Michał Czarnecki

I live and work in Warsaw, Poland where I take most of my photographs. My interest in photography arose in 2012 when I attended documentary photography course led by Monika Szewczyk. This was eye opening experience that completely changed my view on photography. In the next years I continued to educate myself on my own but also attended some other workshops. I do my best to practise on the streets of my home town as often as possible. Recently I also try to build bigger body of work than a single image. As a result I have two long term projects in progress. When I am not photographing I enjoy playing samba (batucada).

Selected awards and group exhibitions

2018/04 – “Sony World Photography Awards” street photography category, commended photographer, London, England
2017/11 – “Urban Photo Awards” street photography category finalist, Trieste, Italy
2017/05 – “Polska Ulicznie 2017”, Dom Braci Jabłkowskich, Warsaw, Poland
2016/09 – “6. Leica Street Photo”, Leica 6×7 Gallery, Warsaw, Poland
2015/10 – “Street Art Photo”, within Białystok Interphoto Festival, Białystok Poland
2015/07 – “Eastreet 3. Street Photography from Eastern Europe” (catalogue) – Warsztaty Kultury, Lublin, Poland


2015/11 – “Warszawa. Podręcznik zamieszkiwania“, publisher: Centrum Sztuki Współczesnej Zamek Ujazdowski
2015/08 – “Vieworld photomagazine #13”, s. 70-77


Personally I don’t really like the term “street photography” simply because it’s misleading and untrue. To me it’s about everyday, seemingly mundane, candid images of strangers in public places so not necessarily a street. When I’m out taking photographs I try to be open hearted and embrace situations as they happen in front of me. I am a patient observer of reality, rather distant than intruding. Simple, humane events as well as those surreal ones are what I look for. I love watch photography of classic authors like Robert Doisneau, Stephen Shore, Edward Weston, Manuel Alvarez-Bravo, Walker Evans, David Alan Harvey, and Joel Meyerowitz (especially when he talks about photography). Recently, I’m enjoying paintings as well, especially Edward Hopper.


There are many reasons why people, especially youngsters, move to a big city. Among them would be finding a dream job, having a variety of entertainment, good public transportation or simply meeting new people. However, living in the city apparently limits connection with our primeval roots – nature, which signs or imitations can be seen across urban space. This makes me feel longing and nostalgic for real bond with wilderness that is free of obvious human footprints.
In a series “Longing for nature” I look for traces, substitutes, references to nature in a form of architecture, imitations of flora, graphic representations, or custom cityscape elements to name a few, found in an urban environment. All these things are a sign for me that humans need a bond with nature and they try to evoke it by all available means.


I walk along the sidewalk in a big city. Lots of faces pass me by. Some of them drive me more than others – those are absent faces, lost in thought. They seem to be trapped in the past, or future, somewhere between their concerns and plans, fears and dreams. Their minds drifted away from the present that is happening now, they are some place else.

The aim of this body of work is to explore the influence of modern, fast pace way of life in a city. The consumptionism era that we live in creates desires, artificial needs, also gives the idea that happiness can be purchased. These attitudes are transferred by means of ads and perfect looking bodies in magazines. All those elements leave a significant mark in our minds such as overly focusing on the past events or dreaming about the future, goods or worrying about one’s looks at the cost of living lives at the moment.