Year in Review

The moment when you’re still enjoying memories of the weddings from 2016 and you suddenly realize it’s 2017 already and winter is round the corner. We’ve already started working on this year’s review. In the meantime, though, feel free to have a look at the one from last year.

2016 brought us lots of joy and satisfaction. In ISPWP’s annual report we landed on the 27th (Michal) and 51st position (Dorota). We realised how many places we visited and how much actually happened. Check out our summary below which is not really ‘Best Of,’ but rather a relaxed stroll through last year’s experiences.

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WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY AND TRAVEL

We got the chance to photograph a wonderfully intimate wedding in Tuscany, explore the nooks and crannies of the Spanish Granada with our couple, and have the time of our lives under the scorching sun in our beloved Portugal. And this is just a fraction of our travel experience from 2016 which began with an engagement shoot in Paris and ended with Michal taking part in a Magnum Photo workshop in Bangkok. We are still dreaming of photographing a wedding in Lisbon or an engagement shoot in New York. But all the travel we did in 2016 was great fun anyway. We haven’t made it to Island which has recently become the ultimate photo shoot destination. But who knows what 2018 has in store for us. One thing is certain – we can shoot a wedding in Italy, Portugal or other warm location every single week. We think that our love of wine, music and good food is a perfectly valid excuse. We’re not saying there are no great parties in Poland. Actually, most of last year’s awards and distinctions we received came from Polish weddings. This helped us land a few top positions. But what made us even happier was that we ended up in the TOP 20 in ISPWP contests twice in a row. Considering the number of contestants it is no mean feat. None of this would have been possible if it hadn’t been for our wonderful clients, their energy, their openness and the trust they put in us. Michal had the chance to talk about all this and other interesting aspects of our job in his interview with Nina Harbuz-Karczmarewicz on the Polish Radio One.

PORTRAITURE

This is not something that pops into your head when you think about WhiteSmoke Studio. A personal photo shoot, a corporate one, or simply portraiture. We absolutely love it and it constitutes 30 per cent of our commissions. It’s high time we thought about a website dedicated to our business clients. The reason we are mentioning it is because we have been using a Phase One DF camera with a CCD sensor in all our commissions since 2016. This ensures totally different plasticity and colour. The enhanced version of our beloved imagery from Leica M9! Of course, we also tap into the little extras we all love, for example mobile power generators or elinchrom rotalux deep octas, among others.
We nearly decided to buy a Leica SL while working on a photo shoot at Hotel Bristol in Warsaw. This time the common sense won. A pleasant side effect of that session was the fact we were included as Hotel Bristol Partners, along with other trademarks such as Tomasz Ossoliński, Decolove, Apart or Bentley.

WORKSHOPS AND CONFERENCES

Snap Photography Festival was one of last year’s most fascinating experiences for us. It is a unique event organised in Wales by Laura Babb, an incredible photographer. Around 130 photographers from all over the world stay together, party together and participate in workshops and lectures for one week. Glamping in March and a 3-hour-long speech is something one does not easily forget. Especially since we had the pleasure of working side by side with Gabe McClintock, Oli Samson, Petar Jurica or Kevin Mullins. We were also invited to a real wedding at Snap Photography Festival. One thing was sure – there was an abundance of photographers. WhiteSmoke Studio was asked to photograph the parade and cocktails. The whole experience was absolutely amazing and it inspired us to reshape our trademark workshop called ‘Life is a series of pictures.’

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The main thought behind our workshops in 2016 was daring greatly. The partners of our first edition were QT Albums, LooksLikeFilm and Sucre. But we also had two special guests, Joanna Chmura and Slawomir Kasper. The latter represented Leica Camera Poland and gave a short lecture on the history of photography. We invited Joanna Chmura to collaborate with us because Dorota had taken part in her workshop based on Dr Brené Brown’s methodology called THE DARING WAY™ SHOW UP | BE SEEN | LIVE BRAVE. Joanna Chmura is a business coach and one of the two people who run THE DARING WAY™ workshops in Poland. Totally amazed by the ideas in Joanna’s workshop, Dorota decided to ask her to collaborate with us.

MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE

Numero Uno – a 7-day Magnum Photos workshop in Bangkok with two of the most inspiring Magnum photographers. We’re talking about Jacob Aue Sobol and David Alan Harvey here. If you’re not familiar with their work, we suggest you check out their personal sites: www.jacobauesobol.com   www.davidalanharvey.com It was Dorota’s birthday present for Michal. Best surprise ever!
https://youtu.be/YKJeDR-tc5w. We have come to lots of conclusions after Bangkok which we’re going to make use of during our trademark workshop ‘Life is a series of pictures.

Gear Acquisition Syndrome

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Yes, this is Michal, a Christmas tree man suffering from G.A.S. (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). We actually both suffer from it as we keep looking for the ultimate equipment. We are pretty sure some of you are very curious about the contents of our bags. If you’ve been following us on facebook and instagram, you will have noticed that in 2016 we took most of our pictures with tiny beauties full of wonderful qualities. We’re talking about Leica Q which is an incredibly well-thought-out camera with a prime 28mm f 1.7 summilux lens, a most precise AF system and FF matrix which keeps surprising us with its colour range, even after a whole season. An ideal camera? Not exactly, although around 70 per cent of the photos in this post were taken with the camera. We still need a 35mm, a 50mm or a telephoto lens from time to time. Unfortunately, we had to say goodbye to Nikon as every new model caused disappointment instead of inspiration.
However, we still think Leica Monochrome and Leica M3 are our best buddies, not to mention Leica Q. Of course, Michal is using Leica M9 and Leica M10.

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LAST BUT NOT LEAST – THE DOGS!

Nothing’s changed here. We still have two dogs, a Jack Russell terrier and a Border Collie. White and Smok are our companions giving us lots of joy even on the gloomiest day.

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