Joanna Lemańska: Being a Photographer in a City Like Paris

Joanna Lemańska is an art historian living in Paris, France who is known for her work in street and architecture photography. She is sought after in particular for her ability to create interesting images by shooting through reflective surfaces like puddles, windows, or floors. Joanna has so far been commissioned by CocaCola, Samsung, HBO, Lacoste, Vienna Tourism, and others who have been in need of her talent. Colorful, thoughtful, and diverse, her collection of photographs on Instagram is a delight to peruse.

How did you decide (or not decide) to be a photographer?

JL: I actually didn’t decide. It all came by to me quite naturally. Photography became very quickly a passion and as I was taking more and more photos, the first clients contacted me and I got some nice press releases, I realized that I started to do a real photographer’s job.

Joanna Lemanska 1 Photo Credit: Joanna Lemańska

How would you answer the question: What’s the point of photography?

JL: The answer will be totally subjective. For me it’s the opportunity to show other people what I see and the way I see it. Also it’s all about patience, discovering, meeting people.

Photo Credit: Joanna Lemańska

JL: At the beginning I wasn’t expecting this. If you have told me 3 years ago that I would be working with Smart or CocaCola, I would’ve thought you’re crazy ;)

The first clients contacted me in 2013 and then it was like a snowball effect. More and more brands were reaching out to me to work together on different projects.

JL 10 Photo Credit: Joanna Lemańska

Complete this sentence: Whatever we think we know about _____ is wrong because ______.

JL: Whatever we think we know about Paris is wrong because this city is just too stimulating and intriguing to be defined by common clichés.

In any case the future of photography looks bright to me. This discipline cannot but evolve and develop and who knows where it will lead us.

Joanna Lemanska 13 Photo Credit: Joanna Lemańska

How can a photographer get better at her craft?

JL: My advice would be to walk a lot and be observant. It may sound funny but I assure you it’s true – never go out without your camera, because you never know if there won’t be an unique occasion to take a picture. Also be confident about what you do and the more you shoot the better you will get at it.

Photo Credit: Joanna Lemańska

You speak three languages: English, French, and Polish. How has being multilingual helped you in your photography career? How has it helped you as an artist?

JL: Well it helps me a lot to communicate with my fans, clients, buyers etc., that come from all over the world. I don’t think that it changes anything in particular as regards my photography work.

Photo Credit: Joanna Lemańska

What has been your favorite project or piece of work? Why?

JL: To be honest I enjoyed all of my projects just as much. I never did a photography project that I didn’t like. Otherwise it would have been pointless I guess.


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Right now I’m still a bit overwhelmed with my latest project in partnership with several hotels in Paris. So many totally unique experiences and what’s even more important, it gave me the opportunity to meet incredible people, such as art galleries’ owners or the team of the legendary Studio Harcourt. A photographer’s job can definitely make my days pretty exciting.

Photo Credit: Joanna Lemańska

Your work is based in Paris. Do you think you will ever run out of ‘Paris’ to photograph? Why or why not?

JL: Well that’s true because I live here, but at the same time I travel quite a lot which helps me to keep a fresh eye on Paris. Besides I think it’s impossible to run out of Paris to photograph. The city is moving and changing a lot. Believe me, in a city like Paris there are always new things to photograph or old stuff too but seen in a new way. I can’t imagine ever getting bored with this city.

Never go out without your camera, because you never know if there won’t be an unique occasion to take a picture.

Photo Credit: Joanna Lemańska

What does the future of photography look like to you? How might photography as a discipline change?

JL: That’s a tough question. I think that technology will surely change in ways that I cannot predict. As for photography itself, has it changed that much? It’s always been all about capturing the moment and making it unique, hasn’t it.

In any case the future of photography looks bright to me. This discipline cannot but evolve and develop and who knows where it will lead us.

31[1] Photo Credit: Joanna Lemańska

How might photography as an art transform in the future? Do you see yourself being a photographer for the rest of your life?

JL: Definitely yes and I hope I can photograph as long as possible. Impossible for me to know if I’ll always be able to earn my living with photography, but even if one day it’s not possible, I won’t stop shooting. This is just what I like doing the most.

I can easily picture myself still keep on running and shooting at the age of 70 or 80, if only the health allows…

Believe me, in a city like Paris there are always new things to photograph or old stuff too but seen in a new way. I can’t imagine ever getting bored with this city.

JL 8 Photo Credit: Joanna Lemańska

EDITOR’S NOTE: The opinions expressed here by Impakter.com columnists are their own, not those of Impakter.com.
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About the Author /

Nisreen Al-Basha has zigzagged her way through several majors at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign before happily coming to rest on Sociology. She is passionate about innovation, design, education, sustainability, business, tech, and of course the intersection of all of these things. She wants to help move the world forward and is happy to meet other people who are trying to do the same. As far as I know she is friendly.

Comments(3)

  • Claude Forthomme

    May 31, 2016

    Fantastic pictures…and of my favorite city in the world (after Rome of course). What an extraordinary talent!

  • Michele Bonanno - Editor in Chief

    Michele Bonanno di Linguaglossa

    May 31, 2016

    A modern Henri Cartier Bresson!!

  • Urban Mishmash - Best things to do in Paris

    October 15, 2016

    Amazing work, amazing pics !
    Thx

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