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Josh Ciolkosz Photographer and Family

Josh Ciolkosz the type of guy you wouldn’t mind being trapped in an elevator with for several hours.  His sunny disposition and faith would buoy your spirits, stories and pictures of his family would make you smile, and he would probably give you half of his sandwich. Josh is a talented photographer who remembers CD clubs and what it’s like to shoot on film. Read more about Josh in our Q&A below and check out his Artery store!

Josh Ciolkosz Photographer and Family

Getting to Know You as a Person:

What is your favorite place in the world?

In a park, on a warm sunny day, with my family. Hasn’t the weather been great lately?!

Name 3 adjectives that describe your personality.

Thoughtful, considerate, friendly

Name one of your guilty pleasures.

I enjoy a good cigar now and then.

What was the first tape/record/CD you remember buying?

As a teenager I was in a couple different music clubs and got lots of CDs in the mail. Some of my first were Green Day – Dookie, Metallica –And Justice for All, and Seal. I still enjoy anything Seal sings today.

What is your favorite smell?

Dinner, when my wife is cooking!

What makes you angry?

When people are judgmental or make snap judgments about other people.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

“Don’t ever lose your faith”. A random guy told me this during a mission trip in South Carolina. My faith in God is the most important thing about me.

If you had to choose one, would you rather be rich while you are alive or famous after you die?

I never really desired to be rich or famous. But if I have to choose… I’d rather be rich- in love and compassion, and famous- for strength and integrity.

What would your 15-year-old self think of you?

He’d be wide-eyed with disbelief, and eager with anticipation. . .

What rule do you enjoy breaking?

I love to explore and poke my nose (and my camera) in places it doesn’t usually belong.  But that’s the best way to great photos- off the beaten path.


About Art & Madison:

How long have you been a photographer?

About fifteen years.

What makes your photography unique?

I learned photography when everybody still used film. I’m so glad I did because it taught me that each frame, each shutter click, has an associated value with it. You couldn’t get it back. It taught me how to be careful, how to compose each shot, and see the picture in your head before you push the button. I still approach photography this way. “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau

What do you think makes someone an artist?

An artist is anybody who can re-create what they see or feel with a personal touch. My photography professor once said, “Art is really in the head. It doesn’t matter what tool you use.” I agree.

Do your experiences as a child come out in your photography?

I don’t think so. But I’ve noticed the things I found interesting when I was a kid I still find interesting today. It’s fun to look back over old pictures and realize that some things never change- with the world and with myself!

What is your involvement in the Madison art scene?

My wife and I are really trying to reach out to the Portage and Madison area communities- with our business- but also with our creative arts. We frequently participate in meetup groups and workshops. We’re actively trying to get plugged into the local community and network with other creative and entrepreneurial types.

What have you observed about the Madison art scene or other Madison artists or photographers you have met?

They (we) are out there. You just have to get plugged in, know which rocks to look under, and you can be part of a great community.