Maciej Dakowicz is a Polish street photographer, photojournalist, gallerist and educator based in Poland. He studied computer science in Poland (2000). He lived in Cardiff, Wales, between 2004 and 2012, where he worked and studied for his PhD at the University of Glamorgan (now the University of South Wales
) where he also worked. He left work at the university in 2009 and completed his PhD in 2010. In 2010 he set up and ran Third Floor Gallery
along with Joni Karanka and Bartosz Nowicki. He left Cardiff for London, and since 2013 has been based in Mumbai, photographing in Tunisia, Yemen, India and Bangladesh.
Dakowicz is best known for his series of photographs of Cardiff nightlife titled Cardiff after Dark
, also the name of his later book. Photographed over four years, photographs from the series have featured in magazines and been exhibited in galleries. Individual images from the series have also been used out of context and with misleading captions by the British tabloid media to support a single narrative about alcoholic excess. This tabloid practice has been criticized; for example, Jonathan Jones wrote in The Guardian that "Humour is the most obvious thing about his pictures, and their attraction lies in the way they balance grotesque abandon with poised, coolly beautiful lighting."
Sean O'Hagan said in The Guardian that "it is not all outrageousness and vulgarity: Dakowicz also catches the sense of camaraderie and celebration in Cardiff on a Saturday night. He has an outsider's eye for telling detail, a way of showing us, in often brilliantly dramatic fashion and with a degree of gleeful humour, what is right under our noses."
In March 2013 Dakowicz became a member of the In-Public street photography collective.
His book Sonepur Mela
(2021) contains photographs taken at Sonepur Cattle Fair in India between 2010 and 2017.
Currently he is mainly occupied with teaching his popular street photography workshops in Asia and Eastern Europe.