THE LAYERS OF ANA FERNWEH

MBW – What moves you the most in your life?
ANA Fernweh –
Life & people. Because life is so precious & can change completely in a second. Unfortunately most of us only get that when something tragic happens. Then you realize how quick your whole world turns around. And how important it is to cherish every second of it. This happened to me 2 years ago. Life slapped me in the face & told me to wake up. Life told me to get rid of people who intoxicate me and start living the life I want to and follow my dreams. To be aware everyday how important & short life is & appreciate the endless & selfless love I get from the most important person in my life, the best human being – my husband – , is what moves me most in life.

MBW – Where are you based right now and how is it shaping you?
AF – I’m based in Stuttgart in southern Germany.  I love to live in the city as I love the urban style. Perfect day for me is sitting in a cafe, having a good chat with a friend and watch people all day long. Stuttgart is not a huge city, but being small and familiar, is what I love about it. It is pretty close to the Alps and also close to Austria, Switzerland, Italy and France, what makes little escapes quite simple. As I love to travel a lot, hopefully even more in the future, Stuttgart is the best place to start from. I’m feeling so lucky living here & having the opportunity to call this place my home.

MBW – In what way, if any, does your location influence your work?
AF – Stuttgart is a mix of urban and nature. You can find this mix in my work. I don’t like to fix on only one thing. Life isn’t about only one thing, it’s about the variety. I love to get influenced by the city, but I also love to escape the city & explore nature & new places.  This mix allows me to stay open minded about my work.

MBW – Explain your daily routine
AF – I have get up early, about 5:30 am, as I still work part time for a car company. I’m not a morning person at all, but as I like to have a lot of time for my photography, I am forced to get up early to finish my part time job by noon, so I can start the fun part of my day, the photography, as soon as I can. My morning starts with coffee. Driving in my car to work with a cup of coffee and listening to good music, makes early mornings easier.  After coming home by noon, I first cook a good vegan lunch, have some housework done and then I start the usual routine like going through my emails, having phone calls with clients or connecting through social media. It mostly ends with editing till late. 

MBW – What is the most useful piece of advice you’ve been given?
AF – Go just do. Just start. Don’t wait for the perfect moment to come. Because you’re gonna wait forever. 

MBW – What do you struggle with at the moment?
AF – I struggle with the decision of quitting my part time job & time. I would like to invest more time in my photography business. There are so many ideas that run through my head & want to be brought to life. Maybe I should follow the advice above and just do!

MBW – Do you remember the saddest moment of your life?
AF – 2 years ago I lost a family member, who died in a tragic car accident. He has been very important to me. Receiving the phone call was the worst moment in my life. Getting back into this moment will always be the saddest moment in my life. Still can’t believe this is true.

MBW – What would you say about your perception from your youth till now?
AF – I think I always wanted to do something meaningful in my life, but never actually knew what exactly it was. Until 2 years ago, when I realized how short & precious life is. My perception changed a lot. I think I found myself. Although photography has been around in my life much longer, I finally found myself in it & embraced it. Finally I realized what makes me happy in life. 

MBW – What would you like to give for your legacy?
AF – I just want to be known for living a very happy life & for being kind.

MBW – How did you came to photography?
AF – I guess I have been related to photography since I was a kid. Every time my parents visited friends and family, I loved to just sit in the corner and go through their family albums, watch old family pictures & visualize the life of the people in the pictures. Old pictures were and still are very fascinating for me.  I loved to sit next to my granny, go with her through old pictures & hear the stories behind. One day I realized this is what makes me happy. Taking pictures is my fulfillment. So I guess this is why I love to be a photographer. I love to create memories & stories & hope one day, there will be a little girl, who will go through my pictures & imagine the story behind. 

MBW – What did you want to be growing up?
AF – Having a defined idea of being e.g. a doctor or lawyer wasn’t me. Grown ups always tended to ask me what I wanted to be growing up. My all time answer was: I don’t know. Which wasn’t that satisfying for them, as you can imagine. After finishing high school I still didn’t know what I exactly wanted to be.  But I always knew I wanted to be an independent grown up, without having to fulfill anybody else’s expectations. 

MBW – What has been the most defining moment in your career?
AF – The point when I realized that photography is my purpose & this is what I want to do till the end. It has changed everything. It has changed the complete view for my business.

MBW – Or do you feel there was a turning point, monumental time, or series of events in you life you were felt as though you were on the right path in regards to your photography career that brought you to where you are now?
AF – There was definitely a turning point, when a very close person died & I realized that life is to damn short to just waste time & wait for the perfect moment to come. Before that happened I was struggling with questioning myself if I was good & strong enough to start my own business. Realizing life can be over the next second, gave me an ass kick & pushed me into the right direction. There is always a lesson you can learn from life. Even if you have to learn it the hard way. You have to learn & see something positive in every situation life gives you. 

MBW – Who or what is inspiring you at the moment?
AF – At the moment I am very inspired by all the speakers from Way Up North. Just came back from Rome & I am pumped with inspiration & thoughts. 

MBW – Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now?
AF – I don’t like this question at all. Reminds me a lot of a job interview. It’s good to make plans, but from my own experience, life is really happening while you’re making plans. Let’s chat again in 10 years. 

MBW – What creating training do you do outside of your work?
AF – Going outside and finding new spots or good light inspires me a lot. Mostly I first find the spot & then the inspiration for a shooting comes to me.

MBW – How do you know what a piece of your work is finished and needs no additional work?
AF – I just go with my gut & most of the time it helps & I fall in love with my pictures. 

MBW – If you were no longer able to use a camera, how else would you express your creativity?
AF – 
I would definitely be a florist or a designer. I love to decorate my home & create beautiful bouquets.

MBW – Is it important to you to be a part of a creative community?
AF –
 Yes for sure it is. I’ve learned & experienced so much from the people I met in the community. Many lessons but not only positive one’s. For sure there is an ugly side.  But there are also great people I met, who I call friends. It is great to be part of the WUN community and get to know so many talented people from all around the world, who get to share their thoughts & experience with the community.

MBW – Do you have any advice to share with people about the lifestyle of a wedding photographer?
AF –
This is also an advice for me, too: go do your thing, have fun, be kind, don’t take yourself & the business too serious. Don’t do it for the money, do it for your pursue. Try to create memories. Enjoy life!

MBW – Thank you so much for your time, it is always a pleasure to know more about awesome people and connecting with them.

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