Karolina / by Alexander Ward

I love the bridges we build between people in photography. Those you'd never normally meet or spend time with, suddenly become connected to you. 

Karolina is a perfect example - we'd never move in the same circles, have very few mutual interests and only really agree on the fundamentals like how good The XX are. And yet, despite these dividing lines, we find a ground where I can draw-out what makes her tick and represent it on film*. 


I find a great deal of photography like this, people I've worked with from all walks of life that you tether to in that moment to capture what they're about, during which, you're showing what's important to you too. 

Karolina is a kind, strong and honest woman that presents herself in such a way that is always authentic. Every part of her deals in the real and the right and you get snapshots of the extra layers which are afforded to important characters in her life - like Sylvester, her cat that demands the limelight and has a voice louder than I've ever heard. 


We've always stayed in touch - Karolina and I, not her cat - and we'd been planning an update shoot for what feels like years. Working with models is interesting - a challenge between them adopting your persona or presenting their own. My work almost always draws on the latter, so working with K again was a honed version of how I view her, of that raw, unmistakable and striking authenticity. 


This time round, I've tried to capture more of what makes her; how her environment encapsulates her and presents this package of things which are as much of her as the art on her arms. 


Working with these kind of people, having these type of experiences, helps you grow in what you're doing and build a new perspective for the next shoot, and beyond. Plus, much to my other half's delight, I think I now want a cat. 

* Where 'film' read 'digital format'.