2&6 Photographer Spotlight: Kristel Anna

Kristel is a mad talented and multifaceted photographer and photojournalist based in Amsterdam. Over the last three years she has diligently documented the various protest movements across the city. Besides being an integral part of the Arthood Collective she is also the newest photojournalist to join the 2&6 contributor team. We are stoked to have Kristel joining our ranks so here is an introduction to her photography.

THIS IS A 2&6 INTERVIEW WITH: PHOTOJOURNALIST – KRISTEL ANNA

What is your personal background in photography? 

My biggest love was dancing, I always saw myself succeeding in a dancing career. But I stopped due to a heavy injury to my knee. To compensate for the ”loss” of not being able to express myself through movement the way I wanted, I turned to photography. My boyfriend back then, was also studying photography, so assisting him during these years also helped me develop my own skills and creative vision. I must say that I never really thought about using photography as a professional asset, it grew on me as the years went by and started to see more potential.

How & when did you first pick up a camera? 

When I was younger, I was always surrounded by family members with cameras, my dad, my grandfather, my mother, they were always capturing memories. And I am very grateful for that, a photograph for me can have a lot of emotional value. My dad gave me my first analogue camera when I was a kid, and it did not matter what I captured, even if it was only a leaf or a blurry sidewalk, I kept all of the images in a photo album as if I was collecting my own little process.

Where and when were these images taken? 

These images are taken at different moments. I have been capturing protests in Amsterdam since 2017. All these images are during one of those protests. The most recent is the Black Lives Matter protest at Dam Square, last year in the summer. But there are also some images of the anti racism demonstration and the women’s march included in this selection. 

How did you approach shooting this day?

The main reason is to stand there, listen and support. It was sad, beautiful and overwhelming at the same time. And while I’m in that moment, I try to capture the people and protest signs on camera. I mostly try to capture people when they are shouting or singing, I find that facial expressions and body language is very important. It gives the photo more value and a stronger message. 

Where are you based?    

 I am based in Amsterdam, but originally from Sweden. This is actually my tenth year anniversary in Amsterdam! I was only planning to stay a couple of years, but I fell in love with this vibrant city, and could not find any excuse to leave. 

Who are some of your core photography heroes and inspirations ? 

To be honest, it changes for me through the years, I can name a couple of photographers that I am most inspired by right now; Scarlett Hoofd Graafland, Cho Gi Seok, Mous Lamrabat, Stacii Samidin, Leonor Von Salisch, James Hensby.

I would love to know what camera gear is in your travel camera bag when you can’t take everything. Do you have a go to camera/lens set up?

Before the 2020 lockdown, I tried to travel to Indonesia every year (since 2014). And I realized that bringing heavy camera gear was not helping me out. So after a while I bought the Canon EOS M10, with an extra lens EF-M 55-200mm. Perfect for travel, but also for personal use. 


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