Five minutes with Mafalda Rakos

It’s a very general thing to say, but I’m sure that everything you see and experience has an influence on how you see things, and then on your work.

Mafalda Rakoš (*1994, AT) is a documentary photographer based between Vienna and Amsterdam. She holds a BA in Anthropology from Vienna University and realized long-term projects in different regions of the world such as the Middle East, India, Central Europe and West Africa.

Her projects often move within the intersection of art, documentary and journalism and attempt to dive deep into protagonist’s stories around safety, pain and trauma. The main platform of her work are books which gained attention in contests such as Unseen Dummy Award, Kassel Dummy Award and the European Publishers Award for Photography; furthermore, it is regularly shown in international exhibitions and other contexts such as congresses for eating disorders (2016), or a hospital (2017). Her work appeared in Die Zeit, Stern, Neon, Zeit Campus, DUMMY, die Presse, FAZ, M le Magazine de Monde, Camera Austria and others.

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a 20-year old photographer from Vienna, Austria where I work and live. I went to a high school specialized on photography (“die Graphische”), starting aged 14, this is also where I got interested in documentary photography, aged 15 maybe… It was a cool place, we were very free to try things out there. I graduated last year and am now studying anthropology, which I really like, and beginning, with October also photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.

MRakos

How did you get interested in photography?

I remember finding a internet-site that had photographs which appealed to me, when I was in middle school; I looked at them a lot, and slowly started to try some things out. But in general, I’d say that my mum, who also paints and was educated as an art therapist, always did her best to encourage me and my brother to paint, draw, and try stuff out. Doing creative things was very normal and fun to us!

Have any artist/photographer inspired your art?

Certainly. It’s a very general thing to say, but I’m sure that everything you see and experience has an influence on how you see things, and then on your work. The concept of Intertextuality is certainly not very new ;> But of course there is a lot of things I was particularly impressed of. If I’d spontaneously have to come up with names, there’s Robert Frank coming to my mind, Jim Goldberg, Susan Meiselas, Eugene Richards… but certainly also teachers of mine, fellow students, or people I met during workshops. I feel that there’s a lot you can learn from people around you, I really enjoy these encounters.

Could you please tell us anything about your technique and creating process?

Technically, I am currently trying out a lot of stuff, different cameras, different formats… and I’m acutually quite unsure where this is going to end, or if there’s a way this can all go together, but I enjoy doing it, it’s fun. I think a lot of people have or had this. Someone once told me I’m a person who works “out of the mass”, and I think that’s really true .. I don’t mind efforts, or taking a lot of pictures (well, talking about digital), especially when I’m trying new things. Photographing often feels like brainstorming, I try to not limit myself and follow my intuition a lot. Often, I cannot articulate yet what it is that I’m interested in while I photograph, so this steps then comes in the editing process. It often takes time and distance, to figure out what works and what does not.

Describe your ideal photographic situation

I’m not quite sure what this would look like – I often had the feeling that I took the best pictures in situations that were far from “ideal”, on the last roll of film I had with me, or with the last remains of my battery. That’s the nice thing, in reality you cannot really plan stuff, it just comes to you. Improvising is maybe the keyword – so I guess in the ideal situation, I suddenly become aware of something I didn’t see coming beforehand, and am able to react to it. But feeling at ease and connected to whoever it is you’re working with certainly helps, I think it’s a lot about confidence and trusting yourself, and in random incidents.

How much preparation do you put into taking a photography?

I’d say it varies from project to project. As I outlined above I think I’m more the spontaneous kind of picture-taker, I try to put myself into a setting and then stay there until I feel I found what I was looking for. But of course, sometimes you have to get to know someone, tell him or her about your interest, and then somehow try to organize it’s also happening. This is tricky sometimes, and more difficult than just approaching a stranger on the street, smiling and trying to convince him in 3 seconds to have his picture taken. You certainly will get other things out of it.

What’s your useable-to-unusable ratio when you review images from a shoot?

It really depends on the situation, for how long I photographed, and with what. Hard to generalize, but I mostly try to be strict in the selection, and don’t keep the rest.

What quick advice do you have for someone who wants to improve his or her photography skills?
Don’t think about it, don’t expect it to work out all the time and right away. My mum always said “Everyone can draw”, and I think that’s the best attitude to prevent yourself from blocking your ideas because you don’t think it’s “good enough” or something. Everything’s a process, haha.

From time to time many photographers find themselves in a creative rut or uninspired to shoot. Does this ever happen to you and if so how do you overcome these phases?

Hmm. I think it’s like being in a bad mood, the best thing is just to not think about it and go out and do it anyway, distract yourself. But that’s easy to say. I had a phase where I didn’t feel like photographing at all, but then someone gave me a different camera, that saw and worked in an entirely different way, so that was fun and I felt like taking pictures again. Sometimes you have to fool yourself a bit.

What future plans do you have? What projects would you like to accomplish?

