Anna Försterling is a german fine art photographer who shoots exclusively on film.
She loves to photograph the purity of the body with all it’s details and is specialized in authentic face portraits and aesthetic nude photography. In her photographs she wants to show and appreciate the beauty of every human body. Not only the eyes are the gateway to the soul, but also the skin reveals a unique character.
Enri Mato: Can you tell us a bit about your journey into photography?
Anna Försterling: Of course! It all started for me with an internship at a photographer. With him I had a lot of freedom and could try out a lot with the technique and image composition.
After that I decided that I also wanted to become a photographer. In Germany, after regular school, you either do an apprenticeship or study. I wanted to train as a photographer. Unfortunately, I didn’t get an apprenticeship at the first attempt, but a year later I did. I had bugged a photo lab for so long that they should take me, that I finally got the training position. For three years I did the training and learned very very much. In the beginning and even before my apprenticeship I was very busy with landscape and macro photography and took mostly pictures of animals or nature.
Then, in my apprenticeship, that changed and I started to get interested (also through the analog photography we learned there) in people photography. However, I wanted to do this only analog, because with this work process I immediately felt comfortable and, above all, inspired. At the very beginning, I looked for my models on Facebook and started with portraits. Then, after I got myself an Instagram account, I wrote to many models there and also got requests for collaborations myself. From then on, I photographed a lot and came to nude photography, which I have been passionate about ever since.
Enri Mato: Are you shy?
Anna Försterling: Well, it depends on the situation. Actually, I’m rarely shy, I do not necessarily go to the people on it but I also do not hide in the crowd. When photographing I come out of me and want to have the situation under control, like a director. It doesn’t help if I’m too shy to talk.
Enri Mato: Could you say that you feel better when you hide yourself, your shyness, behind the camera. We hide and then we start shooting…
Anna Försterling: As I mentioned before, I’m not shy when taking pictures and I don’t hide behind my camera. On the contrary – it’s just my tool to capture the moment. Before I shoot, I give instructions and usually demonstrate all the poses I have in mind to the model. So I can better put myself in the model and the model then also knows exactly what I have in mind and can work with it. I can build a foundation of trust and convey to the model that I’m not just standing behind the camera and give any instructions, but can also empathize and, above all, want to.
Enri Mato: Which is the most powerful image from the collection for you personally? And why?
Anna Försterling: Oh, what a difficult question! I have many pictures that I like very much for different reasons. My favorite images are usually characterized by a strong minimalism, because I love the reduction to the essential. So, for example, one of my favorite images is “the fall” because I really love the body shapes and the purism. Personally, I don’t find any distracting or distracting pictorial elements in the image. Then I really like a picture from a series that was made not long ago. It itself has no title, but I always like to call the series “tenderness and protection”.
This picture shows for me the different characters of a relationship and the exciting thing is that everyone interprets it a little differently. On the one hand, I see tenderness in the picture because the upper hands touch each other so tenderly. And the lower hands show for me strength, security, because of the firm grip.
Enri Mato: Do you have muses?
Anna Försterling: All my models are muses for me. Each person inspires me in a different way. One has a strong facial expression, the other an incredible body tension and body language … It’s so diverse, I don’t want to commit to individuals. I am especially interested in the skin and various structures of the body.
Enri Mato: Your models often wonderfully portray a quiet yet powerful sense of beauty. How do you choose your models?
Anna Försterling: I love natural, unadorned faces. I do not attach importance to classic ideals of beauty, even though many are very beautiful people anyway. But they all have a certain expression, an exciting story to tell. I don’t even need to know everything about the story, it’s enough for me to see that expression in the eyes to know that something happened. But without sometimes even knowing if my models can tell a story with their face, it can also be dreams or a certain longing that you see flashing in their eyes.
Enri Mato: What are some of your interests?
Anna Försterling: My biggest interest is photography, but besides that, in a way, my animals are also my hobby and I like to draw (and I should do it again much more often). A big passion for me is also music. I love to enjoy music and also to make it.
Enri Mato: What do you hope to see happen in the near future?
Anna Försterling: I certainly hope that we will soon have the pandemic under control and that our lives will return to normal. Because until that happens, it’s also difficult to organize collaborations with other people and implement joint projects. I hope that the art and music scene will continue to hold out and that we will still be able to enjoy art and culture after the pandemic. Many people will think that art and culture are not very important for society, especially in such an exciting time. But where would the joy of life be if we were to do without it?
Enri Mato: How do you generate new ideas?
Anna Försterling: I’m inspired mostly by music and sometimes by current events. Namely, I mean that music puts me in a certain mood, I get the desire to work on projects and images come to mind for possible sceneries. Current events that shock me again and again are, for example, the treatment of animals in today’s society, I mean the factory farming. I always ask myself, what can I do, except to eat vegetarian / vegan? I would like to draw more attention to this in future series.
Enri Mato: What is your message to the utopian’s readers?
Anna Försterling: You don’t need a good camera to take an expressive picture. The technique is always secondary! Focus on the image and the emotions you want to convey.
Enri Mato is an architect and photographer born in 1986 in an artist family. His father was a sculptor and his mother was a restorative, who worked in the Louvre Museum. He grew up in Tirana, Albania where he discovered his interest in photography and art at an early age. In 2005 Enri moved to Paris to study Photography and Architecture. He later pursued masters dergree in Urban Design between Geneva and Tirana. He graduated with a research project called Remembrance. Through his thriving business Enri had the opportunity to travel the world to share his vision and experiences with an international audience.