Mission Statement

 

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Mission Statement – What fuels my passion?

For past two years I have been fascinated by the limitless potential of our minds. I have studied psychology, read self development books, attended seminars. And I can honestly say it works. I’m only few steps into that journey but I’m already a different, better person. I have changed and grown in those two years more than in two decades prior that. Many of doubts have been cleared, insecurities addressed and questions answered. But our minds are made to wonder so new, deeper questions have quickly risen. And what I really want to talk about here as it is directly related to my work and main subject of this blog is one such question.

Photography is my passion, there is no doubt about it. But WHY is it my passion? What part of being professional photographer gives me the most satisfaction? Is it the art element? Joy of creation? Making a living out of something I love? Meeting interesting people? Working on cool projects in dynamic environment? While all of above is true non of those reasons is relevant enough to keep this fire in my gut burning for so many years. Not even all of them combined. So what REALLY fuels my passion I kept asking. I thought long and hard, looked at my images, recalled my clients… I have shot so many different projects. Some of them so different from one another that it could’ve been considered different craft altogether. Yet each time I had the same deep sense of fulfilment. And then it came to me! I have been given this talent to help people! This one second of enlightenment has changed my worldview completely. I’ve experienced a paradigm shift as psychologists would say. All of the sudden it all made sense. Looking back I’ve realised that my talent has helped so many people:

  • I have helped people to defeat self esteem issues.
  • I have helped individuals to find their life partners.
  • I have helped writers to get published.
  • I have helped film producers to reach their audience.
  • I have helped minorities to have their voice heard.
  • I have helped people to get their dream jobs.
  • I have helped politicians to get elected.
  • I have helped businessmen to materialise their dreams.
  • I have helped small businesses to discover their true potential.
  • I have helped big businesses to reach even further.
  • I have touched so many lives and helped them to get better than they were yesterday.

And that my friends is what really fuels my passion! It is now stronger, more defined than ever. It brings me clarity of my goals and sense of purpose.

I have been given my talent to help people and I will continue to do so with more drive, determination and commitment than ever before. We are all uniquely gifted and those gifts are not to be wasted.


Fashion Photographer London – Arts University Bournemouth Symposium

Fashion Photographer London Jarek Duk at Arts University Bournemouth

Fashion Photography London – Arts University Bournemouth Symposium

Few weeks ago I was invited to speak at Arts University annual symposium. I felt proud and excited when I found this invitation in my inbox. Once the initial excitement has settled I started to worry slightly and wonder how do I make it interesting and different from everything else those students have heard before.

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Beards and Ink – Portrait Photography Personal Project

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Beards and Ink – Portrait Photography Personal Project

Those of you that follow my daily struggles know that I mostly shoot fashion and advertising jobs. Those are usually high energy projects involving big teams, fast pace, noisy environment, loud music and large dose of adrenaline. And I absolutely love all of the above but sometimes you just need a break. No I don’t mean brake from photography. My life circulates around photography 24/7. When I don’t work I watch tutorials, interviews, behind the scenes, stare at other people’s work, experiment with new gear I even take pictures at romantic dates (huge credit to my fiancee for putting up with all of this 😉 ) So what I really mean is break in the pattern. Sometimes you just need to do something different to refuel your creativity. And so I did…

One day I packed my car full of gear and drove 3 hours from London to small, beautiful seaside town Bournemouth where life is slow, people happy and the air is fresh. Prior my trip I have made couple of phone calls and arranged a portrait photography session at the local barber shop. The place is amazing! It’s an ultimate man cave. Under the pretext of getting haircut you just get to hang out with your local buddies, the awesome guys that run the shop, hear a joke that would be absolutely inappropriate anywhere else and if you lucky enough you may even get a shot of bourbon from under the counter 😉 In short the place has some serious character. Kindly sitting in for me I had two barbers and two “regulars”. As they say a picture is worth thousand words I will just let you sink in to my story guided by images below. What a different day that was…

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Full of character, sophisticated portrait of a barber with beard.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Old school barber tools.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.

Portrait photography by Jarek Duk. Beards and tattoos. Full of character, sophisticated portrait.


Pregnancy Shoot London Extravaganza

Have you ever searched for pregnancy pictures? And what did you find? Yes I know, they’re all the same… So what if you not into pink hearts, teddy bears, flowers, angels, ribbons and all this cheesy glitter?

What if you are confident, successful, modern young woman that when pregnant feels just as beautiful and sexy as ever?

One such lady has contacted me recently in quest for cool, sexy pregnancy shoot that would make her look and feel like million dollars not a warm marshmallow.

As I mainly shoot fashion I felt right at home planning the shoot that would include Agent Provocateur lingerie, Jimmy Choo heels and Louis Vuitton accessories. So here our pregnancy shoot begins. For a warm up we’ve shot almost classic image on the chair, highlighting the figure. Seeing the results took my model’s confidence to the whole new level! Not that she was lacking it in the first place 😉

All this resulted in the next three images that some may find controversial but no one will deny them being beautiful and sexy!

Next we decided to take some pregnancy pictures that she would be able to show her parents and less open minded friends (photo in the pink jacket). You know how some women just blossom when pregnant?

