Maria Kotylevskaja was born in Russia and moved to Germany at an early age. After graduating she moved to Hamburg where she’s currently based and where she works as a freelance photographer. Maria also studies Media and Communication Science. Her goal is to work abroad and to travel around the world with her camera.
How did the idea for the series come about?
I love to shoot indoors and had the opportunity to use this beautiful flat. My neighbour and good friend Carsten Thun is a photographer himself and I was always a big fan of his work. So it was quite special for me to work in his space.
How did your shoot with Paola go?
It was our second shoot and I was really happy to see her again. She is such a beauty, like a modern hippie with her wild hair and natural style. We turned up the music and were done quickly. It was a perfect day!
Can we photograph the female body differently in a more powerful way?
I think that a lot of the modern photographers do that already. Or at least I see a lot of powerful women in photographs.
What inspires you?
Mostly music. I love to have a special atmosphere on the set and to turn up the volume.
How would you define beauty?
There is no real definition for me, because you can find it in lots of different things. I hope to show the beauty of my models in the most natural way. Pure and authentic.
Film or digital?
I love both, but this set was shot on digital.
What makes you happy?
I am glad to say that there are definitely too many things in life than I can mention here. Photography is a big part, but there are so many happy moments without a camera in my hand.
What’s next for you?
I hope to be able to work more on videos. I definitely need to improve my skills, but I really love to combine visual content with music. So I want to start filming short previews from my shoots more often and tell little stories to show a little bit more of the way how I see the world!