1Can you introduce yourself and talk about how you got into photography?
My name is Mateusz Jagiello. I started my journey with photography in 2018 when I bought my first camera and I immediately became obsesses with taking pictures. First, I thought I would be interested in landscapes but very quickly I got enchanted by the magic of portraiture and interactions with other people.
2Where did you study photography?
I am self-taught although I am constantly learning and studying everything relating to photography and art. I take workshops and use online courses to learn new skills and broaden my knowledge.
3Do you remember your first shot? What was it?
The very first time I took my camera "for a spin" was in the mountains. I vividly remember my first photos being pictures of a lake and a moose. Right after that I took portraits of my wife for a newspaper article about her and since then I've been mainly taking photographs of people.
4What equipment do you use?
I use 3 different camera systems: Sony a7iii, Leica Q2 Monochrom, and Fujifilm GFX 100S. I use a wide range of lenses but the ones I use most often are 55mm 1.8 Zeiss, 28-75 2.8 Tamron, and 80mm 1.7 Fuji GF.
I also use Godox strobes and Aputure LED lights.
5What do you hope to achieve?
EVERYTHING. I am kidding and not really at the same time. I do not see an end goal to my journey with photography. I enjoy the road and process of creation so there is always going to be "the next thing" out there for me.
6What compliment inspired/touched you the most?
It's actually not the words. I experienced many times that people cry when they see photos of themselves that I took. This is the highest compliment and fulfillment because I believe that everybody deserves to have amazing photographs of themselves. People and bodies are art and it breaks my heart whenever I hear "I don't look good in photos".
7What inspires your unique storytelling?
Movies, other masters of photography, video games, music videos, paintings, but most importantly people.
8What THREE (3) words describe your photography style?
9Congratulations! As the winner of the London Photography Awards, what does it mean for you and your team to receive this distinction?
It truly feels great! Knowing that other people appreciate what I do helps me out to keep going and pushing myself more constantly. Photography competitions are an amazing way to be a part of the community and a place of expression.
10Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2022 London Photography Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
"Anglerfish" is a great representation of me as an artist. I studied classical music for more than 20 years and I felt very limited. I felt like I was a record player playing other people's music rather than my own. When I discovered photography, I fell in love with it so much because I truly felt like finally, I am creating something. That's why I just love to improvise during my shoots and very often concepts and what I do comes to me naturally in the moment. With the "Anglerfish" it was similar. My wife brought a lamp she just purchased few minutes before my session. I decided to stay few minutes longer and I played around with the lamp. Its unique shape immediately have me the feeling of a deep-sea monsters so I decided to add some smoke to the room and I imagined we are deep under the water. That's what I love the most about photography - the ability to still feel like a child while using real objects and people to create something unique!
11How has winning an award developed your career?
It most importantly helps me with my confidence. With social media and internet, it is so easy to feel down sometimes. Being awarded at prestigious competitions helps me with my marketing and also helps me with approaching next projects.
12Name 1-3 photographers who have inspired you.
- Peter Lindbergh
- Szymon Brodziak
- Helmut Newton
13What was the best piece of advice you were given starting out, by a mentor or your role model?
"Don't only learn photography - also learn the business side of things"
14What advice would you give someone who would like to become a photographer today?
To look up to true masters and legends - in any art field. It is so easy to get lost in the noise of social media. Everything looks the same and there is so much of it that it all will be forgotten. Do something meaningful - say something with your photos. Focus on who you are and what you want your photos to say. Everything else will be easy to learn.
15What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Success definitely means different things for different people. For me it is three things: fulfilling my creative soul, helping others feel amazing about themselves through seeing themselves in my photos, and being able to sustain myself as an artist.
For me the key to achieving it all is never stopping to learn and also staying humble. The biggest fear I have is not falling asleep a better person and photographer than when I woke up that morning earlier.
16How do you stay in that space of being receptive to new information and knowledge?
I am constantly looking. All the time I am researching, looking things up, asking people questions. It's not only because of passion but it is also a habit and it can be trained like a muscle.
17Anything else you would like to add to the interview?
Thank you so much for the opportunity of being feature among such amazing photographers and their work. I am looking forward to the next London Photography Awards!