On His Own — Pawel Franik Invites Us to Spend Some Time by Ourselves
When was the last time you spent some quality time with yourself? With his series On His Own, 24 year-old Polish photographer Pawel Franik reminds us that once in a while we should remember to make some time for ourselves to look deeper into our own world.
Hello Pawel, thank you for this interview. What are your main interests as a photographer?
Hello! For me photography is something special, it allows me to hold moments in my hand. I especially like to shoot minimal scenes which nonetheless are dense with meaning, and hidden meanings in particular.
Photography also helps me approach other people: I am generally a shy person.
What is On His Own about, in particular?
On His Own shows humans as individuals, as loners surrounded by big spaces. The purpose of the series is to draw attention to the fact of being by oneself, with nobody else around. Minute after minute, we rush through our lives and get lost in the process – shouldn’t we stop for a moment to take a deep look inside our hearts?
How did you get the idea for this project? What inspired you to work around the theme of loneliness?
It all started from the photo of a man alone in a vast, empty environment. He wasn’t lonely though, he simply was in his own individual space. It came to my mind later that I could show a subject’s intimate experience of the world as they are spending time with themselves, their thoughts, their reflections.
I rendered this idea in a minimalistic way: I represented my subjects standing alone in a clean scenery devoid of any other human presence.
Based on what did you choose where to shoot the photographs? Does each location hold a particular meaning?
I took the photos in places I know from my everyday life and travels. I didn’t select the locations for a specific reason – I guess I just followed my instinct and shot where I was inspired to do so.
Is there any of the On His Own images that you consider more significant or is a favorite, and why?
This is my favorite photo of the series. This is a place from my childhood – as a little boy I would go there all the time and spend my days away from home. Actually, I still head over there sometimes.
Did you have any specific reference or source(s) of inspiration in mind while working on On His Own?
I was probably inspired by my own personality. I’m an observer. I like doing many things on my own, spending some time only with myself. This doesn’t mean that I like being alone: I have a family, a girlfriend, a group of friends. But I believe we all need some time for ourselves. We shouldn’t forget about it.
Who are some of your favorite contemporary photographers?
Zhang Kechun, Nadav Kander and Julien Mauve.
Do you have any other passion beside photography?
Yes! I am the classic cars freak. I also love traveling, and my girlfriend’s smile :)
Choose your #threewordsforphotography.
Magic. Moment. Minimalism.