After graduating from Fotovakschool and Graphic Lyceum Anne Barlinckhoff worked in the advertising industry for almost three years. Being obsessed with photography since her early childhood, it came quite natural to focus on photography as her way of communication. Lead by her passion of women, Barlinckhoff’s work predominantly focuses on the exploration of the female body.
“The moment of feeling so passionately about something that nothing else in the world seems to exist: this is the pursuit that absorbs me. I love photographing the people I love, the people I admire, the famous, and especially the infamous. I have a deep love for this planet and everything on it. Daily life is such a beautiful thing; inspiration is everywhere. I work intuitively but sometimes if my eye catches a certain composition or idea I move everything around to simplify the photograph; to focus on the emotional register of the action. I don’t always have a complete, preconceived idea of exactly what I’m going to do. I’m depending on my surroundings and subject and what comes to me in that moment. Often by doing so, it is as if everything happens in an instant. I just have to be quick, to respond. Which creates a certain spontaneity; sometimes the images look like they happened by chance. Like beautiful mistakes.” For more of her works visit her website www.annebarlinckhoff.com and check the interview below.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
Very honest, love to do things my own way, dreamy at times and always full loving and looking for new experiences.
Whom do you look up to?
Nature, no matter what humans do to it, most of the time it keeps surviving.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?
I learnt to survive and to love, to love myself and others. My life, choices, things that went wrong, things that went good, all this experiences and the people, animals and nature around me are part of my path. It’s not just one. It’s more than that.
What made you want to become a photographer?
I’ve always been interested in creating images. When I was very young I used to bring my black marker and colouring book everywhere. Instead of colouring the existing images in the book I added to them and created new ones. I also spent a lot of time drawing situations that I saw. Another big interest was to collect cut out images from magazines, old books etc. and create collages. All this until I got a camera, but I still do collages.
What was your favourite project and why?
I don’t think I have one favorite project in particular. Every shoot is different. But if I have to choose a few I would say ‘It Ended With A Kiss’, ‘True’, ‘With Love From South Africa’ and the polaroids I took in Africa with my boyfriend. The first series ‘It Ended With A Kiss’ happened because a girl in my class asked me to shoot her and a friend together a few years ago. First it was just the two of us and her friend was going to join later on. While shooting that day I got the idea of doing a kiss photo with her (brown hair) and her friend (blonde hair). But her friend cancelled. So she, Didi said: “Why don’t you do it?”. Exactly, why shouldn’t I? After this shoot she became and still is one of my best friends.
How do you define creativity?
Be passionate from within. I’m passionate about – maybe even obsessed – by women, so my explorations prioritise the female body. And for me creativity is also when there’s trust between me and the subject I photograph. Without this trust – an intimate contract – that I create with my subjects, my images would cease to exist.
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
To never give up. Everything is possible, you just have to want it more.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
You can learn a lot, especially these days with the internet and all the exposure. So many creative people out there, but how to survive. I think if it’s in you, deep in your heart and you are able to keep the spontaneity and freedom. And never give up, always keep doing what you love it will be there.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
Unfair and dishonest people. But that’s just life.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes good things break so better things can come together. So whatever happened on what age was for a reason. And it made me the person who I am today and I’m very happy with that.
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for photography?
All images © Anne Barlinckhoff