Attila Őzse photographer is a true example that creativity and discipline are not mutually exclusive qualities. In fact, it is the routines built in his life that make his talent to unfold possible. It is Attila, who comes to KAPTÁR every morning at the same time, works through the day, yet the result is full of creativity. Oh, and on that note, he’s the photographer of KAPTÁR too!
We’ve known you for a while now, and I couldn’t agree more that there is not many such fanatics like you around.
It is photography that seems to be the key driver of your life. Is this correct?Well, it is a fact that the family camera was always in my hands because it just interested me so much. I started at the age of 17 and was continuously taking pictures of everything. There was a full night when I was making pictures of a snowy street in Gyöngyös and arrived home in the morning completely frozen. This all made sense when after a not too successful graduation I finished a machine manufacturing school and started to work at a factory. It was like a punch in the face. It was then when I realized what adult life means exactly, when your mom does not put your lunch in front of you every day and when you have to make a living working hard day by day. And it was so clear that I don’t want to do this like that and started thinking if there is a way to make some money with photography and how this works. I used to ask price offers from pro photographers using fake email addresses and was sitting stunned in front of the computer: this is how much money you can make if you make your way up the ladder? So, I gathered all my money, bought a new camera and left the factory.
Seems obvious so far, but this is when the complications start.
I was lucky because a friend of mind found me with an opportunity. A hotel was looking for a regular photographer so he hired me as a subcontractor. The only problem was that I had no photo school background for this, but a good accountant and a smart lawyer could help me outso I can work legally ever since. So, I managed to leave the factory and land in a 5 star hotel, which was a total culture-shock… One time I – being a well-mannered boy from Gyöngyös – picked up a fork that fell on the ground and gave it back to the guest. The waiter politely apologized to the guest then led me away. The complete hotel kitchen was laughing for a week on me helping a guest eat his 40.000 forint lunch with a fork from the floor… But otherwise this job provided me fix money for more than three years plus I could take on other jobs as well, but most importantly could learn and develop. Are you a fully self-taught photographer? Yes, actually I am. I don’t really like to learn things that I am not sure I’ll need. I always try tolearn exactly what a specific job requires. But in the hotel, I was making pictures pretty much continuously, in all settings, in all kinds of light, season, so it’s proven to have been a great school.
Then you had a swing by the movies to if I am not mistaken.
Yes, I was making commercials but when I had to make a decision if films or photography, I decided for photography. Of course, movie making was very useful because it is a big difference compared to photography, it is a thousand times more complicated. In addition, it was there where I realized how important business planning is. So, right after I made up my mind I also decided to learn about marketing, how to make a business plan and stuff like that. I went to different courses and learned a lot. I prepared my first detailed strategic business plan last year and got so into this way of thinking that now I am capable of planing ahead for 2-3 year terms. I expect all that knowledge from last year to begin to reap rewards.
I think all the photographers who prepare a business plan would fit in a small size room. It is not really typical.
There are some who say I am already a business man, but it is not true that I only focus on thebusiness, I also see lots of creative values in marketing. If I find the inspiration and I enjoy doing it, then I am happy to work. And if I do not succeed, I never try to blame others or the circumstances but want to learn from it as much as possible. But to be honest, I don’t fear failure.And the fact that you started a photographer search website proves it best. Does this still work?It is still available but we are not developing it anymore. That was such a huge screw-up, I was ruined for almost half a year. I made all the mistakes possible. I lost pretty much everything, even had to sell my car but I realized that you always have to stay focused and should never lose track of the path. Actually, it wasn’t photography itself that mattered when I was younger but to have something serious that I do that makes me happy, in which I can grow further each day. It was then when I decided to always prepare a plan each year that kind of also allows me to think over and reconsider things at least once a year in December. But I will never jump in and out of things, you should never do that.
Is there any special field of photography that you’d consider your favourite?
I am not doing photography because I love it so much but rather because of the great people that I get to know because of it. To tell you the truth, I am actually seeking inspiring people. I am more than happy to go do gastro photography if the chef is someone exciting, someone I can learn from. Now I enjoy creative portrait photography the most. This is a new service I do, where I finish only with a single photo of the person but it perfectly represents what this person does for a living. For example, recently I made shark-like portraits of the sales people of Otthon Centrum1 using wild angle close-ups and they catch perfectly what real estate agents do.
People tend to imagine photographers as kind of lightheaded, yet you arrive at the same time here each day, we can always count on that.
I need system and order in my daily life very much, especially because otherwise I would easily drift off. I wake up every morning at 7.30am, arrive to KAPTÁR at 9.00 and start working. If I stayed home, my day would definitely fall apart. On that note, I also had to learn and understand this whole coworking story as well. You need to understand what the difference is between a café with wifi and a coworking space like KAPTÁR. It took me almost half a year to realize that besides settling in to my place each day, there are also other people around me here. And then a new world started to unveil for me, because I was never really a networking type of person. A community that gives you so much more, both businesswise and personally.
If you want to check out Attila’s work: www.ozseattila.com
How does data visualization make it to the spotlight?
