Charlotte Schmitz


  • Oeuvre - Charlotte Schmitz
    La Puente - 2019 - Original Polaroïds, nail polish, glitters - videos
  • Oeuvre - Charlotte Schmitz
    Çok güzelim, çok güzel / I am so beautiful, so beautiful - 2016 - Photographic series [Detail]

Charlotte Schmitz is a documentary photographer using collaborative practices and long term research to challenge traditional documentary perspectives. She grew up in the Danish Minority in Germany and currently lives at the Baltic Sea again. Charlotte’s work has been published by The Washington Post, der Spiegel, die Zeit, among others, and she has had solo exhibitions in the United States, Turkey, Austria and Japan. She is the first recipient of the »FotoEvidence W Award« with her book  La Puente, published in 2019. She is the co-founder of Friendzone.Studio and The Journal, a global photography collective of several hundred women and non-binary photographers.

La Puente2019

Charlotte Schmitz first heard of La Puente, one of the largest brothels in Southern Ecuador, while living in Machala as an 18-year-old exchange student. The brothel was stuck in the photographer’s mind as a place that symbolized the gender-based double standards that exist in every society. Aware of and always bothered by the inevitable hypocrisy surrounding one’s existence as a woman, Charlotte returned to La Puente ten years later to interview and photograph the women who work there, to make sense of how they live, and how they feel about the misrepresentation and marginalization they routinely face as sex workers.

The majority of sex workers  around the world are women, yet most visual projects are authored by men and rarely include sex workers in how they actually want to be seen. La Puente gives a new perspective on a somewhat cliché subject matter by involving the sex workers’ voice and participation in the project. The polaroids featured in this work were created in collaboration with the women at La Puente, who chose to direct their own pictures and who became part of the artist’s creative process. They painted with nail polish on their own portraits to obscure their faces or embellish some parts.


The project and the conversations around it continue until today and is leading to a current work by the artist on sex work in Berlin, Germany.

Çok güzelim, çok güzel / I am so beautiful, so beautiful – 2016

The work spans over 10 years and is a visual research on the private space in Balat, a neighborhood in Istanbul where I used to live. While wandering through the small historical streets, I was intrigued by what was hidden behind the curtains. How would the innerworld be, its inhabitants, spirit and cohesion with the neighborhood? The work is a visual answer to these questions and an exploration of what growing up, camaraderie, connection, intimacy, becoming a woman, beauty, celebrations, friendship, care, divinity, play and much more, mean.