This week I had the opportunity to do another e-mail interview with a talented young photographer named Anne Steele. I found Anne’s work through Tumblr and asked her if she would be interested in being my Photographer Feature on Penny Laine and luckily for me she said yes! I was blown away by Anne’s inspirational answers, as much so as I am with her photography.
This image was what initially drew me in to her work and I was very surprised to hear that it was taken with a Canon Elan II which is the same type of camera that I have and even more surprised to hear that it was taken from the edge of the water as the depth of field gives the illusion that part of the lens is slightly underwater.
In one message that Anne sent to me, she said “I’m such a new kid at this and whenever I see the work of my stunning peers on Flickr my pride is blown to bits all over again and I’m inspired to better myself”. I feel the same way every time that I look through photography on Flickr, and I felt that same way when I looked at Anne’s photography. Without further ado, my e-interview with Anne Steele aka magic on Flickr:
How old are you/when were you born?
I’m 17 years young & began the countdown on September 17th, 1993.
Where are you originally from? Where are you located now?
I’m originally from Chicago, but I currently live in a suburb right outside of Houston, TX. I still slip into my old accent from time to time. Feels nice.
When did you discover your interest in photography?
My uncle gave me a Nikon d40x a few years ago for Christmas. My first picture was of a daisy. It was horrid, but I enjoyed being behind the lens.
Who/what influenced you to be a photographer?
To be honest, I was just another teenage tourist of the world until about spring of this year. Dennis Auburn was a senior in my high school when I was a junior, and we used to talk about photography a lot during class…Or rather, he would show and I would marvel. His talent inspired me to (try &) capture people: to freeze time and space in my own way.
Who are some photographers that you like who inspire you?
Shooting has taught me much about this city and I’ve grown to love it, to appreciate its quirks. There are so many talented photographers in/near Houston that have inspired me from the beginning… I was surprised, actually. Tamara Lichtenstein, Baohien Ngo, Ann He, and Jacqueline Luo are just a few. They all use film, and it was due to their influence that I eventually converted to the classics. Haven’t looked back since.
I also can’t get over Nirrimi Hakanson and Leigh Ellexson’s work. Their manipulation of light is incredible.
Do you have/are you working on a degree in photography or are you self taught?
I first learned how to use an (auto) dslr in junior high, when I worked for the school newspaper. But I taught myself how to manually control a camera.
Is photography your career? If not do you plan on turning it into your career some day?
I’m passionate about photography, but I can’t make a career out of it. It’s simply a wonderful way to express myself in a way that words cannot.
What is your favorite thing to photograph?
My wonderful friends. We have such fun and they are so beautiful.
Where do you find and how do you instruct your models?
Sometimes I go into shoots with a set idea or general theme in mind, but I usually find that they evolve over time, and whimsicality is a priceless element of every shoot. Mostly, my photos end up completely different than what I had originally imagined.
Can you list off all of your photography equipment and which of these items you use most often?
My first camera was a Nikon d40x. In January, I finally raised enough money to buy myself a Canon Rebel xsi. In March, I won a Diana F+ camera in an online drawing. The in August, (the month I decided to try my hand at 35mm film and bought a Canon Rebel EOS Elan II for $20. I honestly use the Elan2 more than any of my other ones because I am so, so in love with film. There’s something beautiful about imperfection.
What inspires you? What do you do/where do you go to find inspiration? Future photography goals?
The world inspires me. I try to be in constant motion, in observation of everything around me, because photography is just the attempt to capture what the world wants to show you anyway. Ever since I started taking it seriously, I’ve tried to see the world through a different pair of eyes. To explore mankind in a way that defines both them and I. For inspiration, I usually find myself surfing on Flickr or through the Urban Outfitters catalog. Sometimes, I just sit in the city and watch.
I don’t know where it’ll go from here. I’ll be in college next year.
What do you plan on studying when you go to college?
This is really out of the blue, and most people don’t expect it… but I actually want to study political science or anthropology. Humans are so fascinating.
Are you currently working on any projects? Do you have any in the works?
I really can’t plan to save my life. My projects are the present. I take it one day at a time, camera in hand and coffee in the other.
Do you think that the price of the camera affects the quality of the pictures that it takes?
Not at all. Sure, the really expensive digital or film cameras may have a high picture quality… but a shot is essentially a location + a subject + an idea. No amount of money or expensive camera can enhance the beauty of reality.
What do you think makes a photographer a good photographer?
As long as you have a pair of eyes, a beating heart and a desire to capture life, then you are a good photographer. Plus, there’s a good dose of luck.
Do you believe that film photography will be replaced by digital photography?
Not at all, I have infinite hope that there will always been a group of people (however large or small) that will love film.
Do you have any advice for someone who is aspiring to become a photographer?
Simply shoot constantly and keep your eyes open to change the way you view the world.
Check out Anne’s beautiful photography on her Flickr photo stream. She also has a blog on Tumblr which you should follow.
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