Category Archives: Editorial

>> SPLASH HEROES << AurumLight 2015 Milk Calendar – Behind The Scenes Video

Thank you to all of you who purchased our AurumLight 2014 Milk Calendar – MilkyPinups!
It means a lot to us and makes what we do possible.

Unfortunately we have run out of Milky PinUps Calendars as this was only a limited edition we quickly sold out.

But I have some great news for you!
We are currently working on Milky Calendar for 2015 and it will be available for pre-order in a few months.

The new theme will be inspired by the Milky Bamboo Forest Fight that we did some time ago. I thought we should look in that direction.
There is something special about powerful heroines. It is an exciting concept with a lot of creative potential. This will be my personal tribute and milky parody of special characters…

So for AurumLight 2015 Milk Calendar – we will create universum of >> SPLASH HEROES <<

We will go above and beyond. Experiment with colours of the liquid, shapes, and lighting.
I am sure it will be a great challenge and you will love it too!

>> SPLASH HEROES << AurumLight 2015 Milk Calendar – January

Some time ago we were approached by German TV, PRO Sieben to let them film us during our work. I thought the SPLASH HEROES series will be perfect for it.

>> SPLASH HEROES << AurumLight 2015 Milk Calendar – June

A few weeks later we had the crew of Galileo Show in London and here is their document from the day that was aired earlier this month.

Copyrights AurumLight & ProSieben-Galileo.


That was a great weekend and we have some really cool illustrations. In a couple of weeks we are making the second round and in May we will bring one of our SPLASH HEROES ladies to Frankfurt for our Milk Workshop on 17-18th May.

>> SPLASH HEROES << AurumLight 2015 Milk Calendar – December

Please watch this space as there is more to come!

Cheers
Jaroslav
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Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz, AurumLight – Interview

Today I have an interview for you that was just published by N-Photo photography magazine in the UK.
In the actual print you can find only an unauthorized shortened version of my thoughts below.

So, I thought it would be nice to drop a full length of the 10-Q&A, I hope you will find useful!

Keep up great work Guys!

Cheers
Jaroslav

[N-Photo] How did you make the move from architect to pro photographer?

[JW] Depends on the assignment I still work simultaneously as an architect and a photographer. That ability is giving me a lot of freedom with choosing the right job or client.
Both of these worlds are keeping me focused and sharp. I believe that being an architect first has helped me to become a much better photographer. Working on a multi million development with a team of specialists around you, taught me how to deal with stress and find simple yet innovative solutions to complex problems.
After training like that, a $50K photographic assignment is not that scary anymore.

I went into photography because in this field the creative pay-off is much faster. I don’t have to work for a two-three years to see results of my efforts.
It is a tremendous burst of satisfaction.
Photography also takes me to many different places, allows me to meet talented people and to create a fantastic work with them.

Tell me more about promoting your work on FB, Flickr and Twitter – how do get your work and your name talked about? Which social media outlet works best for you? Has it lead to extra work or unexpected jobs?

The truth is I don’t use social media very well, nor do I like to do that.
We live in really interesting times. You have direct access to your potential clients, publishers, peer group and promotional tools for free. Never before the work was viewed or shared so instantly and by so many.
But in the process many people were caught in that terrible pace. Our news feeds are bombarded every minute with hundreds of pictures from all over the world. Many people think that if they want to stay on top of the game they need to share often and a lot… the more they share the lower the quality of work is seen on-line.

To me the most important thing is the content. I believe that people appreciate the hard work, and because of the respect to the viewer I only post my best work.
If you like people to talk about your illustrations the best way is to step out of that on-line community for a while produce quality work and come back when you are ready to do so.

To give you an example, the Milky Pinups series took me fifteen months to finish and eleven months before I posted them online the first six to promote the calendar.

How did your milk portraits project come about? Were you expecting it to be such a big hit?

I didn’t expect that there would be such an interest especially not from mainstream media and TV.

Liquid photography in advertising and other genres has been around for many years.
My all-time inspiration is Jean-Paul Goude – for one a photographer, for others graphic designer, choreographer or director. But to me first of all an artist who never was afraid to work hard. Similar technique used in early 90s in the dark room and working with negatives!
The digital photography made this process simpler and more affordable. Photographers like Paulo Vainer, Kurt Stallaert, Andrey Razumovski, Christophe Gilbert or Bill Cahill was doing liquid photography years before me. When I was experimenting with my work I tried to learn from them all as much as I could. I was sending emails, calling, traveling to workshops and assisting. And when I was ready, I started to work on ideas from my sketchbook.

