German photographer Jörg Billwitz – who also participated in our Magical Places issue – always manages to capture a small eternity of a moment in his pictures. His new series with Ukrainian model Yana captured in an apartment in Kiev near Maidan – along with a wonderful text by her – invites you to leave the daily routine behind and immerse into a world of beautiful photos, personal thoughts and unspoken questions.
Following text written by Yana:
20 days of my life in this apartment are coming to an end. I am 24 now. And I think to myself: “What is waiting for me next?” “Which countries I will discover?” “What does the future hold for me??!”
I remember when I was 17 years old, the city where I was born suddenly became too small for me and unbearably closed. At this time, I also didn’t know what was waiting for me, but I didn’t think so deeply. When you’re very young, you feel more than you think. At that point, I knew I had to move. So I decided to move to Kyiv and started studying fashion design.
At that time, I began to understand more about what I wanted. And then I already knew that Kyiv would become only a starting point for something more than that, it was only my first contact with the world.
Those 7 years in Kyiv have changed me. From a wild child from a small Ukrainian town with a lot of complexes and some strange boundaries in my head, there was no traces of that anymore left. During this period of my life, I had a photo session with a young woman. It opened up a lot of things in me.
I began to understand, that I am beautiful and my body is a gift from God and I am his creation. My supposed shortcomings became virtues. This photo session expanded my boundaries in my head. I wanted to open all the doors to the world and cross all the bridges, I had an unbearable thirst for adventure.
I began to feel and listen to my life and myself…
“I always want to know the truth, touch the depths of seeing and feeling the truth.”
My first nude shoot was presented to me by the universe. She was a photographer, and she was just starting to take pictures, but she felt the camera and model pretty well. I remember I always had a complex about my hands, why my fingers were so long, but now it’s a laughing matter. But before that, it was really a problem. And it was this girl photographer Julia who was able to show and prove that my fingers are beautiful.
And then something turned over in my head about my appearance. All my complexes have turned into something special that I’m very proud and fond of.
The same day, I felt for the first time that I felt very free in front of the camera if I am nude and I liked it. After that, life continued to bring me new opportunities and I almost always took all of them.
“When you’re very young, you feel more than you think.”
But sometimes I felt afraid and insecure about what I was doing and I thought it was wrong and wouldn’t work. And I should do something more normal, more down-to-earth. But life loves me very much and it kept telling me it was your way and it was the right one. It’s so unusual, but it’s yours.
In the end, I decided to try to go to Germany for the first time. For one month! That was a big adventure for me! But all worked out very well and I had a lot of requests for photo shoots. I felt very free on this trip. I was very happy and enjoying the moment, knowing that now I feel like I’m in the right place at the right time. It’s a very strong feeling that you can’t forget.
“I’m in the right place at the right time. It’s a very strong feeling that you can’t forget.”
So now a new facet of my life has opened up and I feel very good about that too. Now I travel a lot around the world, meet new people, try to find my way to their hearts, touch on important topics, I try to influence them and bring a little sincerity to people’s hearts.
I listen to such different and unusual stories of such ordinary people. I always want to know the truth, touch the depths of seeing and feeling the truth.
Every time I thank the universe for what happened to me and continues to happen. I am very open to everything, I have very few fears and if I have them I do not obey them. I live my life on my own terms. I live my life.
Time to get ready, time to go.