Interview with Katarzyna “Daedra” Mikołajczak
Over the years we have made a lot of pleasant acquaintances with models and photographers interested in Medieval, Renaissance times and fantasy photography. These successful collaborations have brought us a lot of amazing pictures that we were happy to share on our social networks. But sometimes behind the role of a talanted model there is something much bigger — a unique lifestory of a human being, that was once brave and crazy enough to start living their dream!
So today we want to take you behind the scenes. Please welcome — Katarzyna “Daedra” Mikołajczak!
— Please introduce yourself to our readers.
— My name is Katarzyna and I have not been drinking for two days... haha :D I'm more known under the pseudonym Daedra, chocolate and music addicted photographer, model and makeup artist from Poland. I’m a bit of a one-woman band :)
— When did you decide to become a model (and a photographer) and why?
— I started as a photographer. I started out taking photos of everything I could, but I quickly noticed that the greatest pleasure for me is photography of people. It was about 2008. I didn’t want to be a model — for a long time I didn't like myself in photos and ran away from the camera! I think it was so that I saw all those beautiful photos and models (not only made by me) and suddenly I realized that yes! I can also be a part of it! So why not try? But I liked it and wanted more, so you can see me now :)
— Your Instagram photos are so many-sided, with various characters and images. Is there a favorite role for you? Does anything connect all these images, apart from you being all of them?
— It's hard to say because I like to try new things and take on new roles than stick to one. However, I try to do only things that I can “feel”, not only pretend. But recently I feel very well in a fantasy medieval style and I admit that it is largely due to your outfits, and red hair, as you can see on my photos. I really love myself in this color, although I'm not able to do it on my hair at this moment, but at least I have a wig!
— How did you start? Was it hard?
— It started with the fact that I set up accounts on one of the modelling websites in Poland. As a photographer, at the beginning I photographed my friends, later I worked with amateurs on this platform. As a model I had the first ‘real’ photo shoot at the beginning of 2010. I remember that I was very nervous, but the photographer was professional and very sympathetic. And for the first year, these photos were probably the best I had. And of course it was hard, I think still is. I had to prepare everything for photos, so I needed to learn makeup and other stuff. But it was definitely worth it I think.
— What is the most exciting about your work? What is your main motivation?
— Of course final effect ;) Okay, maybe not only, for me everything is a little exciting. Preparation of stylization, makeup, coming up with compositions, choice of background or retouching in Photoshop. The motivation for me is to strive for taking better pictures as well as discovering new places for shootings.
— You look absolutely astonishing in our costumes. Is there a particular period in the history of the Middle Ages you like more than others? Are you more interested in mythology and fantasy worlds?
— Thank you :) I don't have a favorite period, I definitely prefer fantasy worlds and mythology, especially because my hair doesn't allow me to historical reenactment. Maybe that's why I like your clothes so much, because they are mostly inspired by medieval history, not accurate reconstructions.
— What else are you interested in, except modelling and photography? What are your hobbies?
— Currently, I spend most of my time on photography, but I'm also interested in music (but only as a listener) and I love to participate in concerts, especially metal genre. And I'm a movie lover!
— What does it take to be a successful model? What qualities one needs to have?
— To be honest, I don't know. The look is certainly important (after all, the model works using the look), but also an idea for yourself and your image, desire for development and a lot of self-denial. I constantly try to develop to be able to take various photos. I still practice my facial expressions and poses, because I try to act in front of the lens, not only stand there. You know, I want to be a particular character, not just pretend.
— How much time does it take to make such a great photo shoot, such as one of yours?
— I think the least time is for the shooting itself :) Preparations are the most time — consuming (makeup, matching styling, sometimes even tailoring, gathering props), it can take many hours. And will be more if you want to also add a ride to the spot. Also post production later requires time, but it depends on shooting, because there are some that I can retouch in one day.
— What your family and friends say about your work? Do they support you?
— Most of my friends do the same (for example Lady Elbereth which posed in Lady of the Lake dress with me), so we support each other. My family is regularly interested in my work, especially my mother loves my photos (sometimes she helped me in shooting, for example my winter photos in Lady of the Lake dress were taken by her).
— What do you think about ArmStreet and goods we create?
— I can't write that they are bad, because then you will not publish it :D Honestly, though, costumes from you are distinguished by the quality in my wardrobe. I'm delighted with how carefully everything is sewn, all details match each other and materials are of the highest quality. And they are so beautiful that when I wear it, I don't want to take off :) Only I'm not a big fan of your suede corsets, but it's because they are too long for me (I have a very short torso). Materials are still great. At least in medieval fantasy style, I have not seen anything better than yours.
— What are your plans for this year?
— It's hard to say, because often trips or other projects appear quite spontaneously in my life. But for sure I want to go again to the Tatras for my next great photos :)
— What is your big dream?
— It sounds like a cliché, but I would like to travel a lot — of course mainly to be able to constantly do new shoots in beautiful places. Moreover, I would like the photographer's or model's work to be taken seriously, especially in my country, because unfortunately, many people still think it's just fun and it doesn't require any skills. From unreal dreams — I always wanted to be a musician, but I'm a complete lack of talent in this, haha :)
— And a few words for our customers and readers, if you wish :)
— I would like to thank you for this interview and also a chance to work with you, because it's a great experience for me. And a big thank you to all readers for reading this :D What can I say, stay a dreamer and remember to always be yourself and if you can do something — do it with heart and do your best.