PROFILE

Łukasz Bartyzel

A black and white image of a young model lying in a posed position on the floor. She is wearing a short black top and positioned on her chest is a flower.

Renowned for his sleek and striking imagery, Canon Ambassador Łukasz Bartyzel is one of Poland's most sought-after fashion and portrait photographers. This stylish image of model Kasia was captured by Łukasz in Warsaw in January 2021 as part of a personal project. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II (now succeeded by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV) with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens (now succeeded by the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM) at 45mm, 1/20 sec, f/10 and ISO100. © Łukasz Bartyzel

Canon Ambassador Łukasz Bartyzel plays with minimalism and movement to create his eye-catching shots. Whether it's an attractive model walking towards the camera lens or an expressive face captured in the perfect close-up, the Polish portrait and fashion photographer has cultivated a talent for creating styled imagery that has seen him become one of his country's most in-demand creatives.

"I love minimalism. In my opinion, less is more," Łukasz says. "I also really like black and white pictures, and I have many of these in my portfolio."
Born and raised in the small city of Piotrków Trybunalski in Poland, Łukasz fell in love with photography during his teens after he discovered his father's camera. "I was a skate freak as a teenager, so I started with skate photography," he explains. "I was taking photos of my friends riding, and during this time I found my new heroes: American skateboarders and photographers."

Łukasz bought his first camera, a Canon EOS 400D (now succeeded by the Canon EOS 850D), just after his 18th birthday and soon fell in love with fashion photography. "My friend showed me a website where artists could publish their work in the days before Instagram and Facebook," he says. "On this website I saw Polish portrait and fashion photographers such as Lara Jade who inspired me to do the same."
A headshot of Canon Ambassador Łukasz Bartyzel.

Location: Warsaw, Poland
Specialist areas: Fashion, portraits
Favourite kit:

Canon EOS 5D Mark II (now succeeded by the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV)
Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens (now succeeded by the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM)
A young model with long red hair and wearing yellow eyeshadow sticks out her tongue at the camera.

Łukasz may favour minimalism in his images, but that doesn't mean he shies away from subverting expectations. "I always looks for situations that will interest the viewer, especially in my beauty photography," he says. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens at 1/80 sec, f/2.8 and ISO500. © Łukasz Bartyzel

A model turns her head to the side in this black and white photograph.

Łukasz says he always aims to create a positive atmosphere during photo shoots, to help his subject feel at ease. "I focus on having a nice conversation while I take pictures, so the model feels comfortable," he says. This image was part of a shoot for Varsovie Magazine entitled Stay at Home. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens at 1/60 sec, f/2.8 and ISO1250. © Łukasz Bartyzel

"I watched a lot of fashion editorials and always tried to imagine how these pictures were taken, how the models were directed, how the lighting had been set up," Łukasz says. "I would then try and find backstage movies from the photo shoot and check it against my observations. I learnt everything on my own."

After working as a retoucher and graphic designer in a photography studio in his hometown, Łukasz moved to Poland's capital, Warsaw, in 2018 and began building up his portfolio. Today, his images have been published in a number of major fashion titles. "It's always very nice to see my own work in magazines," he says. "To see my portrait image in Vogue Poland felt amazing."
A close up image of a model wearing bright pink eyeshadow and lipstick.

"In beauty photography, I use a long exposure to get the skin looking shiny and smooth," says Łukasz. "This technique also makes the photo look bright and magical." Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens at 105mm, 1/20 sec, f/5 and ISO100. © Łukasz Bartyzel

A model wearing a leather jacket rests her hand against her head and looks at the camera.

I love using tight frames in combination with minimalist styling," says Łukasz of this simple yet striking image. Taken on a Canon EOS 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens at 1/125 sec, f/6.3 and ISO160. © Łukasz Bartyzel

Łukasz, who is entirely self-taught, has honed a style that is sleek, modern and alive with emotion and energy. "I'm inspired by so much," he says. "Street fashion, architecture, old-fashioned magazines and editorials; I especially love Vogue Italia. Sometimes I improvise on photo shoots because the climate and location can inspire me on the day. Often, I take a white background to locations to create something completely unique."

During his impressive career, Łukasz's striking portraits have featured in more than 50 publications across Poland. As for his proudest moment to date? "The day I found out I would be a Canon Ambassador," he says.

"I have taught myself everything, and when you start working with the best in the industry, you start to understand what professionalism means. I am always learning and every shoot for me is exciting. I love working with interesting subjects and I am so excited for the future."
What would you say are the key elements to successful fashion photography?
"In my opinion, publishing a lot on Instagram is very important. Instagram is now my portfolio; it's the best option because it's so quick to publish what I do. Work with better and better teams and photograph more and more interesting people. If you have a better model, you have better photos, and this is the key."


How do you direct your subjects?
"When I am photographing portraits, I try and have a nice conversation ahead of time. When you have a good atmosphere and the model is comfortable with you, the pictures are natural and that shines through. In fashion shots, the presentation of clothes is so important, and for that I try to always take a picture when the model is moving. It could be walking, running, jumping – movement is key for me."


In such a competitive industry, how do you ensure your work stands out?
"For me, it's important to be minimalist. I think that makes my work stand out. I love minimalism; it's like architectural photography. I love modern architecture, and that really inspires my minimalist photography."


Who are your photographic influences?
"Steven Klein, Steven Meisel, Peter Lindbergh, Helmut Newton – there are so many. I am inspired by a real range of photographers."


What is next for you? Which ambitions remain unfulfilled?
"I would love a cover photo story in a fashion magazine. I would also really like to host an exhibition."

Łukasz Bartyzel's kitbag

The key kit that the pros use to take their photographs

Łukasz Bartyzel's kitbag containing a Canon camera, lenses and accessories.

Cameras

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

The successor to the 5D Mark II that Łukasz depends on boasts uncompromising image quality and a thoroughly professional performance. "I've been working with this camera for so many years and it has never disappointed me. It has a great body; it's indestructible," says Łukasz.

Lenses

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM

The latest model of Łukasz's go-to lens offers unparalleled image quality with advanced image stabilisation. "It's great for fashion photography," says Łukasz. "I can [use this lens to] go from wide-angle to high detail very quickly. In good lighting conditions, I can take any photo with this."

Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM

The EF 50mm f/1.4 USM is perfect for portraits as its virtually circular aperture diaphragm ensures sharp foreground objects stand out against a smooth, blurred backdrop. "I use this lens in low-light locations, as well as in places where the backdrop is perhaps not so interesting," says Łukasz.

Accessories

Canon Speedlite 600EX-RT

The successor to the Speedlite 580EX II that Łukasz works with offers remote lighting control over distances up to 30m. Łukasz says: "It beautifully illuminates the skin while hiding imperfections. If used skilfully, it creates a great atmosphere in dark locations."


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