An Interview With Mobile Photographer HashTagAlek.

10/26/2016Jake Ryan

I first found the account HashTagAlek a few months back, the account is run by Alek Malachowski. Taken in by his incredible photographs, I was stunned to discover that Alek takes all his photos on a phone. 

Spending his time exploring the streets of Poland, and posting up a selection of natural and  minimalistic shots, Alek has managed to build up a strong and interactive following on his Instagram. 

Recently, Alek was kind enough to answer a few questions for TravelFoodFilm. 

See what Alek had to say…

Hey Alek, Tell us a little about yourself?
Hey, I'm 22 yo. Born in the capital of Poland - Warsaw, where I take most of my photos. Currently I'm studying. In my free time I love hanging around the Warsaw streets with my mobile camera & spotting new places. My main goal in photography is seeking for natural symmetry, shadows play, geometry and mixing these elements together in a minimalistic kind of way.

So I recently found your Instagram and absolutely love it. How long have you been taking photos for?
For a few years actually, but if we’re speaking only about instagram & mobile photography then everything started two years ago when I discovered that I can achieve very satisfying effects only with a thing which I have always in my pocket - my phone. Then I immediately came across VSCOcam application with all its outstanding presets which only deepen my relationship with mobile photography.

Have you studied photography or did you teach yourself?
No, I’ve never studied photography. To be honest I’ve learned everything myself or by exploring Instagram/internet while looking for inspiration. Often all you need to do in order to learn & achieve a progress is to “just do it”. It may sound unrealistic at first, but trust me, it was exactly what I've done to be in the place I am now.

What do you shoot with?
Always mobile. Currently Galaxy S7. Some may say device matters, some may not, in my opinion the truth is somewhere in the middle. As long as you don’t shoot in bad light situations such as indoors or at night, you shouldn't bother. Before buying my current phone I had been using Galaxy S3 for a 3 years and people couldn't often believe I’ve been using only this device to take pictures. Everything comes down to avoiding bad light situations & hiding your phone’s weakness in post production.

How long do you spend editing your shots?
As long as every single detail on a picture is set in a way I want. Sometimes it takes 20 mins, sometimes few hours. I should also add here that not only do I shoot with phone, but I also edit by using only my phone. The typical tour includes: correcting perspective in SKRWT, adjusting other miscellaneous in Snapseed/Photo Editor and, finally, putting preset & setting up colours in VSCOcam.

Your photos always seem so perfectly framed, is that luck or do you spend a lot of time setting up the shot?
Although I consider myself to be generally a lucky person, in photography I rely rather on, let’s say, some kind of plan. Nowadays I tend to spend a lot of time setting up the shot - during taking it & after, when I’m editing.

Have you ever had any of your work featured anywhere?
In the real world - two times now. Anyway, within the Instagram, I’ve been featured many times on various profiles.

Where do you find your inspiration?
Among the other instagrammers and their content. While on the street, outstanding pieces of modern architecture and huge open spaces always make me feel inspired and productive.

Do you have any favourite photographers?
It all comes to Instagram where, apart from all of the people I follow & who inspire me in some kind of way, I have few favourite accounts: @urbanentdecker_ with his never ending motivation, enthusiasm and ideas for shooting, editing and exploring, @magnus___p who literally rules the light, @nataszamaria with her unique style including eye-catching b&w photos and well toned, cold coloured edits, @szisme who rocks the best photos of Warsaw skyline I’ve ever seen, @____mkv with his minimalistic state of mind, @moikropka with her sense of space and architecture.

And finally, what are your plans for the future?
To still keep having a lot of fun with this whole mobile photography & Instagram thing. I would also like to finally visit few of the European cities such as Berlin, Barcelona, Copenhagen and Oslo which seem to me packed with huge amount of fine architecture.

Thanks to Alek for taking the time to speak to TravelFoodFilm. 

Make sure you follow Alek on Instagram HERE

All photos in this post belong to Alek. 

You Might Also Like


Contact Form