Sometimes a certain curiosity can spark a change in direction, a small, seemingly insignificant acorn that grows into a much larger tree. This is when your hobby becomes your passion, and your passion becomes your life’s work. At least that’s what happened to Russian freelance photographer and documentarian, Katia Repina. Meet Katia Repina: the multimedia savant.
About the Artist: Katia Repina
Repina was born in Moscow where she studied economics before moving to Barcelona to study marketing and advertising. She was practicing photography on the side, but she wasn’t too serious about it. But when she realized how much time she was spending watching documentaries, she applied for a scholarship to study photojournalism and documentary photography and video in Barcelona. Spoiler alert: she won the scholarship.
A few years ago, while attending a photojournalism workshop in NYC, she immediately fell in love with the city. She moved to the Greenpoint / Williamsburg area in 2016 and has never looked back.
Her Commercial Work
Across both her commercial work and her documentarian projects, Repina loves capturing anything that showcases natural moments of joy. A care for genuine emotion and the celebration of human life are both incredibly evident focal points in her photographs.
In her commercial work, she’s photographed weddings, couples, portraits, concerts, still life, and yoga practices. Her commercial videography also highlights moments of precious joy, of life in motion. She hopes to do more commercial videography that is family-focused because she believes that video as a medium “has the potential to transmit magic.” Repina loves sound and music, and wants to use them more in her future projects.
For example, click here to see a recent family portrait video project she created.
Her Documentary Work
That transmission of magic is particularly evident in Repina’s documentary videography. Each topic she has chosen to explore has been inspired by her personal interests. Primarily, she explores themes of sexuality, power, misogyny, and how they interact. Using her documentary skills to really dig deeply, she tries to understand “how to deal with shame in our society when you didn’t do anything wrong.” Being outcasted by society without cause is a common theme across all her projects.
Recently, this concentration inspired her to create “My Own Wings.” With an interest in the global, societal struggle of fitting into masculine and feminine binary boxes, she dedicated this project to intersex identity.
“With this project, we want to raise awareness about intersex human rights issues and to help increase and change the public dialogue surrounding gender identity. We hope this project reflects the beauty, power and resiliency that so many of these participants have shown in relating to society not as victims but as empowered and equal members.”via Repina’s website
You can find the short trailer by clicking here.
Repina’s documentary work is inherently inquisitive. More importantly, she’s asking intimate questions that others might be reluctant to address. Her work is mysterious and raw. She focuses her lens on the censored and attempts to unveil the truth of the human condition through a combination of empathetic observation and skilled artistry. She adds such a beautiful and gentle perspective to otherwise taboo topics.
It’s no wonder that Repina loves working with people. She says that one of her favorite parts about her job is when she “come[s] across individuals, and couples, and groups [she] would never encounter in her normal life, and for one day, you become a part of it.”
Just this year, Repina has been announced the winner of the Helsinki Photo Festival (Helsinki, Finland), and as a finalist of “This is Gender” by Global Health 50/50. She has also been featured in multiple publications and collections. Specifically, “Her images can be found in publications like The New York Times, TIME, The Washington Post, Stern.de and Vogue. She is a member of Brooklyn Filmmakers Collective and Women Photograph Group.”
Her next documentary project has been in the works for two years now. While details are still unavailable to the public, you can follow her Instagram account and website to stay up to date with each future project that Repina produces.