Graphic designer and beloved KAPTARian Klaudia Gál is the only person not being a performing artist who received this year’s prestigious Múzsa Reménység Prize. An award, that acknowledges all those young professionals who contribute through their work, creations or artistic performances to the reputation and cultural heritage of the city of Miskolc.
So how do we imagine this? You just walked up on stage to receive the award with a big screen stuck under your arm?
Well, almost… I also had to come up with something to perform there for the ceremony as this event is also a gala night where all those awarded give some kind of performance. My program, in the end, was a short film about me that they screened. Actually, this film partly came together thanks to my KAPTARian network, because a shooting a pro movie costs quite a bit of money. In that sense, being a KAPTARian is a good investment, lots of connections are made here, not only friendships but also professional.
Was the journey hard to reach there?
Not really. I graduated as a graphic designer from the Eszterházy Károly collage in Eger. It was there where I finished my most favourite project – the one that also delivered me the 1st place at the OTDK (National Scientific Student Association) competition. The inspiration of this project reached back to my childhood, to the times when my mother used to study with me by laying out a huge sheet of paper on the floor and drawing all the things there that I needed to learn. This kind of visual learning worked for me so very well, especially in history, where there were all those dates and events. So this is what circulated in mind when I created the textbook where all information had visual clues attached to them. This helps a lot, because when you read a book, then your brain automatically connects all the visual signs to the information read. The best example to understand this is when you often remember if a piece of certain information appeared on top of a page or on the right side of it. So, this is what it is all built upon: with the help of all these tiny icons, we remember every info and detail connected to them much easier. But this all was much earlier and has no relevance with respect to this particular award.
And how did this project continue?
We made a tutorial and an application also but had only plans and concepts, it has actually never gone public. Honestly, I never really went after this, because I wasn’t really interested anymore. I was rather busy figuring out which university to apply to.
So, what did you go for in the end?
For Denmark. I have always been attracted to Scandinavian culture and design, and I really thought back then that I want to live in Denmark. I have entered a year and a half long study term at Zealand Institute with a half year-long training semester to finish with. This is where. I joined Ferdio, an internationally renowned data-visualization company that had already won tons of awards already by then. But I rather love them for their emphasis on researching specific topics, meeting and understanding client expectations and specifying our project in high detail. This is a very inspiring process. On that note, I am still working here, although now from home, remotely.
Last but not least, what brought you to KAPTÁR?
When I moved back home last summer, I was working from home for a month, but that just simply didn’t work. I need a certain routine for my day: waking up the same time every day, eating the same breakfast, drinking the same tea, or even when back in Denmark, sitting on the same place on the train when commuting to work. And I missed all these here at home. So, after a while, I started searching for coworking offices. I also checked KAPTÁR’s social media pages and I really loved the design of the office – no need to tell you how important this is for me. And when I saw the photos about the KAPTÁR ski event, it was decided. And I like it, the company of coworkers is also good, everything is solid here. I am glad I made this decision.
A hard-set outsider, who eventually found his place in the world
Have you seen the guy running around KAPTÁR with Caramel posters under his arm? He’s János Balassa, owner and founder of InConcert, whom we thank the brand Caramel. The road of the son of a diplomat landing in the world of entertainment lead through years in the banking and finance industries, coincidental encounters and several continents.
Changing from the bank sector to the world you are living in today is not an obvious move.
No, it wasn’t. But illogical turns and unreal encounters followed one another in my life luckily with such self-evidence that my life always changed to the better. The 5 years I spent in New York thanks to the diplomatic mission of my father not only secured my command of the English language but also set the foundation of this sort of outsider existence that still represents me somehow, even today. When we returned in the ’80-s into that reality of communism. here, well that was very different from what I’d been living in before. My dad arranged that I got accepted to Radnóti High School, where they sat me down next to a little girl. We were 10. She’s my wife now.
Everything got decided quite fast if I understand correctly, right?
Absolutely not. Although my life started quite normally, because I continued after finishing high school as everyone else back then.Being an obedient son, I accepted what my father had for me, so went to the Collage of Foreign Trade then to the University of Economics (now Corvinus), what was followed by my first job at Coopers and Lybrand, a big international advisory firm. And I found myself right in the middle of the world of the highest ranking economists, rapidly acquiring the knowledge that was very current especially at the times of the so called privatizations in Hungary.
But we’re still in Hungary and far away from the entertainment industry.
Yes, indeed, and I even had a short switch to CIB Bank, but just already just a bit after that, triggered by an ad I read in the Times, I found myself in Canada, on the Trans Canadian Highway between Toronto and Vancouver. And then, following an unlucky choice of lunch I made, I had to stop real quick to find a washroom. This is where I made the random acquaintance that put me into an investment advisory position at this picturesque town in Central Canada. These coincidental events that shaped my life in Canada so that I finally ended up settling down in Kelowna, in the semi-desert Okanagan valley in British Columbia, where I got a job at an independent advisory firm called Investors Group. I built up a clientele already in the first year that out of the five thousand advisors working for the company, I became number 11.
