Would you mind introducing yourself? Hello, my name is Annabelle and I'm from Melbourne, Australia, but I've been living in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for the past seventeen years where I am a free-lance photographer and part-time swim coach. Luxembourg is a beautiful small country full of forests and rivers and the capital city (Luxembourg City) is gorgeous, with cobbled streets, old battlements, and lots of history. If you are travelling in Europe try to visit Luxembourg if you can - it's a hidden gem! I really don't think I have a particular photographic style, but I do enjoy travel photography a lot. For me photography is about the moment: seeing something that catches my eye, whether it be light, or composition, or both (although that's probably the same for many people who are interested in photography!) I love nature, and especially anything to do with water. I'm also interested in architecture and design, basically anything "visual" - that's my passion. I was brought up by an interior designer and an architect, so perhaps that also had an influence on my experience of the world.
Annabelle’s Instagram - @ahcamera
When did you first fall in love with taking photos? I remember when I was about nine years old asking my parents if I could have a camera for Christmas. It didn't happen! So I got one myself when I was fourteen and it was then that the passion for photography really started to build. I think I've always been fascinated by light. I have very vivid memories as a child just staring at different forms of light, watching it move and change, and I still do that!
Do you have a favourite photography related memory, whether it be in front or behind the camera? I've had many, but one in particular stands out. When I was travelling through Vietnam and Cambodia in 1991, there was a cafe on the ground floor of the hotel where my friends and I were staying. We spent many hours sitting there drinking coffee and watching the world go by while we waited for our Cambodian visas to be issued (which at the time could take weeks). Every day the same elderly taxi driver would arrive in the morning, park outside the cafe, get out of his taxi, and sit in the back seat with his door open to read the morning paper while he waited for a customer. His taxi was a beaten up red 1940's Ford or something - loads of character. On this particular day, the overcast light was perfect. Through the cafe window, I saw him sitting there and noticed his newspaper was reflecting the morning light back into his face, illuminating him so you could see his face really well. He was totally still, and seemed completely oblivious to the chaotic street around him in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. So I grabbed my camera (Canon AE-1) and leaned against a nearby tree for stability. I chose a fairly slow shutter speed, and waited for somebody or something to provide some movement behind his parked taxi. I noticed a motorcycle coming along the street, and just as it went past I held my breath and took the photo. I had to wait for six weeks to get back to Bangkok to have the film developed, but I knew as soon as I took the shot I had something special.
What inspires your photography? I don't know, that's a good question. I don't why I always have to take a photo of something when I like the way it looks, or the way the light is. It would be torture if someone said to me "you can go to your number one bucket-list destination for six weeks, but you can't take a camera". I wouldn't go. I just wouldn't want to be there and not be able to take photos. I don't know why I have to capture images, I just do.
Camera & Editing Process? At the moment I have a Nikon D-750, which is great, and I also have a lot of film cameras which I've collected over the years. I'd like to get a Fuji at some stage. My editing process is pretty simple. I use Lightroom for basic edits like tweaking the contrast, hue, brightness etc., and l use VSCO app.
Are there any tips you would like to give to anyone out there who would love to create similar style photos to yours? I would say try and keep it simple, don't overthink things too much or you will miss the moment. Think about why that particular scene grabbed your attention in the first place. Maybe it was it the mood of the light, or the lines and patterns in the image, but try to capture what you originally saw in front of you, because that's what you noticed was interesting. If you are starting out in photography, and you are using a digital camera, I'd suggest putting black tape over the monitor and shooting 24 photos on manual mode. It's a good discipline, because it really makes you think about what you are photographing.
Who are some of your favourite photographers? How long have you got? In no particular order: Eve Arnold, Olive Cotton, Cindy Sherman, Richard Avedon, Max Dupain, Annie Griffiths, Sam Abell, Slim Aarons, Dorothea Lange, Martin Parr, William Eggleston, Nan Goldin, Sally Mann, Ansell Adams, Bill Henson, June Newton, Annemarieke van Drimmlen, Maria Svarbova, Steve McCurry, Helmut Newton, Olivia Bee, Kalle Gustafsson, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alistair Taylor-Young, Sebastiao Salgado - there are a lot more.
Are there any photographers here on Instagram that you wish more people knew about? I don't know if these people have been featured on various feeds on Instagram but they're definitely worth checking out! @jillvelinos @IIunphoto @frederik_vercruysse @paulbobko @autoframer @isabel____ @seanybroe @andrew.gosselin @iandeveau, and last but not least @marub0 who comments over the years have always been much appreciated!
What would be your number one dream destination for a photography adventure? India, Lord Howe Island, Palm Springs, Greenland and Japan.
Which time of year is your favourite for taking photographs? All year round is good! I don't have a particular preference. Each season has its own tones and I like them all.
The coolest place you've ever been? My hiking trip in the Dolomites was great, the mountains there are very dramatic. Also Scotland, southern Colorado/New Mexico, and South Island NZ.
Do you have any upcoming photography trips/sessions that you would like to share? I am going to New York City soon, and I can't wait to take photos of what is perhaps the definition of an urban environment.
Anything extra you would like to share? I would like to say a massive thank you to the Hippo Magazine team for having me and featuring my work!
Annabelle’s Instagram - @ahcamera