Charlotte Schmitz

la Puente
Location: Istanbul
Nationality: German
Biography: Charlotte Schmitz' approach to her photography is deliberately personal and often subverts the traditional documentary approach, which allows her to convey her messages about women and migration. She grew up in the Danish Minority in Germany... read on
Public Story
la Puente
Credits: charlotte schmitz
Updated: 04/05/20
Location: Machala Ecuador

Between 2016 and 2018, I photographed in La Puente, the biggest brothel in southern Ecuador, where more than 150 women work. The photos were created in collaboration with the women, who chose their own poses and many painted with nail polish on their polaroids to hide their identities; the nail polish developed later to a creative tool, beautifying or abstracting bodies or the place itself. Not only their chosen poses, but also the use of nail polish tell about the women’s inner and outer perceptions.

The work, which recently was published as my first photobook, gives a new perspective in a somewhat clichéd subject matter and creates a space for a nuanced and relatable depth to individuals, thus challenge stereotyping and common portrayals of sex workers by allowing them to create their own narratives. In addition to the polaroids of the women and their video documentation, the work and exhibition also contains bedsheets that were given to me upon leaving La Puente, which are the only personal items in their rooms. The bedsheets are shown in their original sizes on the wall and become an important testimony to be shared with the viewers.

The books are purchasable via my publisher FotoEvidence for 35$, or drop me an email

An interview with The British Journal of Photography about my work & book:


By Charlotte Schmitz —


take me to jermany

By Charlotte Schmitz — 2016 This project chronicles the dangerous journey of refugees towards Europe. It turns its characters into..


By Charlotte Schmitz — 2017 Berlin - Tunis  Najet Adouani, Tunisian poet and journalist, sent me to places in Tunisia, where..

garden of lost dreams

By Charlotte Schmitz

çok güzelim, çok güzel

By Charlotte Schmitz / Istanbul — - I am so beautiful, so beautiful - 2013 - ongoing This project focuses on the private space of women in a..


By Charlotte Schmitz / Hanover — 2014 I photographed places where people had sex. - University of Applied Sciences and Arts Hanover Prof. Dr...

living in light, air and sun

By Charlotte Schmitz / Berlin — (2014) In the late 1950s the Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius planned a satellite town in the suburbs of..

yo soy lo que soy

By Charlotte Schmitz / Ecuador — - I am who I am - (2013) Southern Ecuador is home to about 100 of the world’s 300 people suffering..
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