The radiant glow of the skin, beautiful and shiny hair, fuller bust, the good energy that just surrounds her… I really wanted to capture and immortalise that unusual beauty. The last picture just sums it all up!

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Last minute addendum.

Shortly after publishing this article I received this comment:

The experience was incredible! As en ex-model I have been involved in many, many shoots but working with you comes on top of my list. You have brought out the very best of me! Your knowledge, personality and confidence behind the lens put me at such ease and comfort that I could not even imagine given the circumstances. You made me look and feel beautiful and the results just blew me away! Thank You.

 

As a photographer – I’m satisfied.

 

Pregnancy pictures London. Beautiful pregnant woman on a chair

 

Pregnancy shoot London. Beautiful and sexy pregnant woman. Photo by Jarek Duk.

 

Pregnancy pictures London. Beautiful and sexy pregnant woman. Photo by Jarek Duk.

 

Pregnancy shoot London. Beautiful and sexy pregnant woman. Photo by Jarek Duk.

 

Pregnancy pictures London. Beautiful and sexy pregnant woman. Photo by Jarek Duk.

 

Pregnancy pictures London. Beautiful and sexy pregnant woman. Photo by Jarek Duk.


Model Portfolio London – How not to get scammed.

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

Model Portfolio London – How not to get scammed.

The Ultimate Guide For Aspiring Models

 

I have decided to write this article touched by increasing volume of rather sad phone calls and emails I receive from young boys and girls that dream of modelling career.

They all have one thing in common, they are victims of their own dreams and ruthless people that are prepared to shamelessly take advantage of a vulnerable, young person and run with their money. By now you are probably wondering what I’m on about? I am talking about so called “professional model portfolio” or modelling portfolio photo shoots.

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The story is always the same. One way or the other (they are really good at marketing) they get your attention and lure you in.

Along the way they convince you that you are absolutely gorgeous or insanely handsome and the only thing that stands between you and the cover of VOGUE is lack of “professional” portfolio.

You can not believe your luck when they tell you that today they have very special offer and the £2000 package goes for mere £750. What a bargain!

While wave of excitement washes over your body, you empty your account, squeeze something out of your parents, maybe even call your grandma. You are completely green in this field so nothing triggers your suspicion… until few days later you proudly present this marvel to a modelling agency. Unfortunately this time you deal with real professionals and after quick scan they reject your photos and tell you to come back when you’ll have something they call a portfolio.

You are shocked, speechless, wondering how this could happen?

You just became another person that have been scammed. I personally work with several modelling agencies so feel qualified to explain you why.

Reputable modelling agency would NEVER put on their website anything that is even slightly below their current standard. That would lower the agency’s perceived quality and damage their reputation.

If you are really drop dead gorgeous and the agency wants you very much, they may offer you a test shoot (more professional term for model portfolio building session) but this time with real professional from within the industry rather than some weekend warrior/happy snapper or your local high street studio that is guaranteed to deliver results matching their standards.

Then they deduct the cost of the shoot from your future earnings so it all happens painlessly, without further damage to your budget.

Only few of you will be that lucky though. Unfortunately most will have to prove their potential before they would be accepted.

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So what do you do next?

Have really good look at your agency’s website. See what quality of photography they display and find photographer that will deliver it.

Don’t panic, it’s not going to cost you arm and leg again. You may be surprised that often real commercial or fashion photographer will charge you less than your awesome, flashy local studio. The point is that our main source of income is commercial photography for commercial clients and we don’t feel the urge to scam naive, young people.

We are actually happy to help, give something back to the industry, not only take professional looking photographs but also teach you something along the way.

Give you advice on styling, latest trends on hair & makeup, shed some light on posing techniques, even give some homework so you can practice and progress on your own.

I often get to work on commercial projects with models that few years back have showed up at our door green and clueless as you are right now. But they’ve worked hard, they’ve persevered. Some of them failed… but some have succeeded and they say it was worth it.

Please share your thoughts and related experiences in the comments below.

More information on this topic in my other article Modelling Portfolio – Expert advice.

UPDATE:

Please note that I do not intend to comment on particular studio, agency or other individual cases as they are all different. My intention was to give you information and advice that is hard to find elsewhere and enables you to make conscious and rational decision before you send your hard earned money. I really hope it serves the purpose.

Yours truly

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

 

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

 

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book

 

Model portfolio London, modelling portfolio London, portfolio book


Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2

Hi Guys,

Today a quick update on our Miss USSR UK project. Casting Nr.2 was held at trendy night club Jalouse. Again we were simply dazzled by the beauty of our contestants, celebrity guests and organisers themselves.

Below few official photos of the contestants followed by some after-party snaps.

Enjoy!

 

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 official contestant's photo

 

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 official contestant's photo

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 official contestant's photo

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 official contestant's photo

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 official contestant's photo

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 official contestant's photo

 

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

Miss USSR UK 2013-2014 London casting Nr.2 Behind the scenes and after party photos

You can also see my pictures from Miss USSR UK Casting Nr.1 right here and all of the Miss USSR UK contestants on their official website.

If you would like to join the fun and vote for your favourite girl, voting page will go live in December.