Rafael Profile

RAFAEL KOSTRZEWA

Owner, Rafael Photography

Rafael is an experienced freelance headshot photographer and founder of Rafael Photography. Rafael has been working in Dublin as a freelance photographer since 2010 with international clients spanning across Ireland, Germany, Poland and the UK. Rafael has combined his expert knowledge of photography with his passion for people to form Rafael Photography.

Private office member at The Masonry

“I REALLY NEEDED A CHANGE, A PLACE WHERE I COULD MEET MY CLIENTS AND DELIVER THE BEST EXPERIENCE POSSIBLE. THE MASONRY BUILDING REALLY EXCEEDED MY EXPECTATIONS.”

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born and grew up in Poland, and I came to Ireland in early 2006. My hobbies include photography, video, travel and sailing. I am an extrovert – a smile is my most frequent expression and I believe being kind and helpful makes the world a better place. I started my own photography business in the middle of the financial crisis in 2010. Quickly I realised that I didn’t want to be a family or wedding photographer because I wanted to create something more than capturing memories, I wanted to create and deliver something more exciting, the future!

I was always fascinated by human portraits as well as interested in psychology so I decided to focus on acting and business portraits – I knew that if I did my job right, the models and actors who hired me would get casted and get jobs themselves, and this was really important to me as I wanted to help other people.

At the same time, I’ve seen hundreds of websites and other visual content based on stock photography which feels so wrong – as there were very little or no real people and real stories, so that’s when I discovered my niche.


When did you first get into photography?

I was 16 years old when I entered a dark room for the first time. I had a Russian SLR camera, the brand Zenit, at that time. After a while, I realised that the entire film process took too long, especially because I was really interested in painting at the time and Jackson Pollock was a massive influence for me. Compared to painting, working in the darkroom felt like an idea for retirement. I was waiting for the digital era.

What set you on the road to where you are now in your career?

Back in 2011, I discovered Peter Hurley – New York based headshot photographer, also known at the headshot “evangelist”.

I started watching everything that was available on YouTube and I was fascinated by his style of work and most importantly his way of working with his models. I got my hands on my first digital camera in about 2005, and since then, I’ve been a big YouTube student. I did a certified Adobe Premiere Pro course in FilmBase and I also have a Digital Marketing Diploma from Irish Times training, but aside from that, everything from photoshop to shooting techniques, you name it, I got everything I know from online sources.

Why did you feel Iconic Offices was the right fit for you? 

For many years, I worked at my clients locations or was hired at day studios. I really needed a change, a place where I could meet my clients and deliver the best experience possible.

The Masonry building really exceeded my expectations. After over a year of being here, I am still in love with the interior design. The accessibility is great because it’s 24/7  and I really appreciate our kitchen and shower facilities especially when I’m working long hours. I receive and send a lot of big files regularly, so it’s makes life a lot easier for me when I have good connectivity and high speed broadband. The people at reception are phenomenal, always helpful, and when I hear “Good Morning Raf” everyday, it’s priceless.

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