Attention that I recently received proves that if you are willing to go the extra mile and work harder than most you will find your place in any field. And I think that there is a space for absolutely everyone, no matter where you live and what you do. If you are good and persistent, the success will come with time. Just stay focused!

How has it changed your career (I see you now run milk workshops and have won prizes for your shots)?
What was it like getting your shots printed and talked about in magazines and newspapers?

Attention really helps and brings not only exposure but also more work. It makes you feel that what you do matters to other people.

But it doesn’t make my illustrations better or worse if there is no exposure.
Some of my work makes me really proud because I remember, the obstacles me and my team had to go through to make it happen. I really don’t care if it is popular piece or not. We did it and that’s what really matters.

Does your website help you find opportunities?

I think that there is a lot to do to make my website user friendly. I just have no time to look into that.
But, it is an important medium. It is your digital business card that should instantly tell people who you are and what you do.
It should be a great one, that is a fact, but first you need a great content.

Can you describe your daily routine when you aren’t on assignment? (taking bookings, editing shots, using social media, updating your website etc).

If not on assignment…
My day start around 21:30-22:00… Yes, this is the time when I like to sit down with a clear head, no one calls, I can legally ignore emails and focus on work in postproduction. I usually edit until 3-4am.
Then waking up at 9am ,quick breakfast and answering emails and phone calls until 11am. I rarely take bookings from private clients, instead I focus on bigger productions, advertising or calendars. Jobs like that are great if you can get them. It is hard but will take you much further than shooting portraits every second day. There’s a lot of phone calls and emails to do. To seal a resent contract it took us 4 weeks just to agree on the scope, brief and fees. It is a pretty tricky part especially when you work for clients from oversees and you can’t just sit down and talk about the project.

After all that I can again clear my headspace and spend at least a couple of hours on storyboarding, future thinking or study history or other cultures if the story or design of the project requires it.
I have at a minimum two personal projects that are ongoing and when they are on advance stages I often pitch them to potential clients. It is very a effective way to work with new people.
I try to stay away from the social media or news websites as much as I can. I consider Facebook as time-vampire exactly like television. I haven’t had a TV set since 2003 and it works well form me, I wish it would be so easy with the net.

Between 2-4pm I have some current tasks to do like prop making. Not many people know but most of the elements that are on my photos are actually made or designed by me.
After that editing again till 6pm. when I am back home with my wife we have some time together. That is pretty much it and it has been my routine for the past three years, 7 days a week. It was hard but there is no other way.

What advice would you give to young photographers keen to get their name known?

If that is your goal you should sign up for some kind of reality TV show or something similar on TV
That shouldn’t be the goal itself.
The destination on your road map should be great work. Quality material and personal satisfaction. These things will keep you healthy and happy. If you focus on getting your name out there you need to understand that it takes time and if you think that it can happen overnight you will quickly become disillusioned.
If you want to be successful you got to work harder than other people. Simple as that.
I do photography because I believe it is more cool than going to the pub. Do not complain about simple stuff there are always people that are in a worse situation than you just keep going.

What kit do you find essential as a professional?

Kit is a secondary thing it is what you do with it and who you work with that counts. All of my work was possible only because there was a team of dedicated people with me. Together we can make dreams a reality.

Until the end of 2012 I had just one camera a Nikon D300 and two lenses. If there was a need we were hiring gear for jobs.
You really don’t need much to take off.

What’s been your best-paid job so far?

I love when something that started off as a personal project receives a warm response from others and later becomes a fully commercial advertising project.
That is my favourite scenario.
Money wise, so far every job we are getting is more complex with bigger budgets and fees. the project I have mention above is our best-paid to date. In mid-2014 I will be able to talk more about that. But I hope that until that time we will beat it.

Have you had any disasters when it comes to paid work or assignments?

“Knocking on wood” we have not had any disaster on commercial assignments. I think that in that case it is not the right time to experiment or test something or someone. We spend a lot of pre-planning and pre-light time which I always try to argue over in the budgets. And when it comes to the day everyone should be well briefed and prepared.

But when I do my personal projects we do all sorts of assumptions and go with a flow, taking risks to pull of the concept. We have failed a number of times. But that is part of the game. Interesting failure is much better than boring success… not in front of a client though!

Cheers
Jaroslav

http://www.AurumLight.com

AWAKENING – PART IV – TAKE YOUR TIME…

Working on a personal project without the pressure of time can be actually a tricky task…

With the usual pace of working on a jobs to pay your bills the time is a luxury that most of us can’t afford.
In the times of “likes”, one click glimpse and content constant flow through your newsfeed we all experience the unnatural pressure to produce quickly more body of work. To shoot and shoot and shoot…

Whenever I work for myself, (especially then) time is the crucial factor.
My approach is to take my time. Relax and do whatever has to be done. Find people you really want to work with. Organise location and gear that you need. And when that all falls in the right places press the button and set the date.

