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Krakow, Poland Engagement | Kaja + Marek

Kaja & Marek | 10.07.2022

I did a small engagement shoot for my girlfriend Ada’s sister Kaja and her fiancé Marek at AGH UST, or the Akademia Gorniczo-Hutnicza University of Science & Technology in the center of downtown Krakow, Poland. They first met here when studying engineering, so it was only natural that we did a shoot while going on a mini-tour of their campus. 

I was incredibly honored to capture the love between these two amazing people because they did not have any engagement photos taken when Marek first proposed 3 years ago. Discussing with them even before Ada and I’s trip to Poland it was clear that they did not want a typical heavily posed, “lovey-dovey” sort of shoot. 

This being my second engagement shoot ever, I really wanted to expand my skills as a Couple’s photographer and use all of the knowledge I’ve learned since my last engagement shoot; taking more contextual environmental photos for story telling, and implementing different techniques such as the “perfectly timed motion blur” shot I am thankful to have learned from Reggie Ballesteros through a Moment course.

Here are some more shots in the inside of the building, where I wanted to use some silhouetting techniques in the low light, while simultaneously capturing the beautiful architecture of the school.

Kaja and Marek took us through the halls and outside the classroom where they first met. I really enjoyed “engineering” the composition of these photos because of how much emotional significance there was for them here!

Marek told me that the watch he was wearing was given to him by his father, so it was a very important piece to him. I tried to make it more pronounced in these shots.

This is the actual spot where Marek actually proposed to Kaja a few years ago! The sign in the background translated from Polish to English means “Path for the Team of the Ring”.  This is a reference to Lord of the Rings. The sign holds significance to them because it was a “shortcut” that many students took off the normal sidewalk path. Initially the sign was just a message written on a piece of paper but was lost after some time, until the school administration put a more official sign up since so many students were taking this path!

We wrapped up the shoot at this locomotive. AGH is known for its invention and/or engineering of the first railroad tracks ever made. This non-working unit now represents AGH so it was fitting to have Kaja and Marek posing on it!

On the ride back, I realized that these two were always in the car together; driving to Kaja’s parents house, traveling the country, or just picking up a kebab on a lazy Sunday. I had to capture this moment.

First Game

Just wrapped up the editing for my first lacrosse game using Sony’s ImageEdit and Adobe Lightroom. Let’s just say I started with ImageEdit and will likely never use it again. Adobe was much faster and offers much more functionality. With a price obviously. 

Now, about the game. Honestly I thought the images turned out alright! Here’s some of my favorite shots from the pre-game. It gave me chills. Literally. Mostly because it was cold as hell, roughly 40F. The other reason this gave me chills because it reminded me about what it was like to be out there on the field. Injuries are keeping me sidelined but I won’t let that change how I feel about the game of lacrosse.

The pictures I took also reminded me of the ones that Mr. Mack took during high school. I was always looking forward to the pictures he took of me. After this game I realized that the X attackman (the position I played in high school-college) was the one getting most of the cool shots, since that position handled the ball most often on offense. 

But seriously though. It was an amazing experience to witness these guys battle it out from my camera lens. Some of these moments were actually priceless!

Anyways… This was an awesome game to take photos at because I grew up watching the Hill Academy play on YouTube growing up. I want to wish the Hill School and the Hill Academy good luck on the rest of the season! Thanks for letting me take photos at your game!

First steps

Here goes nothing. Welcome to photomaki! This is the inaugural blog post for my pursuit of photography, (and blogs in general!). 

My goals for this venture are:

1. For my (future) clients to have the best experience possible, no matter how dire the circumstance.

2. To find the photographic niche I’m best at.

3. To try and implement the most cutting edge photographic techniques.

As of today, I’m just an amateur building my portfolio in sports, wedding and event photography. Why these specific focuses? I’ve played lacrosse since age 10, playing in college and eventually at the international level. I’ve seen how photographers have worked over the years and I really wanted to give it a shot. Poor excuse, but I never wanted to fork up the cash for an expensive camera, let alone a telephoto lens. I was very fortunate to have a camera gifted to me recently (thanks Ada!). Right now I am shooting with Sony A-6000. 

For weddings, I’ve found myself using my iPhone to take artsy pictures of things that typical wedding photographers take during the big day. I worked as a wedding caterer for a number of years and have watched the professionals do their thing while I served tables. That being said, I’ve seen many varieties of weddings that I wish I could have been taking pictures of! 

I am just so ready to get this started. 

Here’s a picture of my best friends Alex and Taylor’s Wedding from this past September.

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