Coming out of my artist cave to give you an idea of why I am so passionate about the visual arts, how I work and how you might even be part of all of that.

What is it that you do?

I'm a visual artist that focuses on telling stories through artwork and photography.

How did you get into creating?

Growing up, I always was the creative kid and that was how I expressed myself. Acting, painting, sewing, singing - you name it. Taking photos wasn't love at first sight. When I was younger I took some photos here and there but mainly of buildings or scenery, that never really intrigued me. It was only when I took photos of a model for the first time that there was a spark and I could see how I could merge my creative ambitions and passions and channel it through creating with someone else.

What does visual art mean to you?

Photography allows me to visually express myself.

What part of your job do you enjoy most?

People - in particular: creatives! I'm almost exclusively working with creatives such as musicians, stylist and so on. What makes interactions like these my favourite is that we can create extensive creative concepts highlighting the person's personality.

What kind of equipment do you use?

My go to is a Canon EOS 250D with a Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. For me personally, it's the perfect match that I don't need to switch out since I can shoot closeup portraits as well as full-body shots the same setup. In terms, of the camera body, I love the simple user interface, moveable display and that it's quite a compact camera when looking at size and weight.

Whose work has influenced you the most?

I am only just starting to explore different artist's work from a photographer's perspective now because it was important to me to experiment and find my own style as much as possible first. Besides, I personally see myself struggle to find the balance between being influenced and overwhelmed sometimes nowadays. But I am a big fan of Campbell Addy, Lou Escobar and Nikolai von Bismarck.

What motivates you?

Every single time I receive positive feedback from clients, get the chance to attend cool events, meet inspiring people in the industry and get asked to work on cool projects. When I think about it, it is really just about receiving something in return for all the work you put in because it is definitely not a given and to be able to level up in the long run. In my opinion, it's also important to do your part, aside from putting out great work, by actively looking for what motivates you and adding it to your life. For example, I really enjoy events and seeing Nikolai von Bismarck talk about the process behind and the photography from the Dior sessions with Kim Jones at the V&A after opening hours was so motivating!

What's the most difficult part of being a visual artist?

Pressure - financially and creatively. No matter if it is brought upon you by yourself or actual external influences, it's stressful. That's when I try to distance myself from these thoughts to not get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing.

Are there any practices in your field you might not agree with or other issues?

Without diving too deep into each of those: limited access, beauty standards, pay and numbers. There are great initiatives for some of these issues and people are speaking up more and more about it. But I still see others and myself experience issues to gain access to certain parts in the industry that would take our career to the next level, beauty standards that limit and discriminate my model friends, pay that doesn't match anyone's living costs but especially not all the hard work and companies and people being so focused on social media and numbers on there to an extent that these become additional entry barriers.

What is the most rewarding part of being a visual artist?

The positive feedback I receive from clients really is the finishing touch! But I also appreciate the fun times I have with the team on set and the positive work environment that I contribute to. All of that ultimately results in great photos which is definitely another rewarding part of photography. You would be surprised but I know that I am not the only photographer that is sometimes still nervous during shoots and then excited about how the photos turned out - every single time haha!

What are your career goals?

While there are definitely a few people and companies I want to work with, my goal is more about a wholesome vision. I'm striving for: Having a set base in a city with my own photo studio while also having the freedom to travel, working on exciting projects with other creatives, meeting new people all the time and simply enjoying life doing what makes me happy. If I get to shoot with Evan Mock or Vivienne Westwood on on the way then that would be an absolute dream, obvs!

What are upcoming projects and plans you have?

I have editorial and commercial projects in the pipeline as well as some exciting travel plans that might turn into long-term stays. Thanks to COVID-19, the current situation is making me rethink and strategise my actions while seeing the bigger picture. So the focus is on business and creativity - trying to expand my income streams and level up the content I put out. Once everything calms down, I will most definitely move to be able to travel more and upscale the projects I work on and expand my network. Besides, I'm looking forward to be at the forefront of Fashion Week as photographer again. As you can tell there is a lot ahead and I can't wait to show all of that!

I hope this gave you a better idea of who I am both as a person and as photographer. Being mostly behind the camera, it's important to me for potential clients and others to know that this is more than just a transaction, a service and that there is a person with a true passion behind all of this.

Ready to bring your creative vision to life?

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Feel free to check out these interviews as well

For more updates: @ina_moana