Isabel Steva Hernández, known as Colita, studied with photographers Oriol Maspons, Julio Ubiñá and Xavier Miserachs. With the latter, she worked for a year as a stylist and lab technician. From the early sixties, she documented a wide range of public figures from the late Franco era and the early years of democracy in Spain, and contributed to progressive publications of the moment such as Fotogramas, Interviú, Tele/eXprés, Mundo Diario and Destino. Colita alternated press photography, working for the cinema (where she collaborated with film directors from the so-called School of Barcelona) and making portraits of famous people from the so-called gauche divine, with her photography of political denunciation and activism. The latter includes her iconic feminist images that got her into trouble with the censor and the judiciary. With the advent of democracy, her work focused on Barcelona and its metropolitan area in order to document the changes that were taking place in the city’s way of life.
Spanning a forty-year professional career, her work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, been featured in over thirty photography publications, and is included in collections such as the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Fundació Joan Brossa and MACBA, Barcelona. In 2014, the Fundació Catalunya La Pedrera hosted a major retrospective of her work.