You soon understand that you don’t have to do anything for anyone, you will have clear headspace but finding time can still be a challenge.
That is when people start cutting corners, trying to find the easiest way out. This is the moment when things can go wrong.

When I work on a bigger scale project I always take three important elements into consideration: The Scope, The Time and Money.

It is clear for most that the project with a big scope needs more budget to cover props, location, team etc. But it is not necessary clear for everyone that projects like that need relevant amount of time.
By affecting any of the above circles, like having not enough money, or time you will affect the common part of sets…

That common part to me represents a Life Span of your project.

I had a professor once who would say to a student during the project consultations that:
“…you had a month to prepare yet your proposal looks like you have spent on it 30 minutes last night. Therefore I can give you only 30 second of my time…”
I think that was fair game.

It is pretty much the same situation with your viewers, if you will cut corners while working on your project, people will notice that and will not spent their time to look and explore it, to understand it, to share it…
Your project life span will be rather short…

Don’t rush things!
If you have to wait, so be it. I am taking my time to develop the concept, to find more money, to work with great people.

Regular readers know that I have been working on Awakening for two years now and here is one of the reasons why it is taking so loooong…

In 2010 I was introduced to a very talented artist, designer extraordinaire and a really nice person Sophie de Oliveira Barata.
Sophie founded The Alternative Limb Project and she is designing prosthetics for amputees.
But not just limbs… her work is really special and recently you could read about her in WIRED .


Photo: Alex Lake via WIRED

We became friends instantly and since day one I knew that we will work together the problem was the time of course. We couldn’t match our calendars in 2011 and in 2012 she was overwhelmed with work for people from around the world coming for London Paralympics 2012. You could see Viktoria Modesta in Sophie’s Crystallised Leg during the Paralympics Closing Ceremony

So I had to wait…

In my second instalment you could see the concepts for the main character outfits. I needed Sophie to help me with the Helmet.

The concept for the helmet was done by talented Marek Okon who did this illustration and kindly let me use it as a base for the concept.

I have developed technical drawings for Sophie to take a look and in June when we finally had some free time on our hands (!) we pressed the button!

The model is no one else than the one and only Jay Jessop!
You have met her on our blog as a Bamboo Forest Warrior. Jay is a good sport and is always up for crazy concepts!


We went through many changes but I really love the effect and I think we did a great job on this one!
It was absolutely worth the wait all that time to get it right. I wanted to stay true to the original idea and just couldn’t accept a standard helmet replacement – it had to be special and I couldn’t make it happen in a short time, without special people around me!

The journey is as important as the final effect!

It was tiring but now we are ready to move on to the next element…
Stay tuned there is more to come!

Thanks for checking!
Jaroslav

www.AurumLight.com
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AWAKENING – PART III – Make It Happen vs Make It Real

AWAKENING – PART II – Building Your Team

AWAKENING – PART I – Finding Your Anchor Point

AWAKENING – PROLOGUE – Seeing beyond the obvious…

AWAKENING – THE PHOTO-QUEST with AurumLight Team

AurumLight Beauty & Fashion Workshop with OlegTi

That was a great information packed weekend!
We worked in depth to understand and learn how to precisely control your light and make absolutely stunning portraits In-Camera without the need for Photoshop!

If you missed it, don’t worry as we will come back in that format in the future.

These were two separate events aimed to cover different material, focused on working with model and studio lighting.
The quality, direction, distance and power – you might think that these are basics but I assure you it is more important than you would expect.

Starting with simple yet effective, going through the complex, up to the creative and unique setups.
We worked with a hard light trying to avoid cutting corners with a “Big-Softbox-up-high-on-45-deg” scenario.

Most of the photos below were done with just Einsten heads equipped with a standard 8,5″ reflector additionally with ROSCO frosted, conversion or coloured gels.

Combine that with the Mixed Lighting Setup we presented some time ago, here on the blog and you unleash an unlimited creative application in both Beauty & Fashion genres.

Models: Jemma Jade Saare & Jay Jessop

All the best!
Jaroslav

*** Workshops ***

MILK Workshops in AUSTRALIA 2013!
Book youplace nowhere: >>>BOOKING PAGE

BRISBANE Nov 23-24 2013
MELBOURNE Nov 27-28 2013
SYDNEY Nov 30-Dec 1 2013


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My best regards
Jaroslav

Milky PinUps !

