Who is Zofia Nasierowska, the Polish photographer celebrated in today's Google Doodle?

Who is Zofia Nasierowska, the Polish photographer celebrated in today's Google Doodle?
Poland’s Independence Day marked by Google Doodle

Head over to the Google home page today and you’ll see a woman smiling shyly back at you from a camera viewfinder.

The Doodle was created in honour of a Polish photographer who would have celebrated her 85th birthday today.

Nasierowska is best known for her piercing monochrome portraits which have earned her a slew of international awards and transformed her into one of Poland’s most celebrated photo artists.

She was born on 24 April 1938, in the town of Łomianki. Her father, a famous photographer himself, taught her how to use a camera when she was seven years old.

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“My father had so much passion that he could teach a chair how to photograph,” she once said, according to a biography by author Zofia Turowska. “I didn't have to go to a puppet theatre, the performance took place in the dark room, where my father would show me different tricks.”

She went on to study at the Leon Schiller National Film School in Łódź, taking her peers and classmates as the first subjects of her portrait work.

Monday's Doodle pays tribute to the iconic Polish photographerGoogle

And whilst she’s respected across the world for her professional skills, she’s also widely recognised for her warm personality and her ability to draw out the right mood for each shot.

Her models would call her a “magician,” according to writer Melchior Wańkowicz, who dedicated a book to the artist titled Zofia Nasierkowska, a divine photographer.

Explaining how she selected her subjects, she once said: “I chose girls who like me did not feel like beautiful beings. My first portraits amazed me: Certainly they are beautiful! They just don't know themselves.”

Zofia (left) and one of her portraitsWikimedia/Artnet

In 1956, she was invited as a member of the Związek Polskich Artystów Fotografików (ZPAF, or the Association of Polish Art Photographers) and was inducted into the International Federation of Photographic Art, as Google notes.

However, later, an eye disease caused her to stop taking photos, putting an end to a distinguished 35-year long career,

Nasierowska moved to Ełk in Masuria with her husband and opened a boarding house, dedicating her time and energy to helping develop the local community.

She died on 3 October 2011 at the age of 73 but has been immortalised through her work.

(And, now, a Google Doodle.)

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