Fashion photographer Anja Frers is a budding artist with a visual talent so strong yet subtle. Her images are soft with hints of sensuality that define the characters of her subjects. She makes it her ultimate goal to create images and visual stories that are not just beautifully stunning but packed with semiotic symbolisms that depict the importance of humanity and how to her, models are a whole lot more than just clothes hangers representing the newest trends. Anja has perfected her skills and expertise in pulling through and critically portraying varying characters with an embedded soul within all her images even when it’s a simple beauty headshot. Her work is not only always accurate in portraying sensuality, character and identity, it also captures a precision that flows with a depth of incredible beauty and aura of luxurious sophistication that can never be under sold.
Anja Frers style to us is sensual, picturesque and fluidly poetic with strong elements of a confident creative whose love for creating meaningful visuals with the model whom she places at the center of her inspiration and allows her to set her creativity loss. VMM sits down with the phenomenal artist to find out a bit more about her passion for photography.
When did you get into photography?
I really started photography at the age of 20.
Why photography? What do you enjoy about it?
As a child, I loved to sketch. Drawing and sketching were a favourite pastime and I could not get enough of it. I was deeply engrossed in art and beautiful paintings. Trying to recreate them through sketching and drawing. Always pushing myself to get the images I was trying to sketch and or draw develop into other forms or stories. For me photography is a different way of “drawing”.... it starts with an idea that I have and that idea just keeps developing.... and often I find myself still sketching storyboards.
Was it a difficult process starting out?
In the beginning it is very difficult to find good models and great styling. When you are in this industry and you are not that well known yet, it is nearly impossible to get a styling-letter from a magazine and with that a great model for a fashion story that is up there with where you want to be. When you begin, the ideas you have, they are phenomenal. You are buzzing to create beautiful images but the reality is as I said, getting the team together at the beginning is hard.
You have won a lot of awards which depicts how amazing you are, what would you say is the secret to your being so successful?
It is very important to stick to ones way and believe in it, to find your style and to keep going with that and develop that style and aesthetic no matter what others might say, the negative comments that will be thrown your way, it should not stop you if you know what your style and aesthetics are. It’s a question of personal taste if someone likes your photograph or not and you can’t please everyone, otherwise you become mediocre.
What advice would you give to young people trying to get into photography as a career?
Always pay strong attention and look at which direction/medium of photography makes you excited and you would wish to follow. Not every photographic style and its approach is the same, so really make sure you understand and know that it is what you really want to do. Secondly, have a little financial nest egg prepared before you go out there because you are not going to land that advertising job in the first week of being a freelance photographer yourself. Like everything else in this business, landing that first paid big job as a freelancer takes time. It takes a lot of sacrifice, dedication, commitment, motivation, staying strong and inspired, being consistent and continuously keeping your work fresh with new ideas that push mediocre boundaries and are up to date with industry standards. It is a lot of hard work and if you are not prepared for any of that, then do not go into it. Fundamentally, stay on top and do not let events overwhelm you. Endeavour to always work on yourself, your photography and find and keep the joy you experience within what you are doing. Finally please don’t sell yourself short and or under value yourself or your work at anytime in order to please anyone. Know your worth within the industry because you are not doing yourself and others in the market any favours by undervaluing yourself.