Currently, I’m working on a project about body images and eating disorders, I consider the sports project to be a bit of a “test run” for it. This goes hand in hand with my studies in anthropology, I really feel how it influences my approach, and I feel that I’m currently experimenting a lot with the intersection of these two worlds. Beside this, I am doing small assignments for magazines, which I often enjoy, they are fun. I’m curious what the academy will bring, I am often grateful for a little framework or a theme to work on – but in general, I could well imagine working on something related in the future, I feel that there’s a great actuality in application areas like achievement, illness, and self-treatment for the society we’re living in. [Official Website]
 

Expo

More Stories

Dancers; Lifting Up by Jacqueline Zilberberg

Dancers; Lifting Up by Jacqueline Zilberberg

The photographs of dance improvisations, accompanied by the dancers’ own words, trace the resuscitation of the dancers and their practice when, in the absence of colleagues and audiences, they reinvented their relation to their bodies and to the discipline of dance.
Tithe Muse by Nicoletta Cerasomma

Tithe Muse by Nicoletta Cerasomma

Teresa Bandettini was one of the most talented eclectic woman of the XIX century. She was well known as the intellectual dancer due to her captivating and touching extemporization performances.
My Americana by Joseph Patronite

My Americana by Joseph Patronite

“My Americana” is a long-term photography essay. Its goal: to create a contemporary view of the people, places or happenings which depict The United States of America.

Monochromatic Awards

We invite you to participate in the first edition
of the monochromatic awards. We are looking
for the best monochrome picture for this year, 2022.

The contest is open to any interpretation of monochromatic photography,
black and white, grayscale, sepia or any type of tone.

DEADLINE | THURSDAY, JUNE 30, 2022

PHOTO BY © SVETLIN YOSIFOV
My mum by Viet Van Tran

My mum by Viet Van Tran

To me, my mum, 88 years old, is a mirror of her will to rise up in the life and overcome disease. I want to record some moments forever, not only in my mind and heart, but also in a tangible shape.
From a Distance by Antonis Giakoumakis

From a Distance by Antonis Giakoumakis

This series of my photos, which has been captured in a photo book, is nothing more than an attempt to approach human moments that are most often done subconsciously. An effort that continues.
Beginning to die by Ana Leal

Beginning to die by Ana Leal

The work “Beginning to die” reflects on the physical and psychological aspects that women go through when their fertility naturally comes to an end. I started this project in 2019 when appeared the first signs that I was entering the climacteric, the period that women go through until they reach menopause, which is actually the last menstrual cycle.

Featured Stories

Suri Portraits by Piper Mackay

Suri Portraits by Piper Mackay

Inspired by their environment of wild trees, exotic flowers and lush vegetation. The Suri tribe use the clay soil of bright yellows, startling whites and rich earth-reds to paint each other’s bodies and make bold decisions about their outfits.
Woman by Zuzu Valla

Woman by Zuzu Valla

They say,Life is a fightíí and I´ve learned how to fight in the ring of life from my parents. Tibor Sopor, multiple boxing champion of Czechoslovakia and my mum who gave me all her love.
architectural photography of Julia Anna Gospodarou

architectural photography of Julia Anna Gospodarou

Architect and International Award-Winning B&W Fine Art Photographer, Julia lives in Athens and has a passion for both architecture and photography, doing them with the same dedication and joy.
Everybody Counts by Erlend Mikael Saeverud

Everybody Counts by Erlend Mikael Saeverud

Erlend wanted to ask him for a portrait, but he didn't dare. This became the inspiration for this project.
You will love again by Patricia Ackerman

You will love again by Patricia Ackerman

The desire, the love, the violence, the look, the beauty. …everything is to build. You must build the language that you will inhabit and have to find the ancestors who make you more free.
Nude by Martin Zurmühle

Nude by Martin Zurmühle

Swiss photographer Martin Zurmühle poetically highlights the beauty of nature and the female nude, exploring the complexities of life by blending a powerful psychological photographic portrayal resonating with a strong sense of empowerment. 
https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Mono-banner.jpg

We invite you to participate in the first edition of the Monochromatic Awards. We are eager to see photograhs with new focus points and innovative approaches

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/BAnImage.jpg

ImageRights provides intelligent image search and copyright enforcement services to photo agencies and professional photographers worldwide.

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/banner.jpg

The book where words and images meet to never leave each other, The book contains 20 evocative paintings; each of them is a double page. 56 printed pages | 235x165mm

https://www.dodho.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/call21.jpg

Call For Entries #21 | After 20 editions and more than 100 published photographers, our print edition has proven to be a simply effective promotional channel.

