Q&A with Annaliese Feininger
Annaliese Feininger is a young artist in Canada who has been submitting to Pink Things via Instagram for months. A couple weeks ago, we decided that it was time to sit down with Annaliese and pick her brain about her work. She’s a photographer, model, and the founder of Love Letters to Lost Lovers, a platform aimed at recovery and closure by using the written word and creating a community around love. Her work includes a range of selfportraiture as well as a wide modeling portfolio. You might know her on Instagram as @afeininger. Read on to catch a glimpse of what drives this up-and-coming photographer.
Pink Things: So lets start this off with a little background, letting our readers know who you are.
Annaliese Feininger: My name is Annaliese Wysse Feininger and I’m 22 years old. I’m currently located on the West Coast of Canada in Vancouver BC, although my heart will always be with my family on the East Coast. I could hold a camera before I could talk, so photography is organic and cathartic for me. I’m taking this summer to find and define myself, as well as create and collaborate with an array of talented artists worldwide. I grew up around film cameras and film photographers.
PT: So why do you take photographs? Who do you take photographs for?
AF: I take photographs to tell a story that can be interpreted by all people in completely different and unique ways.
PT: Your work is primarily film based, giving it a rare quality. Why film?
AF: I specialize in analog photography and I tend to use a Leica M2 or a Hasselblad. On a photo shoot the only equipment I find necessary is the camera & lens, the subject, and natural light. When it comes to my photography, I aim for it to be as natural as possible. I’m very influenced by classical artwork, the female form, and the depth and distortion of light.
PT: Who or what else inspires you?
AF: My great grandfather, and Life Magazine photographer, Andreas Feininger, inspires me, as well as Simone de Beauvoire. Also, my mother for her strength, resilience, artistic talent, and strength in the wake of the difficulties both herself and I have put her through.
PT: Can you walk us through your process during a normal shoot and post-production?
AF: Before a photo shoot, I always like to take my subject out for coffee to get to know them. I also think it’s very important that the model has as much of a creative input as I do, in order to produce an organic set. Everything from garments to tattoos gives us each our own way of presenting ourselves in the way we want to be seen, and I find it extremely interesting and inspiring to dissect the dichotomy between personalities and personal style choices. As for post-production, I keep all my photos unedited, no matter what. Imperfections are what I love most. The differences make each photo unique and real.
PT: How have your experiences as a young woman influenced the way you work?
AF: As a young woman I have been subjected to hyper-sexualized media (music videos, photos, advertisements, etc.) that has influenced my work positively. Every day I see examples of artwork that I do not want to emulate, and this is a wonderful reminder that I have the ability to provide my audience with a different point of view and liberation from all those who think they have the ability to put us in our place. I portray beauty in a pure form, not to sell a product.
PT: You embrace sexuality in your work and there is a divide between generations of feminists on this subject. Do you consider yourself a feminist?
AF: Of course I am a feminist. I draw my inspiration from the female form and classical artwork, a lot of which comes from the deeply rooted history of female expressionism and inequality. I don’t discriminate when it comes to any genders or non-binaries. I aim to evoke empowerment in all peoples regardless of labels.
IT'S ALL ABOUT RADICAL ACCEPTANCE
PT: So at Pink Things, we think that Pink is more than just a color; it’s a concept. How does pink, as a concept, have a presence or influence on your work? What is your opinion about the color Pink?
AF: Psychologically, the colour pink has been found to alleviate feelings of abandonment and aggression, and emotionally evoke feelings of a calm and secure nature. My opinion on the colour pink is that of any other - it is a part of our present world and we must accept it and do what we can to use it in a positive way. There are a lot of things we can’t change, but colours can be altered. It’s all about radical acceptance.
PT: So as we wind down, can you tell us about some of your current projects?
AF: I’m currently working as a photography assistant with Joao Guedes, a music journalist for the London UK based music publication Indie Shuffle, and a secret project with two other amazing females, which will be released later this year. I have also created a crowdsourced poetry project entitled Love Letters to Lost Lovers, which aims to help others and myself with love, loss, and radical acceptance.
PT: Thank you so much for chatting with us and giving our readers a glimpse into the thoughts behind your work. Is there anything you would like to add?
AF: I believe there is a very large difference yet a very fine line between consumerist exploitation of women in photography, and artistic works that aim to speak for and empower all women. My work is of the latter and always will be. Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts and opinions about photography, and my personal creative process.
About Love Letters to Lost Lovers: All submissions are anonymous and can be sent to loveletterstolostlovers.tumblr.com or by direct message on Instagram @lovetolost.
This interview was conducted via email and has been edited and condensed.