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Irina Bittner with her photo series "Back and forth"

Short profile

Irina Bittner is a talented photographer from Cologne and she often deals with the subject of identity in her atmospheric photographs. She graduated from the ecosign academy in the Ehrenfeld design quarter in Cologne with a degree in sustainable design with a concentration in photography under Thomas Zika and has already been nominated for the Cologne Design Prize for her work.

Her paintings are currently part of the exhibition “drinnen und draußen” (inside and outside) – pictures about change – at the Peine art museum and were also part of the Cologne Design Prize exhibition at the Museum of Applied Art Cologne (MAKK).  

Portrait of Irina Bittner.


How did you get into photography?

I have always been a creative person. During my studies, I learned how to channel my creativity and use it productively. Since photography was also a big topic in the degree programme, I then took the first courses. At first I was a little put off by the medium, because in the art theory courses we discussed and analysed the great artists. The subject of portraiture then gave me the opportunity to connect my mode of expression with the human being. The subjects I work on are always close to the human being - also the pictures next to the portrait.

Man standing in a forest (left) and man sitting on a chair (right) - Photos: Irina Bittner.

How do you get inspired to develop your image ideas?

It is always the subjects I approach photographically that influence and inspire me. Coupled with my own experiences, these then lead to intuitive compositions. My penchant for colours and shapes are also a big influence. Through a long sketching phase, I eventually reach a point where the composition feels natural and right - then an intense and very productive phase begins, in which the images emerge and make sense in their arrangement.

Man sitting and leaning on a heating element - Photo: Irina Bittner.

Where can people find you when you are not behind the camera?

Besides photography, I also indulge in other creative things: I paint, make sculptures or experiment with colours and shapes in other ways. Professionally, as an art director, I deal with aesthetic issues every day. So creativity is a constant that is also always there in my private life. This helps me to develop on a spiritual level and to be inspired by nature and people.

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