My Big WHY Question – Sauk Prairie Portrait and Wedding Photographer

At a recent photography workshop we were all inspired to figure out answers to our big WHY question. I’ve been thinking about it before but never put anything in writing to share with the world. This time we were encouraged to dig deeper and to share our discoveries openly.  Why am I doing photography? Why do I care about it so much? What has happened in my life that photography helped me heal or fill in a void? These and a few other questions were intensely on my mind over the last couple of weeks. I kept exploring, kept making notes on different scraps of paper and was happy to see that something was actually coming out of them. And now I think I’m ready (or as ready as I can get) to share it with you…

Growing up in communist Poland meant that photography wasn’t a big part of my childhood. These were different times with different everyday struggles and having family portraits just wasn’t one of the things that people would focus on. Displaying photographs at home also wasn’t part of the culture (this came later in the early nineties with introduction of IKEA  stores :)) I do have some snapshots from that time, but none of them is a family portrait. My parents divorced when I was six and since then the only photographs I have are school class photos. My teenage years are captured only in my memory, nowhere else. I remember being drawn to that small selection of childhood photographs and how much I loved looking at them, I knew them all by heart. When I tried to figure out why I was so attracted to them I think the answer is that they made me feel important and special. And this wasn’t a feeling I experienced often back then…

Portraits can have a huge impact on our perception of who we are and how we feel about ourselves. All my school years I was shy and quiet, doing my best not to stick out from the crowd. Confidence and self esteem were concepts I knew little about and definitely not something I learned at home or school. I remember this constant feeling of not being good enough or not capable of doing something special. It might be stretching to a conclusion, but I think the lack of family photographs from my school years had a  big influence on this perception.

What I want to do through my photography now is to show people how beautiful, special and ever important they really are. I want to show how much they mean to those who love them; how precious their relationship is. I want to show them that they belong and how much they are loved. I want them to feel grounded and connected to each other. I want them to celebrate relationships they have with the people they love and with themselves.

I often hear that all my clients are beautiful. I agree. However, it’s not the surface beauty that shows on the photographs. It’s their inner, authentic beauty and their true personality that they share with me. I do my best to create a safe space for my clients to open up and express their feelings for each other. A place that enables them to share in a joyful and fun- filled way their individual, beautiful sides of themselves. When they do – magic happens. 🙂

I still sometimes feel my insecurities and self-doubt, we probably all do, but now I can always find strength inside that helps me grow from them and not shut down and crawl into a hole. My “WHY” is to bring more love and happiness into this world, to show everybody how beautiful they are, help them feel good about themselves through photography. This “WHY” is so big that I just can’t stay in that hole too long. So here it is, wide out in the open… I still can’t believe I finally shared it. And if you are still here – thanks for reading!

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6 Responses to “My Big WHY Question – Sauk Prairie Portrait and Wedding Photographer”
  1. Ania, your work is really beautiful. I found your site through a google search – I am a local photographer as well but a bit more north of you. Your work truly stands out among other photographers in our area and I just wanted to stop by and compliment you on your images. Your talent truly shines and your clients are lucky to have you! 🙂

    Have a great day.

  2. Ania says:

    Thanks for stopping by and your kind words Gretchen 🙂 You’re not too far north, maybe our paths will cross in the future 🙂

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