While the weather is just warming up for spring, we just wrapped shooting our fall campaign with our favorite femme photographer, Anna Wolf. We did a fun Q&A with Anna and learned about her career, the Spring/Summer Naturalizer photoshoot, and a little about her busy life.
Why did you become a photographer? For all the free clothes! No, just joking (there’s rarely free clothes like I thought there was going to be when I was starting out). I started taking pictures in high school. It was a fun little hobby, shooting my friends hanging out. But then I joined the school paper, and the yearbook and started taking my photo classes pretty serious. It never occurred to me that being a photographer was a profession – that the person who shot an ad or a photo in a magazine made any money from it. Photography stuck with me through college and I think I really decided to make it a profession from process of elimination. I was never the best all the academic stuff – math/science, etc – but I’m good with people, a super hard worker, and I’m creative. Photography became the obvious path for me.
From Anna: “A super old polaroid – maybe the first picture I ever really shot – I brought it home and showed my mom and she told me the that I had a good eye – it was probably the 3rd grade and it may have been the moment that inadvertently set me on the path of becoming a photographer. Who knows!”
Where did you work when you first came to NYC? My first job was at the Parkside Lounge on Houston Sreet in the Lower East Side. A super amazing NYC staple, total dive bar. I worked the coat check and then became a cocktail waitress. I had tons of waitressing jobs while trying to get assisting work and trying to shoot my own stuff. New York was a major struggle and hustle for me the first few years.
What do you love about your job? So many things!! All the super talented and cool people I meet. Traveling (which is also something I hate about it). I love that I own my own business and for the most part get to live by my own rules. I’m all about making my team a really nice crew – that way when I show up to work everyone is super friendly and we have a good time!
What is your favorite thing to photograph? I have a little bit of a problem that I like to photograph too many different things. Sometimes I think I need to focus more. But my favorite things change all the time. Right now I’m really into doing beauty photography and really want to do more of that.
What’s a typical day like in your life? When I’m not shooting: Coffee, meditate, dog walk, work, work, work, meditate, work, dinner!
What are you doing when you aren’t taking pictures? I’m really trying to get better at doing nothing. But I’m not very good at it.
What is your favorite social network – and why? Instagram. All pictures, very little words. Although, my cousin who is in high school, just signed me up for Snapchat today, so we’ll see!
Who is your best friend? My husband!! My sister comes in second place though, we’re super close.
What is your mantra/motto? Drama free.
You split your time between LA and NYC- which is your favorite? Do I really have to choose?! NYC for the style and culture, LA for the endless sunshine.
How do you prep for a photoshoot with Naturalizer? The Naturalizer team is super creative and really comes to the table with a clear idea of what they want each shoot to be. So for me it’s all about making sure that I understand what we are tying to achieve, and to get organized on my end so I can deliver on that vision.
Tell us about the location for the Spring/Summer (SS) photoshoot. For Spring/Summer we took the team to Malibu, CA – our first time shooting out of NYC together, so that was really exciting. We had one day on Paradise Cove (nothing is better than shooting pictures with no shoes on and my feet in the sand!). Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster were tanning just down the beach from us, and they even did a fabulous catwalk through one of our sets – it was very LA and very cool! Our second day was at a beautiful Malibu home that overlooked the ocean. There was an enormous wooden staircase that took you down to the beach, but all of our lighting gear had the luxury of riding up and down in the home’s elevator!
What was your favorite shot from the SS15 shoot? We did this shot on the patio of the stairs leading down the beach. The patio was all white and the talent was dressed in all white. I thought the shot was super chic and clean, and it really stood out to me from what we’d been doing in the past which always had a lot of props and color. I felt like we were really starting to push the brand and do something different and exciting!
What was the most challenging shot from the SS15 photoshoot? I have to say, this shoot was pretty luxurious and fun. In the past when we’ve shot in NYC we were dealing with tons of people, noise, blocking the sidewalk, getting all the lighting to fit into tight spaces etc – this shoot was all sunshine, palm trees, cute girls and great shoes… so all in all it was pretty good!
You’ve shot for Naturalizer for the past 4 seasons – do you prefer shooting for Fall/Winter or Spring/Summer? Why? What a great question!! One that I’ve pondered over many a time. If you were twisting my arm I’d have to say Spring/Summer for the obvious reasons (see above note about no shoes and feet in the sand)… shooting outside and making everything fresh and pop-y is one of my favorite things. I do love Fall/Winter though because it’s an opportunity for very cool, challenging locations, and I feel like styling is great because it gets layered up and cozy.
Anything else we should know about you? I have to give a shout out to the magazine that I started last year called Tidal. It’s a bi-annual print publication and is a massive labor of love for me. An insane amount of work but also so much fun.
Here’s a shot of Anna’s from Tidal:
And here are a couple more of Anna’s greatest hits: