Hier findest du ein Interview von mir über meine Boudoir-Fotografie, das ich für das Projekt 365days365women geben durfte…
My mission: to empower women through my boudoir photography
Annika’s mission is quite simple: to encourage, empower, and authenticate the female experience through her stunning boudoir photography. She is thoughtful, attentive, and has an exceptional drive to help others, especially women, build their own narratives separate from those society has structured for them. Her ability to recognize that change is a catalyst for growth has motivated her to frequently shift out of her comfort zone, allowing her to forge strong relationships and meet each new challenge with unwavering optimism. Meet Annika. This is her story.
K: Please introduce yourself!
A: Hey beautiful human being who is reading this (my words).
My name is Annika, I’m a photographer with all my heart and currently living in Krefeld, NRW, Germany.
I found my passion and the mission of my life in summer 2017, when I started specialising on boudoir photography. This time was kind of a turning point in my life, because that was when I started to ask myself, „How can I be of use / how can I serve others,” instead of just existing for myself.
I’m 27 years old today and the past years have been the most exciting, yet the most challenging years of my life so far. Talking about changes – I’ve changed a lot: started getting rid of things and people that didn’t fit me anymore, started listening to my inner voice more and quit a lot of negative behaviors. Though this self-reflecting journey brought me further than anything before, it was also the most challenging time ever – growing did cost me a lot of time, friends and big pieces of my beloved comfort zone.
But still – it’s the best thing that ever happened to me and I’m glad I’ve come this far at such a young age.
K: Describe yourself in your own words
A: I’m very caring, independent, emphatic, veeeeery easy to thrill and loving.
K: What is your favorite thing about yourself?
A: I would say the best part about me is that I can form deeper connections with others real quick. That’s what I like most about me, but what also makes it challenging for some people around me. Because instead of talking about the bad weather and having these bullshit convos where people are just complaining about current situations – I love to talk about what we can do to change the world for the better. Or just our country. Or just our city. Or maybe just yours or my life.
And if some people are not into changes or growing – I get bored real quick and leave. I’ve got a zero bullshit tolerance, that is good for my mind and soul – but I stopped being a people pleaser, which is kind of frustrating for others, I guess xD
K: Tell us a story. Have you had an experience that’s defined you or made you stronger?
A: I’ve had a very protected and good childhood and this goes on in my adult life. Generally said I’m a very lucky woman. I like to think it’s karma – but maybe I’m just a lucky bitch xD. That is why there is not that „one“ story that changed my life. But reading books about self reflection, growth, feminism and confronting myself with all that kind of stuff really challenges and changes me every day. I’ve been putting a lot of work in unwrapping these old behavior patterns lately – the ones that we all learn from our parents and society: Act like a woman, but don’t be too feminine; be strong, but don’t intimidate others; show emotions, but not aaalll of them; dress feminine, but not slutty; have an opinion about everything, but don’t be too loud about it; look like XYZ, but don’t try too hard; and so on – you know these words, you’ve heard of this before because we – as women – all did. And I don’t want to live after the unwritten rules of this patriarchy anymore.
So some work had to be done and still needs to be done. What really made me stronger might be recognizing that I can be whatever the hell I want to be without owing something to someone. Because at the end of the day – this is my life and I should be happy with it. And as a woman we will be judged either way, so why not just ignore all these judgment and just be ourselves.
I can be loud, powerful, wild, outgoing but I can also be quiet and retired if necessary.
K: What is one piece of advice you’d give to your younger self?
A: AAAALLL the learnings from above. My advice would be: Start today. Do what you would love to do – even when you are afraid, even when you take baby-steps. Start reading those books. Start challenging yourself. Start getting rid of people that don’t fit you anymore – even if you’re afraid of ending up alone – you won’t. Start with this risky thing – even if you aren’t successful, you’ll be rewarded with happiness and growth. But most of all: listen to your inner voice. If she tells you to take a break – take that fucking break! If she is ready to slay – slay! Your inner voice is your best compass through life, it guides you to happiness in the long term.
K: What does being a woman mean to you?
A: Being a woman means holding a power that not everyone around you is capable of managing. It means finding this power, that is sometimes buried deep down inside of us, since the world is not ready for it. But one thing is for sure – every woman holds this power. And unleashing this power, being true to yourself, not cutting yourself to bite-sized pieces, being yourself unapologetically means allowing all the other women around you to do the same.
So being a women to me means to inspire other women that deal with the same struggles and difficulties that I have been facing. It means standing up for each other instead of fighting each other. It means making sure no woman is walking with her head down ever again.
K: Who is one woman that inspires you? What would you say to her if she were here now?
A: I’m truly inspired by all my beautiful clients. Every single one of these women comes to me with their flaws and insecurities – and them being so vulnerable to me but also showing me that being a woman can be so diverse, powerful and beautiful always leaves me a little more at peace with me and the world.
Also – all the people around me inspire me. Since I no longer waste my time with people, that aren’t my vibe I get to form deeper and more inspiring connections. Best example is my best friend. She’s such a young, yet so wise woman and I’m really looking forward to keep learning from her and growing with her.
So to my best friend: You fascinate me with all that you are. You are amazing. I love you.
And to all the woman in the world: You are magic. You are amazing. You are loved. You are truly inspirational.
And last but not least: The best is yet to come! Keep going <3