I'm so thrilled to be launching Little Bellows with these stunning images by Monika Manowska! Monika is quickly becoming one of my favorite photographers! I find her work mesmerizing. So the moment I saw these amazing portraits, I knew I had to share them. They take my breath away.
“I love to photograph children because they are so honest in their appearance. They don’t always have to smile, they look serious in my pictures, but seconds after the shoot they are jumping around and laughing. That’s photography for me.
These photos of Sophie are taken here in Spain when I did a family session. Sofie was here on holiday with her family. I love the way Sofie looks, is there anything better than a beautiful girl with freckles? I asked Sofie if she likes her freckles because normally people that have them don't like them but Sofie who is 12 years old said : Yes I like then very much. That's my girl!!!"
Scroll down to the end for Cat's take.
The first thing that comes to mind when I look at these photos of a little girl and her face full of freckles is that they look like they came from another time. The smooth black & white tones give the photos a feel that is almost touchable, and I could have sworn they were shot on film. Further, the neutral expressions are reminiscent of a time before it was understood that children would smile for pictures. The last photo, classically framed and shot using natural light, immediately reminds me of a Walker Evans photograph: just replace the worn-out faces in his work with a the childlike wisdom you see here. It is an Earthy, straight-forward documentation of this little girl, as you see her, right now, at this very moment, with no embellishments, just her natural face. And it's a gorgeous face!
(Monika does not happen to shoot in film: she shoots in digital and uses actions to accomplish this feat.)