photographer feature: anne steele

[this is a partial interview... to read my full interview with anne steele, please click here]

How old are you/when were you born?
I'm 17 years young & began the countdown on September 17th, 1993.

Where are you originally from? Where are you located now?
I'm originally from Chicago, but I currently live in a suburb right outside of Houston, TX. I still slip into my old accent from time to time. Feels nice.

When did you discover your interest in photography?
My uncle gave me a Nikon d40x a few years ago for Christmas. My first picture was of a daisy. It was horrid, but I enjoyed being behind the lens.

Who/what influenced you to be a photographer?
To be honest, I was just another teenage tourist of the world until about spring of this year. Dennis Auburn was a senior in my high school when I was a junior, and we used to talk about photography a lot during class...Or rather, he would show and I would marvel. His talent inspired me to (try &) capture people: to freeze time and space in my own way.

Who are some photographers that you like who inspire you?
Shooting has taught me much about this city and I've grown to love it, to appreciate its quirks. There are so many talented photographers in/near Houston that have inspired me from the beginning... I was surprised, actually. Tamara Lichtenstein, Baohien Ngo, Ann He, and Jacqueline Luo are just a few. They all use film, and it was due to their influence that I eventually converted to the classics. Haven't looked back since.

I also can't get over Nirrimi Hakanson and Leigh Ellexson's work. Their manipulation of light is incredible.

Can you list off all of your photography equipment and which of these items you use most often?
My first camera was a Nikon d40x. In January, I finally raised enough money to buy myself a Canon Rebel xsi. In March, I won a Diana F+ camera in an online drawing. The in August, (the month I decided to try my hand at 35mm film and bought a Canon Rebel EOS Elan II for $20. I honestly use the Elan2 more than any of my other ones because I am so, so in love with film. There's something beautiful about imperfection.

What inspires you? What do you do/where do you go to find inspiration? Future photography goals?
The world inspires me. I try to be in constant motion, in observation of everything around me, because photography is just the attempt to capture what the world wants to show you anyway. Ever since I started taking it seriously, I've tried to see the world through a different pair of eyes. To explore mankind in a way that defines both them and I. For inspiration, I usually find myself surfing on flickr or through the urban outfitters catalogue. Sometimes, I just sit in the city and watch.

I don't know where it'll go from here. I'll be in college next year.

Are you currently working on any projects? Do you have any in the works?
I really can't plan to save my life. My projects are the present. I take it one day at a time, camera in hand and coffee in the other.

Do you think that the price of the camera affects the quality of the pictures that it takes?
Not at all. Sure, the really expensive digital or film cameras may have a high picture quality... but a shot is essentially a location + a subject + an idea. No amount of money or expensive camera can enhance the beauty of reality.

What do you think makes a photographer a good photographer?
As long as you have a pair of eyes, a beating heart and a desire to capture life, then you are a good photographer. Plus, there's a good dose of luck.

Do you believe that film photography will be replaced by digital photography?
Not at all, I have infinite hope that there will always been a group of people (however large or small) that will love film.

Check out Anne on Tumblr and see more of her beautiful photography on her Flickr photo stream!

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