I came to Dara and she asked me who I really am?

I realized that we turn our eyes outwards but hardly ever inwards. We are constantly bombarded with a myriad of external impulses and the notions of our environment about what we should be like. And so, we’re afraid to show what we really are like in order to avoid condemnation.

But what are we like in reality?

We’re just like an onion, wrapped in an endless number of layers. Thus, it’s increasingly hard to reach our core: our most beautiful soul.

“Your photo will be our joint task” said Dara, and she was right. Is she a guide to take me down the path to my inner self, helping me to resolve the question of who I really am? Down the path to finding myself and the beautiful part inside.

Except that the time spent on the path is surprisingly short. Such deliberations take years. However, Dara is only given a few hours to win over one’s confidence and go down the path to the inner self of the person she is photographing, to take a second to capture the most beautiful part of each of us. She does her job sincerely, putting all of herself into it. She has my admiration.

So, after a gradual process to relax my mimic muscles and get rid of all my clothes and conventions, sitting completely naked on the ground, I got to realize who I really am and what my value is. It’s not just about taking photos: it’s a deep emotional experience that will allow us to identify and capture the most valuable part we have, us in ourselves, by means of a single photograph that will show up as a great artifact next to us, constantly reminding us of who we really are and of ourselves being the most valuable thing we have in our lives.

And then we realize it’s all over. We’ll never allow anyone again to hurt us. We know there’s no point chasing pseudo-values because we now have the most valuable thing; in fact, we’ve had it since birth, except that at times, we don’t appreciate it enough.


Thank you, Dara

Ingrid Santariusová

Why present your mum with a photo shoot as an experience

Because you only have one mum. Because mum means love and understanding. Because mum has reached an age when she might not think she could be the focus, and it would be a moment for her only. Because mum is there for us, always and here. Because mum is the person who gave life to us. The life we’re living. You might think she wouldn’t want it (I’m speaking of a photo shoot), but you can hardly imagine how much it could mean to her. In her modesty and care, she might never realize she could be beautiful, all made up, stylish, looking at her own photos that she might enjoy. So be sure: when I do photo shoots with ladies old enough to be grandmothers, they perceive this to be an experience worth talking about for a long time. It’s something new and charming: it’s a moment when you drag her out of her mundane life and give her an unusual experience through a photo session.

Offering a photo shoot as an experience for your mum can be arranged as a joint session for both of you. Most times, it’s young mums posing for photos with their children, but don’t forget one fact: we’re still someone’s child even if we are 40 or 50 years old. We’ll always remain daughters and sons for our parents. They enjoy seeing their children, no matter what age they are. And this simple core principle of life is often forgotten. You mum might be 80 but she’s still a charming lady happy to have you. And the photographs, either solo or with you, will always remind her of time, mood, appearance and closeness.

Be sure: you’ll never make time come back!


Why refrain from makeup

Why avoid makeup for photo sessions of teenage girls…

Dear mums, I know how lovely it feels to have your daughter portrayed when she is growing up, with a couple of years till she comes of age and becomes an adult. It’s pure joy to capture immaturity which will pass so fast. I understand you only want the best for her. Your daughter is beautiful, and you’d like to provide some makeup for her photo shoot so that everything turns out just perfect, wouldn’t you?

I’m a photographer. I photograph women. I photograph my clients’ daughters. And I would like to share my point of view regarding “photo session makeup”. Please believe, the beauty of your daughter lies in her natural self and consists in how charming she is just by being there. You don’t need to add anything to it. I’m a portrait photographer and have been photographing women for years. I photograph children and teenagers, capturing the moment and, most importantly, your perspective of them. The way you know them from home. You know perfectly when they are absolutely natural. Taking photos of children and teenagers is really about how I can talk with them and distract them so that I capture the way they are, without casting a smile they rehearsed in kindergarten photos and their own selfies. That’s exactly why it feels so charming not to change your daughter’s looks for a more mature image: there will be so many opportunities later to apply makeup. Why do it when she’s 15, for instance. I do think it’s a pity. When she stands at the altar, you’ll just love the photos from the times when she was still a little child. When she was immature. That’s the treasure I’m speaking about: to capture in photos your daughter exactly the way she is.

Dara Kuźmic