Trump-Kim craze by Biel Calderon

Trump-Kim craze by Biel Calderon

The second summit between the U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea chairman Kim Jong-un brought to the city of Hanoi heavy traffic, security cordons, and bustle. However, the residents of the capital of Vietnam welcomed the distinguished guests with great diplomacy and, in many cases, with joy and very peculiar demonstrations of admiration.
Oshichi by Michiko Chiyoda

Oshichi by Michiko Chiyoda

‘Oshichi’ is a name of the doll and ‘she’ played as a 16-year-old girl who was put to death by burning at the stake for committing arson.
Off-Season Santas by Mary Beth Koeth

Off-Season Santas by Mary Beth Koeth

An ongoing portrait series of off-season Santas. Santa Roy is a retired police officer who, in 1984, was named one of the Top Ten Law Enforcement Officers in the State of Florida.
I am South Africa by Carla Kogelman

I am South Africa by Carla Kogelman

Creativity and positive focus and energy are for her the base and the ingredients for growth. To develop, to grow, to have a richer live as a human being.
Fetish Ballad by MagLau

Fetish Ballad by MagLau

MagLau has just released his new book Fetish Ballad with German publisher Verlag Kettler. It is the result of a three years' road trip into the underground world of Tokyo, Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels and Berlin.
Kazakh eagle hunters & Golden eagle festival by Sanghamitra Sarkar

Kazakh eagle hunters & Golden eagle festival by Sanghamitra Sarkar

The Mongolian eagle hunters are a dying breed. In one estimate there are only fifty or sixty to two hundred and fifty eagle hunters left The golden eagle hunters capture the eaglets at around four months old

Call For Entries

We are looking for 6 fantastic photographers
who want to give an incredible impulse to their career.

We are going to put your photographs in front of the eyes of the directors
of the best galleries, festivals and agencies around the world.
Are you coming with us?

DEADLINE | TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2022

PHOTO BY © JULIA FULLERTON-BATTEN

Trending Stories

Fishing Activity by Kaushik Dolui

Fishing Activity by Kaushik Dolui

Fisheries play an important role in the economy of India. India is one of the largest producers of fish, both marine and inland.
François Mitterrand by Diego Goldberg

François Mitterrand by Diego Goldberg

I lived in France from 1976 to 1980. While there I had been covering the Socialist Party and when François Mitterrand decided to be a candidate again for the presidential elections I wrote him a letter with a project to document his campaign from the inside, with total access to his private and political activities.
Circus by Markku Lahdesmaki

Circus by Markku Lahdesmaki

As a photographer, you always feel a little more aware of your surroundings than other people. After all, your livelihood depends on your eyes, on seeing things that other’s don’t.
Behind the obstacles by Vladimir Tereshkov

Behind the obstacles by Vladimir Tereshkov

Iranian hip-hop culture traces back to 1990s. Orinally rap artists were aimed at politics and social life. Pretty soon it resulted in stern measures and the following government control. Today anyone bringing the politics in their texts lives outsie Iran. 
Five minutes with Pavel Gospodinov

Five minutes with Pavel Gospodinov

I am a project and program manager in the international development and NGO Sectors but since 2009 I have been working in parallel on travel, cultural and documentary photography projects.
Inside the Camera Bag of Biel Carlderón

Inside the Camera Bag of Biel Carlderón

My interest in journalism came before I'd get into photography. As I mentioned earlier, I like to tell stories, and for some reason, I feel more comfortable doing that visually, either with photography and, since, 2011, using video as well.
5 Great Architectural Photographers

5 Great Architectural Photographers

The Best Architectural Photographers published in Dodho Magazine. The great stories by Julia Anna Gospodarou, Ralph Gräf, Anaud Bertrande, Kerstin Arnemann and Mihai Florea.
Five minutes with Alice Zilberberg

Five minutes with Alice Zilberberg

I predict that my work is going in a personal direction that is driven from my personal life and experiences. I find myself re-inventing what I do every few years, so I will never know exactly what’s next.
The Rolls of Dice by Kazunori Nagashima

The Rolls of Dice by Kazunori Nagashima

Despair is the end of boundless longing.When hope becomes an escape from reality and you seek fulfillment with a low probability, the signs along your journey's path do not make sense.

Other Stories

stay in touch
Join our mailing list and we'll keep you up to date with all the latest stories, opportunities, calls and more.
We use Sendinblue as our marketing platform. By Clicking below to submit this form, you acknowledge that the information you provided will be transferred to Sendinblue for processing in accordance with their terms of use
We’d love to
Thank you for subscribing!
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted.
- Between 10/30 images of your best images, in case your project contains a greater number of images which are part of the same indivisible body of work will also be accepted. You must send the images in jpg format to 1200px and 72dpi and quality 9. (No borders or watermarks)
- A short biography along with your photograph. (It must be written in the third person)
- Title and full text of the project with a minimum length of 300 words. (Texts with lesser number of words will not be accepted)
This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Contact
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact contact@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.
Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
Get in Touch
How can we help? Got an idea or something you'd like share? Please use the adjacent form, or contact hello@dodho.com
Thank You. We will contact you as soon as possible.