Interview with Fashion Photographer Jackie Puwalski
I love learning about new photographers, their stories and how they got to where they are at the moment. I’m especially intrigued by those around my age who are doing inspirational work. Jackie Puwalski is one of those photographers. Within the last year, I found Jackie’s photography and naturally, was curious about how she got into the industry and what it’s been like so far for her. So…I asked her.
Megan Mueller: How were you able to get into the fashion photography industry?
Jackie Puwalski: As far as getting into the industry there isn’t really any set path, everyone progresses into things in different ways. After attending art school I threw myself full force into doing test shoots and meeting people. I was a very shy person before school so I had to make a larger effort to extrovert myself and network. One of the biggest things about the fashion industry is it is largely about personal relationships, I have met some of the most integral members of my team in the most unlikely of places. The best way to get your foot in the door is to test. Test shoots with models, designers, agencies, makeup artists, anyone that is interested in working with you. From there things just kind of progress naturally.
MM: Who inspires you?
JP: Personally I have always felt a little at odds with the question “What photographers are you looking at?” I derive most of my inspiration from movies, tv shows, novels I read, and life in general. However my greatest photographic idol is Tim Walker, I absolutely love his view of life and fashion. Similarly, my greatest artistic influence is Alexander McQueen. He inspired me as an artist by his vision and mind, I’m sure you have seen some of his designs but if you have any free time look up some of writings about where he found inspiration for his collections.
MM: How many years have you been shooting fashion photography?
JP: As a serious interest I have been doing photography for about five years now. I say seriously to mean actively trying to make a name for myself as a photographer and get my work noticed as a business.
MM: How were you able to make so many connections in the fashion photography industry?
JP: I was able to make connections through doing a ton of test shoots. I was lucky early on to build connections with Project Runway designer Maya Luz when we were both in school, I also was able to get a campaign for British Airways and a show with Converse right out of school just by pounding pavement and showing my work to anyone who would pay me any attention. I was a teaching assistant at the New England School of Photography and taught a workshop there.
MM: Do you have any tips about photography or the industry?
JP: The greatest tip I can give you as you work into the fashion industry is to be nice to everyone that you can, it will not always be easy, trust me. Because you will get work and recommendations from the most unlikely places.
Jackie Puwalski Photography