Before a fashion show, in the backstage, emotions mix all together in an intense way and it's not an easy job to capture them, but the Polish photographer Kasia Bobula, with her sensitivity and talent, is capable to reveal an intimate and authentic vision; she catches in a close and personal way the environment, the subtle details, the gestures of the models.
The artist develops a distinctive style where human nature, emotions and details take relevance, creating captivating images. In this interview, Kasia goes in deep about her work and projects.
When did you take a camera for the first time? How did you decide to become a professional photographer?
I think it’s safe to say it all started on my 18th birthday. I’ve always been interested in photography while growing up, but it wasn’t until I got my first camera – an old Nikon Fg-20 that was a present from my mom – that I decided to really give it a shot. I think being surrounded by creativity in my family has also helped. My mom was an amazing photographer in her teens, one of those people who always knows how to capture beauty in the most ordinary moment. She never took it up professionally, but considering my teenage brother is also a very keen photographer now, I think her passion has been contagious.
Human figure and emotions have a great relevance in your work, what do you want to transmit with them?
It’s interesting that you say that. I never really thought much about the importance of the human figure in my pictures, but most recently, I have noticed that I’m paying more and more attention to human shapes and how they relate to each other within a space.
I’m also very interested in little gestures – the gentle interlocking of the fingers, the way people tilt their heads to the side when they think about something that’s important to them. I think those little movements can reveal so much about a person, even if nothing is being said.
You always reflect solitude and fragility beautifully, how much importance have these feelings in your images?
I’m not sure if I intentionally seek out people, who look fragile, but I think there is something beautiful about the innocence of the girls I photograph.
They might be wearing high heels and a lot of make up, but they’re also very young and when the show is over, they will go back to their families and day-to-day lives. I think the contrast between those two worlds is pretty fascinating and I’m hoping to capture at least a fraction of it in my images.
Any person that you don't have photographed yet and you would really like to?
Asia Argento for a longer period of time.
How did you become interested in fashion and backstage photography?
I studied fashion design at Central Saint Martin’s in London, so naturally after graduating I had a lot of friends, who were designing. It was also at their shows that I took my first photos. Thinking back, I’m really grateful I got that degree, because not only it opened the first door for me, but I think it also taught me how to appreciate clothes from more of a maker’s point of view.
Did you remember your first time as a backstage photographer? Did you feel nervous or shy?
Definitely nervous! And to be honest, I still feel nervous every time I go to a fashion show. That is mostly due to the very limited time and access that everyone gets backstage. These days, it seems to be getting even harder, as there are so many photographers at the shows trying to capture the same thing.
In such an environment, full of different stimulus, excitement and stress, you are capable to capture in a really special and intimate way the gestures and emotions of the models, how do you do it?
I’m glad that you feel that way. I think my aim is always to photograph the girls as much as the clothing, so I intentionally seek out situations that can potentially make a “good moment”. That could be a group of girls talking, a lone figure reading, or even a small interaction between the dresser and a girl. I still think despite (or maybe because of?) the whole chaos around, backstage is an amazing training ground for the eye.
Is there something you haven't photograph yet, and you would like to?
I would still love to take my backstage brief and apply it to a completely different social environment.
Looking to the future, which are your plans?
I’m currently working on a personal project documenting the life of an old antiques book dealer, who lives in a very remote part of Poland. This might sound very different from my fashion work, but trust me, the incredible attention to detail in his house is almost comparable to some of the Paris collections that I photograph!