Born in 1953 in a family of traditional values, raised in Communist Poland, Tomasz Tomaszewski considered photographs only the snapshots taken by his father to the family on a Sunday trip to the park. At the age of 18, for a black and white photo book shown by a friend during a discussion on the concept of time, he starts the magnificent obsession that still pervades his life today.
He is immediately centered, and his first assignment for a magazine for young intellectuals gets the cover. "Since then I have not photographed anything but people," he says. "I'm attracted to those who struggle for their own identity and seek a proper place in history."
The great photographers who influence him most are Josef Koudelka and Henri Cartier - Bresson. For two years she worked as a freelance at ITD, then she went to Perspectives. He ends up in the black list of the communist regime for a pungent response during one of the many interrogators subjected to intellectuals: "I do not like someone driving a tank up in my head." He is forbidden to work, but he continues to publish his pictures with Nemo's pseudonym.
His collaboration with National Geographic also begins singularly. Tomaszewski works with his wife, Malgorzata, a writer, at a book on the last Jews in Poland, and sets up an exhibition on the subject in Warsaw. An exhibition visitor works for National Geographic and asks to meet him. "I'm sleepy, I have no time," she answers. "I had no idea what National Geographic was," remembers today. Some time later Malgorzata rejected the offer to publish a service from the book on the magazine. "This is our story, not for you," he replies.
But the service is finally released, and the first of 17 that Tomaszewski will make for National Geographic. His reportage has appeared on the world's most popular publications, including Stern, Paris Match, New York Times, Time, US News & World Report, Sunday Times, Fortune, Vogue, Elle.
He has won numerous photography awards in Poland and abroad, and today he teaches and holds photographic workshops in Poland, Germany, the USA and Italy.
Lives in Warsaw with his wife Malgorzata Niezabitowska.