10 Questions: Jakub Fabijański

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Melbourne based destination photographer Jakub Fabijański shoots weddings with his sister Zosia. Photography as a career happened by chance for Jakub who has had a few professions (including IT and design). Jakub confirms Melbourne is an incredible, inspiring city and, this humble interviewer coming from rival city Sydney, I won’t hold that against him!* What is very inspiring is Jakub’s work, which brings a kind of dreamy cinematic take to photojournalism that you can’t help but to fall in love, along with the people in his photographs.

1. What do making images mean to you?

It’s all about capturing moments and emotions and adding a little bit of your own personality to the mix. We’re in control of this tool that is capable of doing that. A moment may only last a fraction of a second before it’s gone forever. And with the simple press of a button we’ve stopped time and that moment belongs to us. Pretty powerful if you think about it in that way!

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2. What is life to you? What it should be?

Life is this beautiful gift which each of us have been given. But it’s pretty short and we only have one chance at it. It’s up to us what we choose to do with this gift. For me it’s all about sharing the experience with loved ones, connecting with people, constantly learning, and seeing as much of the world as I possibly can. In the end, I will hopefully leave something special behind.

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3. How does where you live influence your creativity?

Melbourne is an incredible city, it’s an abundant source of inspiration. It’s filled to the brim with awesome museums, art galleries, live music and great book shops hidden away in small laneways. And if you feel like just sitting down and watching the world go by, there’s no shortage of great cafés where you can do just that. However, for me it’s not just the city or one particular location. My family have traveled since I was very little. We’ve lived in three different countries before we finally settled in Australia. Travel has always been a mind opening and inspirational part of my life.

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4. There are a lot of professions out there – why be a photographer?

I’ve tried quite a few professions. The photography profession seems to be the one that I stumbled upon by chance and I don’t see myself moving away from any time soon. It’s what I love and everything I could ever ask for in terms of a career, to see the world and for the opportunity to meet new people and tell their stories through photography. Also the realisation that people many generations from now will be looking over the photos I created adds so much more importance to it all.

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5. Are you creativity satisfied at the moment?

To some extent. However, there is constantly room for critique and improvement. I get pretty bored with repeating the same formula over and over again so I’m always trying to push myself creatively and bring something new to the table.

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6. What TV are you watching?

I don’t watch a whole lot of TV these days. But I’m always searching for good documentaries on the internet. I finally got around to watching the James Nachtwey film, War Photographer, incredible! Also looking forward to watching the next season of Game of Thrones.

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7. Describe your path to what you’re doing now.

Like many other people, a career in photography was never a path I decided to go down. My background is in IT and design, and within these industries I’ve worked in many different roles. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon wedding photography that I realised that I’d finally found something that I love doing whilst at the same time something I could make a living from.

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8. Have you had any mentors along the way?

I started the wedding photography about five years ago with my sister, Zosia. We already shared an interest in photography and decided we should work on something together. So we pretty much dived head first into the deep end of the wedding pool. We didn’t know a single wedding photographer and we certainly had no idea how to run a wedding photography business. But we worked through our many mistakes together and eventually got a pretty steady ball rolling. Melbourne is such an incredible hub for other creative people so it didn’t take us long to make the right connections. And with that came a large wave of great advice. With the power of social media we were able to quickly expand that network to individuals all over the world. It’s an incredibly welcoming global community and the support is always there.

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9. Do you shoot with your left or right eye?

I look through the viewfinder with my left eye but my right eye usually also stays open and alert.

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10. Where do you see yourself in 10 year’s time?

I haven’t really thought that far ahead. I imagine living with my family, possibly in some large country cottage. Ideally still working on multiple creative photography projects.

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Bonus Q: Do you think the gear you use affects the way you photograph? Why?

It’s probably helped me develop my style and how I shoot.  I’ve been using Nikon cameras for a very long time now and I think it’s important to get comfortable with your gear until it’s like second nature. Like driving a car or riding a bike, practice it long enough until you don’t really have to consciously think about what you’re doing.

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GEAR LIST

  • Nikon D3s x2
  • Fujifilm X100
  • Nikon FM2 x2
  • Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AI-s
  • Nikon 35mm f/1.4 G
  • Nikon 45mm f/2.8 Tilt-shift
  • Nikon 50mm f/1.2 AI-s
  • Nikon 85mm f/1.4 G
  • Nikon 105mm f/2.5 AI-s
  • Nikon 135mm f/2 D
  • Nikon 135mm f/2 AI-s

Field Notes:

These days the only time I use digital cameras is mainly for wedding photography. For my personal work and other projects I choose to shoot on film. Not because I think one is necessarily better than the other but simply because I enjoy the creative process of printing photographs in a darkroom.

I personally don’t see much point in posting a roll of film to get scanned at a lab only to look at the results on a computer screen. A computer is an amazing tool but I already spend enough time in front of one and it’s wonderful to still have this medium where a scanner and digital printer isn’t necessary to produce a beautiful photograph on paper. For me, the true art of film photography is what can be done with a negative and a print in the darkroom.

I’ve been using Kodak Tri-X for a few years but more recently I’ve been loving the results when pushing Ilford FP4 Plus. I use a variety of Kodak and Ilford chemicals for processing and Ilford paper for printing.

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See our previous Before & After interview with Jakub.


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