose, the more poetry”, which works to “stimulate the imagination”. For more then 6 year I`m working on my long-term project called “Theater of Life. With this work I`m tryin to find surrealism in the daily life. I’m was also interested in the subject of manipulation of the mind. At the end I would like to publish of a book from this work and make big exhibiton.

Website: www.tomaszlazar.pl

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© Tomasz Lazar

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© Tomasz Lazar

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© Tomasz Lazar

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© Tomasz Lazar


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