Throwback Thursday: Monika Manowska: Portrait of a Young Girl

Sometimes I find it hard to believe that Little Bellows has only been around for a couple of years.  I love this community, and what has come from this blog! When we started, back in May of 2012, we were lucky enough to have some amazing photographers that took a chance on us by letting us publish their work (when no one know who we were and we had zero, ZERO, readers).  So in honor of #TBT, I thought it would be fun to revisit some of our earlier post and share the amazing work that launched our blog.

The first post we ever ran showcased the work of the very talented Monika Manowska.  I found these amazing images on Pinterest.  They made me want to start a blog  just so I could share such beautiful work with others.  So I emailed her.  And I was completely shocked when she emailed me back and graciously gave us permission to share her work.  Monika continues to be one of my favorite photographers, and I'm proud to call her my friend now as well.

Here is our original post, run on May 1st, 2012. (And please note that Monika now lives in Sweden)

-Sandra Coan


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!!!”

About Monika: based in Spain / WEBSITE / CONTACT / FACEBOOK / PINTEREST

- Sandra Coan

Scroll down to the end for Cat’s take.

From Cat: 

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.)

- Cat Thrasher