Czech photographer, Jaroslav Kocian, began photographing while still a teenager, using his grandfather’s Rolleiflex. Last year he received his MFA from the Institute of Creative Photography, Silesian University in Opava, MA and has hasn’t looked back. Now teaching Photography at Peoples Conservatory in Ostrava, he also works as a commercial and fine art photographer while balancing life as a husband and father. Jaroslav has created a terrific series of family portraits featured below, and has a number of other strong series on his site, including Surburban Kids.
The collection of twelve stylized portraits is a result of my annual photographic work on the theme of my family presentation. I presented these photographs as my final master’s work at the Institute of Creative Photography in Opava. I am still working on the collection. My final goal is to have twenty portraits.
The characters’ characteristics are expressed indirectly, notably through careful choice of the environment where the characters lived in their youth or where they live now. We do not know anything about the characters’ family relations from photographs’ titles that are labelled only with the first names of the people photographed, and year they were born.
In this work, my aim was a mystic atmosphere made with dim light as the result of combinations of natural daylight and external artificial light. This way, I not only accent the characters in a dim, real exterior but, I also express my personal relationship with the characters. Surrealistic arrangement of photographs should evoke a dreamy and partially also a brooding atmosphere.
The look of the protagonists away from the camera somewhere into emptiness supports the existential base of the work. It is not a cheerful view of a present family; conversely, I present a community of close people, who actually go through their complicated lives. In spite of that, I aimed for positive vibrations to radiate from the photographs, which André Maurois speaks about in his quotation:
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