LA Canvas Magazine - 'The Experience: Q+A with Magdalena Wosinska'
Magdalena Wosinska escaped from Poland and was listed as a “trader” by the age of nine. She received paid trips to Paris and Spain to shoot magazine covers at 17. She bought her own house in Los Angeles at 24. She played bass in a metal band and toured the world for eight years. She possesses a highly covetable resume of work, from shooting campaigns for companies like Urban Outfitters and Converse, editorials for Vogue, Spin and of course, LA CANVAS. For most individuals, this would take a lifetime to accomplish. For lifestyle photographer Wosinska, this was her reality all by the age of 32.
We had the chance to catch up this accomplished and liberated photographer—and our snap-happy bae—to check in on some of her stories as of late, and reminisce about her journey:
LA CANVAS: Your Instagram says “capturing half nude moments.” Snapping half-naked snapshots around the world is a refreshingly new and incredibly freeing perspective. How did you initially come up with the idea to dedicate your Instagram to capturing these types of images?
MAGDALENA WOSINSKA: It’s thought out, composed and takes a bit longer than a snapshot. I’ve been shooting self portraits since 1999 so that’s kind of when it all started then flourished into a series well before Instagram. Then when the app came along and I decided to join, I started showcasing the work there as well.
LAC: What about nudity or the bare human body holds the greatest fascination to you?
MW: Its pretty simple: it’s just timeless. No one can tell what status, class or group you belong to in the nude.
LAC: Being a true nude-enthusiast with an appreciaton of the human form, how do you feel about the social media movement #FreeTheNipple? Does it effect your work?
MW: It has not effected me really. I love nudity but I’d rather show full nudity printed in a fine art book that someone has to seek out at a good book store where as if I was totally nude on Instagram it would be too accessible for all sorts of people. And as we all know, there are some creepy people lurking the internet and hiding behind keyboards. I’d rather not have those creeps see my entire body in the nude. It’s a sacred idea to me so those who seek it out or research seeing the book are more likely to purchase it for the sake of art.
LAC: You have a few published photography books under your belt as well: Bite It You Scum, This Grass Is Electric and The Experience Vol. 1 (which we die for!) and you are currently working on additional volumes of The Experience. Does each book contain its own distinct theme? If so, how do decide on a theme?
MW: Well it kind of all comes from what I’m into at that moment in my life, then the theme creates itself. It all changes as my age and surroundings do.
LAC: Obviously the title “The Experience” alludes to the classic Jimi Hendrix album and its surrounding transcendental beats and sounds, but what is “The Magdalena Experience” about?
MW: World travels and other people being able to see the things I see through my eyes with me leading you into the adventure. The name with the images all kind of makes sense together.
LAC: Your resume is truly a pipe dream of accomplishments for any photographer, from shooting ad campaigns for Converse, Urban Outfitters, Stance and Steve Madden, to editorial work with Vogue, Nylon, Spin and of course our magazine. Do you have a favorite style or genre to shoot?
MW: I love all of it. Every shoot is different and on every shoot I have a great laugh and meet more new and amazing people. Same goes for every time I travel for personal work. Of course ad stuff pays well so those are always a plus, then that helps me be able to self publish more personal work. It goes full circle.
LAC: If you had to describe yourself in three words:
MW: How about three letters Y.E.S.
LAC: What is one of your most memorable photography moments, whether it’s running from the cops, bare-buns and all, a particularly memorable photo location or even getting to view the world through the camera lens as a rock star in a metal band?
MW: Haha! That’s hard to say. There have been too many. But I think it was Spike Jones complimenting my work after I sent him my last book. His words were really amazing.
LAC: How do you feel your worked has changed or evolved since you first started shooting as an adolescent in the early 90’s skate scene?
MW: Its kind of still the same, still as spontaneous, and loose, but I think I focus more now on taking the one right frame rather then 10 frames to get to the right one. I’m more patient and observant these days.
LAC: What advice do you have for budding artists out there trying to make a career from their work or even just trying to have their work seen by the world?
MW: To keep taking pictures until you develop a style—then the world will notice you. You must be driven and one step ahead of the best person ahead of you, but that’s not without knowing all about all of photography, that comes with you actually taking photos and becoming a photographer. Practice makes perfect, it’s totally true.
LAC: So what’s on the horizon for Magda? What do you have coming up next?
MW: More solo shows around the world for The Experience Vol. 1, more books, a short film, and hopefully a script to a feature.