He is the author of over 130 photography albums, books, posters and calendars. He belongs to the Union of Polish Artists Photographers. He is a member of Royal Photographic Society in London. Due to his photographs he has achieved a lot of awards, both in Poland and all over the world

Adam Bujak is celebrating 55 years of his art career. On this occasion there are meetings organized by the publishing house Biały Kruk, with which the artist photographer has been related since 1996 – these are meetings connected with a presentation especially for this occasion of publishing the album ‘Life painted with the light’.

A papal photographer

The jubilee reminds of a photograph published in 1964 by the Cracovian master of the camera. The photograph commemorates the ingress of Karol Wojtyła to the Wawel cathedral. This photograph heralding one of the most important threads of the career of Adam Bujak, called a papal photographer, which results from the fact that he had documented life of Karol Wojtyła, a bishop, archbishop, cardinal and later pope John Paul II for over 40 years. The master Adam often emphasized that he felt a distinguished man, as for the meetings with the Polish Pope. – The years when I could document that excellent man were the greatest experience – he said during celebration of the jubilee in Cracow.

The artist recalled, among the others, the history of a photograph taken on Great Saturday on the roof of the Apostolic Palace. He mentioned: - At that time I spent one hour and a half with John Paul II. When I was going up in a lift with Fr. Stanisław Dziwisz onto the roof of the Apostolic Palace, the door went open apart and an unusual light shone in the early April morning. Fr. Dziwisz said: ‘The Pope is somewhere here’. I saw the Holy Father in black. I took a photo of him in such a way not to disturb him in his contemplation, in prayer….The master Adam also mentioned how the photograph of the Pope wearing a black cassock, presented in the album published for the jubilee: - When the Holy Father ended saying the breviary prayer, I asked him to stop for a while. And then I saw that he had his cassock unevenly buttoned. Also so was his sweater under the cassock. I thought: ‘What will I do now? I asked Fr. Dziwisz for help, and he redid the buttons of the cassock but not the sweater. And it looks so on the photograph (a smile).

Graphic narration

Those who know the works of Adam Bujak emphasize his unusual artistry and the unusual style of photography, as well as the way of presenting it. Leszek Sosnowski, a chairman and owner of Biały Kruk, said: ‘In the early morning we went to the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. When we were entering it, I noticed that Adam had not had a camera with him. I thought that we might stop for a moment, that he might have a plan. Whereas we spent there probably 6 or 7 hours. I even had some pretences about it but Adam was calming me down. He began to take photos next day. Now I know that sightseeing was preparation for penetrating the issue, investigating all places which had to be photographed. As Adam does not simply take photos but only realizes a kind of narration.

Prof. Andrzej Nowak noted a very important feature of the works by Adam Bujak – commemorating the history of homeland, its heritage and identity. A prominent Polish historian noted: - One can defend the national identity with a weapon in hand but it can be done with a camera in hand, too. Like the master Adam. The camera targeted not to satisfy one’s vanity or just stop the time but to continue a story which the master Wincenty began, and which was carried on by masters of our word, image, our architecture, music. A story allowing us to be somebody, allowing us to get rooted. This is a great work in which the master Adam takes part with such love to the issue ‘Poland’. His books in which a word is somehow prevailed by an image, often an important chapter of this history which was written with the camera of the master Adam Bujak speaks much more than thousands of words.

Timeless elements

Whereas prof. Andrzej Szczerski emphasized: - There are very few photographers in the history of Polish photography like Adam Bujak who can show why the photographic image is so important. A historian of art did analysis of selected photos of the photographer among the ones placed in the jubilee album. He emphasized the role of sacrum in the pointed out photos but also skills of the photographer to focus his attention on an individual. Prof. Szczerski recalled works of Nowa Huta fighting for freedom at the communist times and proved that Adam Bujak can go beyond the report character of photos, and pointed to timeless elements in them. In the summary of his lecture he said: - Thanks to Adam Bujak a photo becomes something extremely essential for Polish culture. His works show that the photographic image can be key for our identity and historic continuance. We are built by those documents, testimonies, the vision of humankind, communities, religiousness and spirituality expressed in these images.

When the main character of the meeting was asked to express his opinion on the lectures devoted to his works, the master looked at the guests and, smiling, said: - Now I should say: Bujak, be quiet! (smile)

I was honoured to carry out interviews with Adam Bujak. And every time it was an occasion for me to get to know the man who does not make a star of himself, does not emphasize how many achievements he has had in his life or how many things he has done. When I meet him in the public space of Cracow, I see an open, friendly artist who can listen attentively to what others have to say. If it is necessary, he will always help. And if he decides it is necessary, he will step back. This is what the master is like. And these features make him an extremely valuable man – an artist who was not changed by any successes or awards. Although they surely have their value.


„Niedziela” 27/2019

Editor: Tygodnik Katolicki "Niedziela", ul. 3 Maja 12, 42-200 Czestochowa, Polska
Editor-in-chief: Fr Jaroslaw Grabowski • E-mail: