Rafal is a Polish photographer who tells stories in a way that few others do – His art is not just found in what happens inside his camera or post-production, but in every little step of the storytelling journey from research to curation.

I met Rafal teaching at a workshop 3 years ago. But more than a fellow teacher, he also filmed and photographed my own elopement. He even came out to Florida to include our boys in the telling of the day, though they weren’t able to be with us in Azores. Rafal creates amazing and emotive storytelling work that captivates you and his thought process is absolutely brilliant. Today, we’re going to dig into his creative process and you’ll be inspired to see the world in a whole new light.

In this episode, we cover:

  • Rafal’s storytelling process including the research he does before a shoot
  • His animated images, GIFs, and cinemagraphs

  • Curating images for blog posts to tell deep stories
  • Website creation for creativity and storytelling instead of SEO
  • His last workshop in Poland and how he incorporates musicians and self development into the creative process
  • His favorite images/sessions of all time (see them below)

Iceland Image of woman dancing

Wedding in Iceland

Intimate session in Poland

Quotes that inspired me:

“What I discovered is when you have an open mind, if you’re curious, if you watch – something will happen, something will pop up – it’s just a matter of how you connect those thoughts.”

 

“Research is 80% of everything I do. I try to prepare as much as I can before I go and shoot something. I always ask people to write me an honest story about their life.”

 

“I have learned so much by playing with photos.”

 

“I decided to sacrifice SEO and keep my vision.”

 

“There are many people who know how to take amazing photos, but don’t know how to tell amazing stories.”

 

“We often invest too much money on equipment and not too much time to develop yourself and your voice and your stories.”

 

“Even with small things that don’t cost much, you can create something beautiful that will last forever.” 

 

“I love to balance the happy and dark parts of the story – the light and the shadows.”

 

“People are the best inspiration ever.”

 

“I don’t treat photography or videography as my work, but as my lifestyle.”

 

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