Chris Baczynski of Silver Soul Photo Creates Moody Masterpieces

Chris Baczynski of Silver Soul Photo (OMP ID# 200529) relates that he had a very humble start in photography. “I started out with an all-manual camera, using black-and-white film and a very basic darkroom setup, while studying in University back in 1998. The alchemy of the process and the anticipation of the completed print kept my interest and spirits high.” His subsequent success in the art world has proved to be anything but humble, as evidenced by his amazing portfolio on

He discovered OMP back in 2007 when he started need models for his assignments. was consistently being mentioned online as the best and most professional resource, so I decided to sign up, initially with a mid-grade subscription. In hindsight, I should have signed up as a Platinum member, but at the time, I did not anticipate the networking benefits associated with the premium subscription levels.”

OMP has served Chris well in several capacities. “The site’s primary role is connecting photographers and models, especially when traveling outside of your own geographical area. Beyond that, I had the opportunity to meet photographers with whom I share similar interests and whose work I like, most notably John Keehn (OMP Member #91886) and also Lee Manning (OMP Member #9473). This resulted in me being able to shoot at some interesting locations that I would not otherwise have known about, as well as some enlightening peer reviews.”

His first encounter with digital imaging came in the year 2000, when he was hired to do product shots for a company website. “I still remember the drudgery of post-processing the resulting images pixel-by-pixel in MS Paint — due to licensing issues. Times have changed, but those initial encounters have left a lasting impression on my mind.” The Ontario, Canada resident spent the next few years learning to make perfect prints, concentrating heavily on the technical side of photography. “It was only after I had a chance to indulge in studies of history, theory and philosophy of visual arts, that I was able to free myself of that focus on technical perfection and start concentrating on the content, message and meaning.”

He prefers shooting artistic nude imagery in dark, dilapidated interior locations rather than brightly-lit studio settings. “My personal favorites tend to be moody black-and-white images, where the model is not the main focus, but rather an actress in a story; images that are subtle yet hold a meaning or a message. Granted, works of this nature do not attract as much attention (at least on the Internet) as more bright and cheery shots, hence I seldom upload these any more, preferring a print form. Aside from that, I do enjoy landscape work, as well as both B&W and color photograms – things you seldom see nowadays.”

Chris feels that finding the right location, be it for a model shoot or landscape work, involves quite a bit of research on the Internet. “If the location belongs to an identifiable entity, getting a permission to shoot beforehand can save you some nasty surprises. Coming up with a concept or a storyline is another facet that requires some preparation.”

He offers some suggestions for models to keep in mind. “In my opinion, the serious and sometimes career-limiting decisions that aspiring models make happen off the set. Sometimes these stem from unrealistic expectations, coupled with a lack of commitment. If you want to succeed at modeling, you do have to work at it, create a top-notch portfolio, and learn to network effectively. Models should also examine a photographer’s portfolio closely for artistic and photographic merit. If a photographer wants to shoot nudes, and their portfolio is comprised only of high quality landscape or still-life shots, chances are they can do it effectively, because they have the skill, commitment and interest to make such a transition successfully.”

The Canon and 6×7 shooter offers intriguing advice for aspiring photographers as well. “I believe new photographers would do well to truly understand the fundamental concepts of the craft, including exposure, depth of field, perspective, composition, color theory and qualities of light. If you know the rules, you are more prepared to break them effectively. Furthermore, I heartily recommend they experiment as much as they can at the image-taking stage of the process, as opposed to the post-exposure stage.”

See more of Chris’ images on his OMP Portfolio
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