So, ten were still better than you, what a shame…
It’s wasn’t such a problem, rather I became so unbearably homesick, that I decided to come home. Of course, before that I went to Japan still to teach English for a year and had another 10 months growing a long beard and being continuously drunk, during which period I roamed through South-East Asia, from Bangkok through Laos to Vietnam. And when I had enough, I really returned home. And ended up right in the middle of the 2006 demonstrations, where rubber bullets whizzed past my mead.
And that’s when Caramel came?
No, not quite yet…, but soon. First a bit of Hungarian Development Bank, pinch of OTP Bank…, and then, after that. One day I went with my wife to the TV recording of the talent show Megasztár, because the girl next to whom they’d sat me back than in primary school was Kriszta Hadas, who was then working for TV2, the channel producing the show, and it was her job-related duty to be present during the recordings. I honestly had zero clue about Hungarian pop music I only know that there is LGT and that’s it.And then Caramel entered the stage with his song Lélekdonor. Which I still believe to be one of the best Hungarian songs of all time. Following this event, on an impulse I rang up Andris Szántó I had known from the years in banking, then owner of SYMA event hall, and asked how many people can fit into SYMA. Back then it was only an exhibition hall, so he said that it can fit maybe 5-6 thousand people. Then I asked him, why don’t we organize concerts there?And there was silence on the end of the line. But really, why wouldn’t we organize concerts there? So we looked into the numbers and because he owned the place, we concluded that this could really work out well. Then we established InConcert and put together the first super-concert with Caramel. We sold so many tickets that it was total full house and I made such a profit on this that I bought him out of the company. In the meantime, I became the manager of Caramel and we started to build up the Caramel brand that his talent deserved – because this guy is a genius. Same level as where Presser is. And working with geniuses is always fun.
And what brought you to KAPTÁR then?
Long story short, when SYMA was bought by the state, I was pretty much left alone there still hanging around my office. But then the time came when they starting asking what I was doing in one of the offices there and very politely asked my over the phone to show my lease agreement… I very politely told them I had none, then I had two weeks to move out. I knew home office was not for me so I started to look around. I heard of KAPTÁR already and knew it was cool so I just moved in. That’s it. The truth is that despite my outsider personality, I have the feeling that, somehow, I fit here very much… there are such similar kind of people here too. This place is like a tiny island that is multicultural, independent and dynamic just the right level, and the members are really nice. It honestly feels like being in California, there’s such an attitude and it is very refreshing… All right, I stop now, I don’t really wanna overpromote it.
Multi awardwinning singer, songwriter, one of the leading contemporary pop-stars of Hungary. Emerged by winning the national talent TV show called Megasztár in 2005.
Company merged with Price Waterhouse to form Price Waterhouse&Coopers in 1998
 Hungarian rock band formed in 1971. It has been one of the most influential rock bands in Hungarian rock music.
Award winning Hungarian musician, composer, singer. He is member and founder of LGTand was member in Omega. A prominent personality of the Hungarian pop-and music culture.
Let us introduce you an old community member, Ildiko Feher. She moved to London after highscool without speaking English and she studied, worked and lived there for 15 years, so she has a multicultural soul. She works for a London based consultancy that specializes in leadership risk management. To give our introductions a fresh new style we invented exciting interview questions. Check out the answers of Ildikó Fehér:
What did you hate most about working in home office?
Staying in my pj’s for 3 days, starving at home because of my empty fridge, no work life balance, upside down biorhythm.
What makes you excited about a new challenge?
Collaboration, shared visions, influencing and motivating people by understanding their personal objectives for their development and fitting that into the project, location of tasks within the project, to achieve growth beyond, always underpromise, and always overderliver, managing expectations of people of different cultural background and finding common language and common excitement.
What were your funniest KAPTÁR moments?
All KAPTÁR moments are fun, cracking a joke by the counter in the kitchen during lunchtime, having fun during FunFactory games, participating in the quiz nights.
Anna is living in Hungary for half of a year already and hope to stay here forever. Originally she’s from Moscow. Actually she never thought that she would ever make such a change in her life and we are happy to be a part of it! Get to know her story!
I’m Linguist by education but working in IT as a Project & Business development manager. My current aim is to launch my company’s geo products outside of Russian-speaking markets. For example in October we launched public transport app in Budapest. (Have a try and let me know your thoughts – http://bit.ly/2kPSaKV).
What did you hate most about working in home office?
For me the worst thing about working in home office is that you are locked-in all the day(s) in closed space, you do not feel the time and can work till nights. It can last days and weeks, time is running, task after task and so on. And even if you stop for a break or dinner with your family – this horrible feeling inside is pushing you: “Anna, you forgot this and that, you should send 100 more e-mails and make 200 calls”. So you cannot just enjoy. At the end of the day it may help you to earn all the money of the world (which is maybe not bad), the question is – is that a life?
Best KAPTÁR moments?
Let’s speak about happy moments at Kaptar – for me they are happening quite often somehow, for example yesterday Tamás brought best cookies I ever tried, very tasty. I ate half of the pack…:D
Or the other day you can be sitting deeply in all these tasks and calls and realise that you urgently need hugs. And just imagine – you can easily get them and it will not be weird. :)