Better known as Shandy89, we join instagrammer Sandra Papiernik for a look at her Warsaw...

Photography: Sandra Papiernik Photography: Sandra Papiernik

WI: Is Warsaw easy to photograph?
SP: Yes. This is a diverse city that’s full of contrasts: history and modernity are naturally joined and entwined, which means it’s not hard to find inspiration.

Speaking of which, how does the city inspire you as a photographer?
I’ve lived here for years but it still has a habit of surprising me – sometimes all you have to do is change up your normal route and you’ll come across something totally unexpected.

What part of town do you photograph the most?
The Old Town and Łazienki Królewskie – they’re photogenic all year round and simply never get boring.

Any lesser-known favorites?
I love wandering the streets of Żoliborz, especially in spring when the magnolias are in bloom or the autumn when the colors are rich and the leaves are falling.

Do you plan your shots?
My camera and I are pretty inseparable – I carry it wherever and whenever I can. Quite often, the things that make a great picture – a sunset, a reflection in a puddle, a passing car, fog, rainbows, etc. – can’t be replicated so you need to be ready to shoot spontaneously.

How do you want people to view your photography?
I hope people see the same beautiful city that I do. People regularly contact me on Instagram telling me that they fell in love with the city through my photos, so that’s immensely gratifying.

What makes a good image?
Creativity. Showing a different perspective to everyone else. And, never under-estimate the power of being in the right place at the right time!

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned?
That you don’t need to be a professional photographer to create great images. Practice is the most important thing.

Warsaw is…
Beautiful – but you have to want to see that. To do so, try exploring a new neighborhood that you’ve never visited before; or just choose a different way home. Keep your eyes open – look around!


For more of Sandra’s work, give her a follow on: instagram.com/shandyy89

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