Today we have a few illustrations from our recent Workshops in London, Frankfurt and Los Angeles.
We had a great time with photographers from all over the world and now are gearing up for a really fantastic Milky weekend in Italy, produced by Manfrotto and Marco Tortato in Bassano on 8-9 June.

It looks like it will be our last event in Europe in summer 2013 as we are moving on…
I am happy to let you know that we will be visiting for our Milky Workshops AUSTRALIA again in November 2013!

MILK Workshops 2014!
Book your place now, here: >>>BOOKING PAGE

5-6 April 2014 – London, United Kingdom
17-18 May 2014 – Frankfurt, Germany

I hope to see you there!
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This time I thought it will be cool to approach the liquid theme in a more relaxed and funny way.
So we threw some colours into the mix and came up with a personal Milky PinUp parody and tribute to my favourites pinup style artists.

It was a lot of fun to work on these images and I am happy with the results as you never know if the liquid is actually going to work like you want and could you translate any concept into a Liquid scenario…

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Here you can find some of the original paintings that we used as a references.

As you can see most of them were done by Gil Elvgren but there is more cool work from a talented people like Alberto Vargas or Greg Hildebrandt, to name but a few.

And the behind the scenes of the messy part of that game:


BTS photos by Thorsten Roos & Niels Walldorf


Oh, and the setup! Enjoy!

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All together it is a really fun series and a cool change from our usual White on Black illustrations.

And yes, it very much looks like an upcoming 2014 calendar ;-)…

More illustrations can be found on our Website here >>>
And if you missed it last time, here is our BTS video on Lighting for Liquids >>>

Cheers and hope to see you in Oz!
Jaroslav
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Credits:

Photography & Postproduction – Jaroslav Wieczorkiewicz

Producer: Lan Bui
AurumLight Team: Aleksandra Wieczorkiewicz, Ben Prewett, Carl Keane, Misa Garcia, Saul Garcia, Jochen Lauffer, Bjoern Witczak
Support: Jan Kocovski, Niels Walldorf
MakUp & Hair: Marlen Watzl, Jay Jessop, Vanessa Zalamea, Andrea Rangel, Alana Baca
Models: Johanna Valerie Schade, Brooke Nicholes, Ly nna Nielson, Ella Darling, Sascha Aleksander,

www.AurumLight.com

MILK Workshops 2014!
Book your place now, here: >>>BOOKING PAGE

5-6 April 2014 – London, United Kingdom
17-18 May 2014 – Frankfurt, Germany

THE TRIAL – Calendar UK – Gold Medal – Prix de la Photographie Paris 2012

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WINNER OF PX3, Prix de la Photographie Paris

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We are very happy to announce that our calendar THE TRIAL have been Awarded First Prize – Gold medal in category Advertising at “Prix de la Photographie Paris 2012”.
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The jury selected PX3 2012’s winners from thousands of photography entries from over 85 countries.

The exhibition opens on Tuesday 10th of JULY at Espace Dupont Gallery, Paris.

Many thanks to all those involved!
Jaroslav
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Please check out “THE TRIAL” our conceptual shoot for a trade calendar HERE >>>

For Behind The Scenes video and to see how it was done please click HERE >>>
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ABOUT Px3:
Px3 is juried by top international decision-makers in the photography industry: Carol Johnson, Curator of Photography of Library of Congress, Washington D.C.; Gilles Raynaldy, Director of Purpose, Paris; Viviene Esders, Expert près la Cour d’Appel de Paris; Mark Heflin, Director of American Illustration + American Photography, New York; Sara Rumens, Lifestyle Photo Editor of Grazia Magazine, London; Françoise Paviot, Director of Galerie Françoise Paviot, Paris; Chrisitine Ollier, Art Director of Filles du Calvaire, Paris; Natalie Johnson, Features Editor of Digital Photographer Magazine, London; Natalie Belayche, Director of Visual Delight, Paris; Kenan Aktulun, VP/Creative Director of Digitas, New York; Chiara Mariani, Photo Editor of Corriere della Sera Magazine, Italy; Arnaud Adida, Director of Acte 2 Gallery/Agency, Paris; Jeannette Mariani, Director of 13 Sévigné Gallery, Paris; Bernard Utudjian, Director of Galerie Polaris, Paris; Agnès Voltz, Director of Chambre Avec Vues, Paris; and Alice Gabriner, World Picture Editor of Time Magazine, New York.

Cheers
Jaroslav
www.AurumLight.com
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