Traumgestalten, Justine Szczepanczyk.
Carnival Magazine talks to Struttgart based fashion photographer Justine Szczepanczyk about the importance of concept within fashion photography, her sources of inspiration and her creation of the eccentric editorial Traumgestalten.
Tell us about yourself.
Originally I come from Poland, where I was born in Katowice, moving as a baby with my family to Germany. I grew up very safe and had the urge to express myself, even as a child, by means of creativity. Today, I am interested in everything that has to do with art, fashion, theatre, film and of course with photography. Generally, I always need an occupation. In my head, there normally slumbers an idea that I often follow mentally over a long time and that develops and progresses slowly. Lying on the beach during vacations does not suit me at all. I craft, paint or rather sew something when I'm inspired. But all of life is inspiring, so this is not that hard!
Did you study photography or a related course?
I have only began studying photography now as part of Communication Design at the State Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart. Since the study is very freely configured, I can realise projects the way I like and include photography in this means. You can absorb many influences there. Apart from that, the most important thing that I've learned is that you should always listen to your gut feeling; it is always right and that you always learn from every defeat.
Tell us about your work.
Well, to talk about your own work is always difficult. I specialize in fashion and beauty photography, where I am always moving between art and fashion photography. I would not say that I have a definitive style just yet, it is still developing. I'm still in discovery. Light, expression, and soul are all extremely important to me. To this I always give extra attention. For me, a good photograph must always go beyond the expected. If there is nothing more to the image than what the eye instantly sees, it is not interesting to me. Just an image with no soul. Therefore it is important for me that my photography tells stories and continues to evolve within the viewers mind . A bit of mystery and a bit of profundity are essential. It's hard to say how often I photograph, this always depends on the project. Often, the preparation time is in multiples of the actual shooting.
What do you love about photography?
The width of the possibilities to express yourself. The freedom. It is a unique feeling to create something.
Which photographers inspire your practice?
Well, that constantly changes. Lately I'm very fascinated by the old photographers like Erwin Blumenfeld or Cecil Beaton, for example. Icons of their time. Ruler over the light and the whole composition.
What editorials are featuring in Issue 02 of Carnival Magazine?
Traumesgelten – ‘Dream Figures’ [English Translation]
Tell us about the featured photography.
The series "Traumgestalten", translates in English to "dream figures". This editorial incurred for a book project during my studies. This book was divided in two parts, one about dreams in a scientific part and a personal section in which I kept about half a year a dream diary. The portrait series "Dream Figures" plays with the power of dreams, that allows you to create and imagine the most bizarre creatures at all. The realization of this project was actually pretty much a spontaneous thing. Together with my very good friend Ersin Mumin, who also works as a stylist, we have created out of a smorgasbord of things and collected things spontaneously different characters on our model. The result was for example "The Wise Virgin of the Nameless", "The sanctimonious God's Bride", "The mistress of the nothing and the tide of tears of the Sea", "The one-armed Aurora", "The double-faced cat". Already during the creating of the figures I have just a story to the head. The challenge for the realization was the time, cause we have realized all within two days and a few pictures were taken until the early morning hours.
Is there any additional information you wish for us to publish?
I would like to thank all those who have helped in the realization of the photos. Especially Jana, the model, for her patience and that she has been gone with us through any kind of nonsense, Ersin, for the great time together, and Nicole Livaja, for her help with the make-up and the many tips that she gave me when I wanted to do something on myself.
PHOTOGRAPHY / Justine Szczepanczyk
FASHION STYLING / Ersin Mumin & Justine Szczepanczyk
MODELS / Jana Böker @ Brodybookings
See more of Justine's work in Carnival Magazine Issue 02 and on her portfolio website.