Olivia Bolles (born April 5, 1994),[1] better known as Olivia Bee, is an American photographer.[2] Bee's book Kids in Love was published by Aperture in 2016.[3]

Olivia Bee
Born (1994-04-05) April 5, 1994 (age 28)

Personal lifeEdit

Bee is the daughter of a hairdresser mother and a high-tech worker. She grew up in Portland, Oregon, where she attended Da Vinci Arts Middle School.[4][5] She moved to Brooklyn, New York when she was 18 years old.[6]


Bee's interest in photography began at the age of 11 when she first took a photography class.[6] In 2013 she summarized her early work as "like, stuffed animals and a picture of my mom in the kitchen."[4] Afterwards, Bee began taking photos independently and uploading them to the image hosting website Flickr, where the footwear company Converse saw her work and asked her to photograph for their company.[6] Her work was used in an advertising campaign for Converse when she was 14.[7] Her work was also used in campaigns for Adidas, Fiat, Hermès, Levi Strauss & Co., Nike and Subaru, and published by The New York Times and Le Monde.[4][6][8] Bee decided to pursue photography as a full-time career after unsuccessfully applying to study at Cooper Union in New York City.[4]

Kurt Soller of New York described her work as "dreamy, seventies-inspired photographs of maybe-wasted, increasingly famous young people who just want to have fun, injected with ombré washes of color (often pink)",[4] while Kathy Sweeney of The Guardian observed that "Bee finds a dreamlike, innocent colour in her friends' gently dissolute experimentation."[6] In an interview with Paper Magazine, Bee characterized her work as "real, obsessive emotions put in a pop context."[9] The subjects in her photographs are often placed in the center of the frame.[4]

In 2011 she cited Ryan McGinley, Annie Leibovitz and Nan Goldin as influences,[10] and attributed her inspiration to her younger brother, mother and father's musical and artistic talents.[8]

Bee's book Kids in Love was published by Aperture in 2016.[3][11] The book is divided into two sections, one featuring predominantly staged shots and the other focusing on "slice of life" material.[3]

Other workEdit

In 2018 Bee featured in the short film A Kid From Somewhere: Olivia Bee, directed by Paul Johnston and Adam Beck. The film depicts Bee's photographic process, focusing in part on a project completed in honour of her sister, who died before she was born.[12] In 2021 she directed the music video for Olivia Rodrigo's song "Traitor".[13] In 2022 she directed the music video for Ingrid Andress's "Feel Like This".[14]


  • Kids in Love. New York City: Aperture, 2016. ISBN 978-1597113458. With an interview by Tavi Gevinson.


  1. ^ Bee, Olivia (April 5, 2011). "seventeen". Olivia Bee. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  2. ^ Kellner, Amy (November 23, 2011). "Our Teenage Photographer of Teenage Lust". The New York Times Magazine. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c Eckhardt, Stephanie (April 7, 2016). "With Kids in Love, Olivia Bee Is No Longer So Young". W. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Soller, Kurt (February 9, 2013). "The Very Rapid Rise of the Very Precocious Photographer Olivia Bee". New York. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  5. ^ Jones, Syndney; Hauth, Sophie (November 28, 2016). "Capturing the Light". Grant Magazine. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e Sweeney, Kathy (February 23, 2013). "Olivia Bee: 'People Don't take me seriously – until they see me work'". The Guardian. Retrieved April 5, 2015.
  7. ^ House, Kelly (May 29, 2012). "Portland's Olivia Bolles, 18, attracts attention in professional photography world". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  8. ^ a b Lanz, Desiree (July 23, 2011). "Young Photographer Succeeds At Snapping Away". Neon Tommy. Archived from the original on June 18, 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  9. ^ Sidell, Lainey (April 1, 2016). "Photographer Olivia Bee on Shooting "Kids in Love"". Paper Magazine. Retrieved April 1, 2016.
  10. ^ Little, Myles (September 9, 2011). "Smells Like Teen Spirit: Tavi Gevinson Interviews Olivia Bee". Time. Archived from the original on November 12, 2011. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  11. ^ Joiner, James (April 19, 2016). "How Olivia Bee spent her teenage years capturing the ephemeral spirit of youth". Huck. Retrieved May 24, 2020.
  12. ^ Farley, Rebecca (April 23, 2018). "Olivia Bee, Photography Prodigy, Is Just A Kid From 'Somewhere'". Refinery29. Retrieved May 25, 2020.
  13. ^ Doria, Matt (October 22, 2021). "Olivia Rodrigo mourns a backstabbing ex in new music video for 'Traitor'". NME. Retrieved October 26, 2021.
  14. ^ "Ingrid Andress shares the official music video for 'Feel Like This'". WMIX 94. September 12, 2022.

External linksEdit