The road to Anna Felicia Photography
How I got from getting a one way ticket to London as an 18-year old who just gave up school, to a full time photographer working with sustainable brands in the UK and beyond.
I wasn’t sure where to start this blog post, to not make it too long but also include the key parts of how my freelance photographer journey began. Photography has always been a part of my life one way or another, whether it was shooting the “landscape” in the little forest behind the house where I grew up in Sweden, or photographing friends and family. The first time I held the camera I currently shoot with, a Canon, my initial thought was that it fit like a glove in my hand, and I knew I needed to get it even thought it drained my bank account for months after. Creating as often as I can has always been something that I’ve instinctively been drawn to, and this has given me many years to develop a photographic style.
I grew up just outside of a city called Gothenburg, on the south west coast of Sweden. My family has always been big fans of England, so it’s not too unexpected that I moved to London as soon as I could. Spending a few years being restless and not too happy in school, I packed my bags and moved pretty much as soon as it was possible. At the time, I was just taking a chance. I had a bit of savings from a few photography jobs I’d gotten via friends and family in Sweden, but it wouldn’t last for long in a city like London. I read in a Facebook group that getting a bar/retail job in London was easy, so without any relevant experience I handed a bunch of CV’s out, and soon I was living and working in the city I’d always dreamed of. Even though I felt on top of the world just walking down the street in my new home town, I soon felt like there was something missing. By that point, I’d accidentally gotten a job as an in-house retoucher via someone I met on a night out, but I was almost as restless as I’d been in school in Sweden. Spending 2 hours each day in a crammed tube carriage, having a Greggs baguette for lunch and doing the same things in Photoshop got repetitive and I was back longing for something different.
Quite a few times in the last few years, I’ve made life decisions based on a strong gut feeling rather than logically knowing things were going to work out. Knowing I have Sweden to come back to if needed, has helped me find enough security in bold moves such as quitting my job and moving out of my room in London and into a hostel. All within two weeks. I wanted to save money on rent and need the bare minimum to get by as a photographer, and not paying a London rent whilst being in central London was my best option, even though it was a weird experience. I was lucky and got to create an advert video for a hostel in exchange for rent, and long story short I ended up doing the same thing for a hostel in Brighton, and then not going back up to London. Brighton had always tempted me anyway, with its artistic vibe and independent retail culture. Plus, living a few minutes from the beach is currently well worth it for weekly commutes to London.
Here is where things started to take off a little. I got my first English client, got introduced to the female creative freelance community in Brighton and started to actually get somewhere in terms of how to run a business. I was still discovering what I wanted to focus on exactly, but this time period taught me a lot. I kept working on my portfolio, and got to know my typical client and their needs better.
Two years on, here I am. Still learning, developing but for the first time in my life, I feel like I’m right where I should be. I get to work with brands and people that inspire me, and create images that inspire me. Working with brands I care about and believe in is the most fulfilling thing I’ve ever done. I adore creating images that tell their stories and inspire their audience.
If you enjoyed this blog post, you may also like my post about how my business helped me out of my comfort zone.
Thank you for reading!