Ines and Stella
Olita Klimowicz is a 25-year-old photographer living and working in Barcelona. Originally from Warsaw, Poland she moved to Rome to obtain a degree in Communications and Religious Studies before making Cataluña her home. Her father introduced her to photography when she was still a child and she hasn’t put down a camera ever since. When she’s not out taking photos, documenting the lives of her irreplaceable friends, she’s probably eating something again.
How did the idea for the series come about?
I met Ines and Stella during a trip they took to Barcelona nearly two years ago. They were friends of friends who attended the same university that I had graduated from earlier that year. Due to a funny combination of circumstances and coincidences we grew closer over time as their trips to Barcelona got more frequent. After having made several appearances on my Instagram, a friend of mine, Lucho Vidales, who is a professional photographer began pleading with me to organize a shoot with him and the girls. This finally became possible in June. I put them in touch with Lucho and joined in with my Yashica FX-3. The final product is a kind of behind-the-scenes of their project. It combines photos of these two beauties taking smoke breaks between costume changes with some staged shots in the lush light of Lucho’s studio.
Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?
Yes! And we should! The more diversity, the better! When I was younger, the only depictions of women that were being projected into the world were carefully curated images put forth by media conglomerates. During the recent years, thanks to Instagram and several other platforms, we’ve seen a big, big change in the way women are portrayed. Whether it’s through tummy rolls, arm pit hair, or selfies with no make up, women all over are challenging illusive beauty standards. That is not to say that we can’t also take beautiful, sexy photos of the female body. The power comes from the choice that we have in creating images that empower whether it’s through embracing or eliminating our sexuality. Most importantly, women are now behind the lens almost as often as they are in front of it and I’m happy I get to partake in that. For me, it’s important to capture the personality within the body. I think in this particular series this shows especially in the pictures of Stella smoking in those fabulous, massive heels. I love the balance between strong, sexy and fierce that she captures. When she’s in front of the camera she feels good and comfortable and it shows in every photo.
What inspires you?
My wonderful friends have always been a wealth of inspiration to me. I have been very lucky and life has placed some incredible people in my path. I think I have always been surrounded by people who are very talented and very passionate about many different, fascinating things and just being surrounded by that attitude and energy has always filled me with motivation and creativity. I find inspiration in documenting their crafts, their laughs, their interests, their fuck ups, their dancing and their beauty. And when they’re not around I look for inspiration in music, nature, architecture and food.
How would you define beauty?
I wouldn’t. Like with love, the beauty of beauty is that it cannot be simply defined or restricted to any one thing. Beauty is something you can see right away or only find after a very long time. Sometimes beauty is fleeting and the most beautiful things, like sunrise only last a short while. But while it is not necessary to define, it is important to always keep searching for what you find beautiful. Our world is ugly and complicated, it can sometimes obscure all the beauty hidden in the little things, which is why I try to capture it in my work. Maybe make it a little easier to see for everyone.
Film or digital?
Claro que film! The rise of digital technology has made us unappreciative of that beauty that surrounds us. We’ve become so accustomed to experiencing everything through screens, but with film, there’s no screen to glue your eyes to. It’s just one photo at a time and you either get it or you don’t and that’s so exciting! I don’t edit my pictures. Film is raw, it gives you all those colors and imperfections that real life does. It’s better.
What makes you happy and what’s next for you?
Oh wow … Perfectly seasoned hummus. Developing film. Mimosas on a Saturday morning. Or any morning … Music that matches the moment. The smell of freshly made pancakes. Healthy plants. People who I love laughing. Sunshine. The beach. A vegan option on the menu. Symmetrical avocados. I’m generally a pretty jolly soul and there’s so much that makes me happy. I’m constantly discovering my talents and testing out my abilities. I have more shoots lined up and I am working hard to turn photography into more of a career.