Building a Magical Empire: Fstoppers Interviews Bella Kotak

Bella Kotak is an international fine art, fashion, and portrait photographer whose magical aesthetic has gained her fans all across the globe and garnered her features in industry magazines like Rangefinder and PhotoPlus, but her photography career didn’t start in the happiest place.Growing Into an ArtistKotak grew up in Kenya, surrounded by a melting pot of cultures and people of different ethnic backgrounds. She fondly remembers the welcoming culture, the stories, and food, and even the feeling of the air. When she needed an escape, she got lost in Western fantasies and fairy tale books. But her family moved to the UK when Kotak was 16, and everything changed. She became one of two people of color in her school and experienced racism and cultural ignorance for the first time. That was the start of an emotionally tumultuous time for Kotak, where she did her best to hide her internal pain by masking it with an optimistic attitude. “And then I found Linkin Park,” Kotak said with a laugh, “and that was it.”Dressed all in black, listening to heavy metal, and determined to pursue a career in art, Kotak’s plans were brought up short when her parents insisted she go to university. In the gentlest form of rebellion ever, she chose to focus on architecture because that provided at least some form of artistic expression, but Kotak says she was not happy, which led her to photography as a form of escapism. “When I first started taking pictures, it was to escape the choices that I was making […] I felt so lost, I felt so trapped, I felt really angry at myself more than anything, for not feeling strong enough to make bigger decisions, like just leaving this career.” So, Kotak pushed all of those feelings into photography. 

Add comment

%d bloggers like this: