Little Box conversation 


Olesia Kim

Olesia, please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your life and how you became interested in photography.

I’m Olesia Kim, a photographer from Tyumen city, Siberia, Russia.

A while ago, I travelled abroad and took travel shots like many tourists. Today I am looking for eye-catching pictures. I even travel for them. Photography is a big part of my life full of ambitions, education, communication and inspiration.

You live in Tyumen in Russia. Can you tell us a little about the place and what it is like to photograph there?

Unfortunately, Tyumen city isn’t a typical envisioned Siberian city. Severe winters are rare in my region, most buildings  are modern, locals are shy and avoid being photographed. That makes my photography more challenging but unique.  

You are a member of the new In-Public.  What do you think the benefits are of being a member of a collective?

First of all, it was a big surprise to get the invitation to join the collective. I feel the responsibility of being there. That motivates me to experience more in photography.

Can you tell us a little about how the pandemic has affected your photography and have you experimented with other forms of photography other than candid street?

It is a tough time right now. Almost everyone has been struggling with depression during the lockdown. I pushed myself to arrange my photo archive. Later I was inspired by Frank Horvat’s  ‘A Visual Diary’ photobook and used the Provoke Camera application on my phone to capture my own diary. It was definitely new stuff for me (b/w, everyday routine, selfie, family shots, very intimate). Also I met up with the local photographers and we investigated the hometown together and shared our skills and ideas.

The more restrictions you have, the more persistent and creative you become. I believe I have a new approach in my visual world.

When you take street photos, do you like to ‘fish’ or ‘hunt’? Tell us a little about your approach.

Neither fishing, nor hunting. Surfing!

You somehow catch the wave of reality and can photograph good images one by one. I guess that it all relates to our cognitive psychology. Try to recall how you felt while you were taking your best picture. Were you in rush or with plenty of time? Hungry or after the yummy breakfast? Alone or with a soulmate? New place or familiar? etc

Pay attention to how you work and what you feel at this moment. It’s definitely worth it. Everything is already inside us.

Can you tell us a little about your ‘style’ and how it has developed.

I don’t think much about the style. I even don’t care about the genre of my image. I always compare photography with cinematography. A good movie is always full of genres (for example: Parasite, 2019 - social drama, black comedy, thriller at the same time). So the lines are blurred.

There is either a good image or a bad image according to my taste. Besides I don’t want to be predictable or have any limits in my visual language.

Which camera equipment do you use?

I have a FujifilmXT-2 camera with 23mm lens (goes to 35mm).

Do you have any projects you are currently working on and if so, can you tell us a little about them?

I am doing a documentary project about the Russian Beauty (modelling business). But it was difficult due to Covid-19. Also I finished a project about Siberian teenagers during the summertime. Most of the photos there are non-staged - I shot them like a street-photographer. So I have to say it was a prolific summer. I can’t complain.

What do you think are the most important qualities or elements of a memorable photo? 

Vibes! It’s almost impossible to find and capture a new subject. However you can grant feelings to your photography. 

What have you learnt most from street photography and from being a street photographer?

When your desire is bigger than your fear you are going further.

You can see more of Olesia's work on her instagram account @lesyakimi