The metal scene in Iceland or California is not that different for Polish photographer Magdalena Wosinska. Living in the US since 1991, Magdalena captures her love for music and travel as a way to document her life and those around her. She has published three books and is planning solo shows around the world in her most recent project that takes on traveling and nudity to beautiful timeless portraits.
What do you enjoy about photographing your friends?
It’s my comfort zone, I have always documented myself growing up and the people around me. The moments are very authentic and it feels real. You know how people have journals? I kind of do that with pictures, and it’s like a catalogue of my life.
How is it different from shooting strangers?
Strangers are easier to shoot cause they don’t know my next move.
What is your own personal relationship with the heavy metal scene?
I played in a metal band called Green and Wood for 8 years, it was really fun – we toured the world and put out 2 records. I might restart that fun time soon again.
Is that what took you to Iceland?
We were touring with a friend’s band and we decided to go to Iceland because we had a lot of friends through music. We rented a car with my best friend and drove around for 10 days – we went hiking, to hot springs, the sun never sets and there’s great metal bands. It’s awesome to travel and see your favorite bands in diverse places with new faces in the crowd.
Is there a difference between the European and the American metal scene?
Not that different, metal is everywhere. We all just love the music.
How was it like to be a musician/photographer while you were in the band?
I was just developing my photography skills. I was already shooting commercially and personally a little and by playing in the band I was also documenting what we were doing and that is how my first book came about.
So there’s definitely a connection of music and photography in your work..
I probably wouldn’t be where I am in my career if it weren’t for that relationship. I have access to a lot of places that people don’t have access to because I was part of a band. I was able to travel so much and do so many different things, and those are the pictures that came out for the first book.
You’ve worked in a few books now. How is the process of working and publishing a book for you?
It’s a pain in the ass haha not really, you just have to be very driven. There’s so many people putting out books and self-publishing, so to get published you really need to put yourself out there and really make an effort to do something different. Making books is amazing and I love to see what other artists come up with.
Why do you only shoot film?
The quality of the color is so much better. I really like the idea of shooting photos and then not having an instant reaction to it – like trial and error. I love coming home from a trip and dropping off my films and then three days later, after my eyes have rested from what I have experienced, I see the pictures and is one of the greatest feelings. This is a little gift to myself, to be able to have this experience.
What are you working on nowadays?
I am working on a few solo shows for my third published book The Experience Vol. 1. It’s about travelling the world, nudes and landscapes. People are reacting to these photos through my Instagram by using the hashtag and sharing their own photos, it’s really cool.
So why is nudity important in your work?
It’s not important, I just do. You put clothes on people and they are automatically classified in a genre, a social class, in a community. Nudity is timeless, so I am not trying to overly glorify the female form, is literally capturing moments with beautiful backgrounds.