Through The Lens

Maja Hajduk

April 14, 2010, by Chelsea Coyle

I had the great opportunity to sit and chat with the beautiful and vibrant Maja Hajduk. We go back a few years now, and I have seen her skills blossom. Majas images are filled with a hint of whimsy and magic.


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    models: Elmer Olsen's Kate Irwin (far left, right) & Tessa, by Maja Hajduk
    makeup: Taylor Borris; wardrobe: Nadia Pizzimenti (Judy Inc)

    I first met you when our paths crossed years ago. You were an assistant. How did that time prepare you for your own success?

    I think that assisting/interning/free labour is a great way to learn about the business. When I was starting out, every day on set was an opportunity for me to learn something new (even by just milling about & sweeping, or making coffees for clients, I was being exposed to everyday studio life). There are things about studio etiquette/practice that I think are difficult to learn in school.

    I am lucky enough to work within a collective of DPs, photographers, producers, filmmakers etc... I learn a great deal by seeing their sets & talking through ideas with them - they all approach creative problems differently and this is always interesting for me to see!

    How would you describe your shooting style?

    Peaceful, uncomplicated, real, fresh, graphic, subtlety sexy.

    What equipment do you use?

    It really depends on what the job calls for.

    How do you feel about digitally enhanced photography?

    I don't have too much of an issue with it - it is the direction in which the industry is evolving and you can either gripe about it or embrace it. That being said, I am not a huge fan of heavily Photoshopped work, constructed backgrounds, CGI's etc (unless done VERY well) - I find imperfections, naturalness, and simplicity alluring... I think its also important that people are aware that photo modifications did not begin with Photoshop, they've always been done, since the advent of photography. Whether the adjustments happen in a darkroom, camera, or computer, enhancing that which the artist likes and downplaying those parts s/he dislikes has always been a practice.

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    model: Ford's Jenica Vandermeer, by Maja Hajduk
    makeup: Vanessa Jarman (Page One); wardrobe: Marcus Tripp (Ford)

    What do you love most about this career?

  • Meeting awesome creative people.
  • Creating images that fit a client's vision & bring it to that next level - its the best feeling!
  • Travel
  • Doing what I love!

    How do you compare shooting in the studio to on location. Any preference?

    Definitely more variables to deal with on location. On the other hand, these variables gives you more chance for exciting opportunities to experiment!

    I love shooting locations, but it depends on what's right for the project.

    Who are some of your heroes?

    Candace Meyer, Annie Leibovitz, Laetitie Negre, Geoff Barrenger, Camilla Akrans, Sophia Coppola, Max Abadian, Richard Bernardin, Reed+Rader, Inez&Vinoodh, Ellen von Unwerth

    I love clever visionaries... (especially gutsy ones!)

    What would you be if you couldn't be a photographer?

    Lighting designer, architect, writer, organic farmer... but I would still shoot(!) And I plan on doing all these in some capacity too!

    Do you have a client/model you would love to work with?

    Holts/J Crew/Cargo/Bergdorf Goodman (amazing companies with a great defined creative vision)

    Freja Beha Erichsen/Anja Rubik/Lara Stone - That's a dream team!

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    model: Ford's Elyse Saunders, by Maja Hajduk
    makeup: Sabrina Rinaldi (Judy Inc); wardrobe: Alicia Simpson (Plutino)

    What makes you laugh?

    My 2 dogs... especially when they've been cooped up for a while and need to expel some energy!

    Lady Gaga or Britney Spears?

    Gaga... definitely scores costume points over Britney.

    Where and when can we see some of your work?

    The new Brose lookbook, several magazine submissions should be dropping soon as well, and next month at the relaunch of my website. We're also working on a great film, planning on releasing that in the summer.

    Any advice for young photographers or our readers?

    Do great work first, know your market, be respectful and kind to everyone, and make sure everything you do is reflective of the kind of person you are.

    Thank you so much Maja; and what can I say but I just love you!

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