Martin Stranka, a native of the Czech Republic who lives in Prague, is a self-taught professional photographer, born on April 13 1984. Martin was a bored student plodding through courses in business school when the unexpected death of a close friend led him to pursue photography as a form of therapy. That hobby turned into a passion and, eventually, a profession. His distinctive vision of photography is etched as a unique space located in a balance and serenity, while his sophisticated and rewarding images exist in that narrow window of a few seconds between dreaming and awakening. Martin creates images that appear to be stills from a film — one that walks the line between fantasy and reality.
During the last years he has won over 50 major international photography awards from different competitions, including Professional Photographer of the Year, Nikon International Photo Contest, Prix de la Photographie Paris, Sony World Photography Awards and International Photography Awards eleven times in a row. His solo and group exhibitions have been seen from South and North America, through Europe, all the way to Asia. His photographs have been exhibited in places such as New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Milan, London, Miami, Paris, Prague, Hong Kong, Kiev and many more. Martin’s work was presented in prestigious galleries such as Getty Images Gallery, Saatchi Gallery and SNAP! Orlando. His work stood proudly alongside the likes of Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz, Banksy, Damien Hirst, Helmut Newton and Erwin Olaf. Martin was introduced and exposed at SCOPE, the largest and most global emerging art fair in the world, held annually in New York City, Miami, and Basel.
Martin‘s dreamy, transportive photography has been commissioned by cultural institutions such as the National Theatre in Prague and the Czech National Ballet. Dozens of his images have also been used by New York publishers for the covers of mysteries and thrillers — genres he believes his work is perfectly suited to. He has created book covers for the biggest New York publishers, such as Harper Collins Publishers, Sterling Publishing and Penguin Random House. In addition, he has collaborated with other book publishers, music publishers and artists around the world. Work of Martin Stranka was featured in interviews for Adobe, Disney, The Guardian and many more.”
Name: Martin Stranka
Birthday: 13. April
College: self-taught photographer
Book: my life
Movie: The Fountain (by Darren Aronofsky)
Quote: Be yourself, loved by a few and not understood by the rest.
For how long have been in photography? How did you start?
I started taking photos 9 years ago. It was unfortunately due to sad life accident when my partner died in a sea. Something had to end, something new started. It was a massive shock for me and I was looking for balance and relief somewhere. So I chose photography.
How would you define yourself as an artist?
Sometimes I think about title artist. Who is an artist? When you become an artist? Is it moment when you make an art for living? It is a question. I am kind of mindless traveler through my own reality.
Where do you find inspiration?
I know it could sound simple but I find it in daily moments. In my life, in daily basic moments like light, smells, smell of autumn, flowers – mainly trees, sunsets, stuff floating in the air like dust and leaves, and so many other basically simple things we can see every day. Music is massive inspiration of course.
Is Brainstorming not the only creative method use to create new concepts?
I dont use brainstorming. New concept comes as it comes. I dont prepare my photo shootings many days before. I create when I feel I need to. It is so natural for me like eating or sleeping.
Please could you tell us about photography and digital technology?
Technology is only a tool. I always say the best tools are our mind and eyes. Close your eyes in order to see. Close your eyes and you can create anything you want.
What type of camera do you use most?
Canon 5D mark III
What is your favorite lens?
Canon 24-70 II f2,8 L
What has been your most memorable assignment and why?
Well, I was creating a book cover for best selling New York Times author and their requirements was quite difficult for me because I was taking photos only 3 years at this time. But we made it.
What are your favourite three images you have shot recently?
How important is an awesome website for your business?
We live in new era of self-presentation. It is so nice to have a good looking “product” but you have to promote it well too. So yes, it is important.
What’s the most important quality a photographer needs to have?
It is his own inner world which creates his own style. This is what makes you different among others.
Which of your projects has given you the most satisfaction?
Itis obviously my endless project called “I Found The Silence” http://www.martinstranka.com/ifoundthesilence I have been working since the beginning of my journey. It is 9 years and I still add new photos there. Maybe I do not want to close it as finished. It is my daily diary.
List of your clients?
Who are the photographer’s you admire the most?
Honestly, I am not so much inspired by other photographers. I am more under influence of nowadays painters like Jeremmy Geddes and this unknown artist: http://xhxix.tumblr.com
What about designers?
I will be patriotic and mention our still quite young designer Maxim Velcovsky.