Loves travelling. Curious. Playful. Cake baker. Lovers the sun and the rain and is inspired by colours.
Antje from Berlin, photographer, actress and model is the fifth inspiring woman you meet in our Esprit Women Portraits.
Photographer, Actress and Model
Denim Shorts Scarf
Ink: At the moment I am working for a band from Iceland on projected images into which I’ll drop ink into fluids and film how it moves and dissolves. The projections are for one of their concerts that they’ll perform with a symphony orchestra. Shaving foam: This shaving foam is from Portugal. I just love Portuguese packaging the colouring reminds me of my childhood. The colours are never too in your face but always more natural and subtle shades. That kind of aesthetic particularly appeals to me. Exposure meter: The exposure meter was a present from a good friend of mine who is also a photographer. We both share the same passion for beautiful vintage items.
Tell us a bit about yourself. You work as a portrait photographer. How did you begin?
I really like to work with people, most often musicians, actors, dancers or simply people from my surroundings who I find exciting. I mostly work on portraits and project documentation. This could mean photographing concerts or dance presentations which I follow from beginning to end. I love to do that kind of thing.
How did you end up in this field?
It happened completely naturally. I received my first camera as a gift from my uncle when I was twelve, and during my school days also took a few photography classes. I then took a long break from photographing and really never had it in my mind as a dream job. Instead, I modeled and studied acting. It really came about around these years: all the people with whom I worked regularly needed photos for their agencies or for press. I began by photographing the people around me, mostly actors and musicians. This expanded slowly and now people come regularly to me because they’ve heard from others about my work.
How do you find inspiration for your photos?
I always start by acquainting myself with the person. Sometimes this doesn't take long at all. I look the people over and almost immediately get a sense of him or her. Sometimes we drink a coffee and talk about life, simply to get to know each other. In so doing, I try to discover where this person belongs and how one can best show personality. It’s really important to me to make the person as relaxed as possible, because the more relaxed a face is, the prettier it is.
What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion for me has a lot to do with playing. I find it wonderful that today we have the freedom to choose any style we want. We can play 20s today, 50s tomorrow and then next, 80s. When I consider what I really like to wear, I think it has a lot to do with the colours I like.
In what way do you define yourself through the clothes you wear?
That’s a funny one: I organise everything by colour. When I wake up in the morning I ask myself “How do I feel today?” and usually my answer begins with a colour. “Today I’d like to wear a red dress” or “today I feel rather grey”. One day I might feel quite practical and on the next, girly. Then I go with my gut feeling. I really just like to look nice in my clothes! I do this for myself. I have to feel good in my clothes. What I wear mirrors how I feel. It has nothing to do with others, only to do with me.
You have a 14year old daughter. What do you hope to share with her about beauty and confidence?
Beauty has a lot to do with confidence. When one is confident, one shines. Above all, now, when she is going through puberty, a lot of focus is placed on who one is and how one looks. What I hope she takes from me is the importance of finding one’s own style, and, of course, that she learns not to rely on what others say. Beauty is subjective: one person might find something beautiful, and the next person will find something completely different just as beautiful. One simply has to be sure to encircle oneself with the right people people who do good and who strive for good. From this I think she will create confidence.
How did you develop your selfconfidence?
By meeting a lot of people. Because of this I was not dependent on just one clique of people and their opinions, I think I really learned that there is a huge diversity of ideas out there. The more people you meet, the more places you visit in which you can be yourself, the more your confidence grows.
How does your environment influence your mood?
The weather and the moon have a huge influence on me. Also hunger (laughs). I am very sensitive to sun and light. Bright light makes me wildly happy. When the sun is out, I generally need to take five minutes just to sit in it and take it in. I love the sun, nevertheless, I’m also happy when it rains. Yesterday, for example, it suddenly started to hail and it was very beautiful and so unexpected. One moment I was sitting in the sun and it was almost too hot to be sitting there with a jacket, the next it started to hail and everything was white covered with ice with a temperature drop of ten degrees. Unbelievable! So beautiful!
How do you make sure to stay on track and not get distracted?
It is certainly not easy to simultaneously meet my own needs and those of others, let alone to have enough time for myself. I require my own time in order to have energy for everything. If I have enough time, get enough sleep and eat regularly, then everything is easy and I can handle the day with energy and confidence.
Where do you go when you want to chill out? What’s your favourite place in Berlin?
I love walking along the river. Water calms me down and when I’m around it, I can quickly unwind. My favourite route goes from Mitte to Tiergarten along the river Spree to Bellevue Palace. There’s this old bakery which sells the most delicious cakes. This is a typical stroll for me on a Sunday.
In general, Berlin offers everything that your heart can desire. You just have to go to a different neighbourhood you turn a corner and everything is different. I really like my district though. Really kind people live here, especially in my building. They are all musicians and actors, constantly rehearsing with their instruments. There’s always something going on. But I also like to travel. Travel is important for my photography and my meeting up with friends. However, I don’t drive off without having a project planned in advance on location. I enjoy driving there and involving myself with my talents that really is fun!