Annabel Moeller steps out from behind the camera lens
‘I think you have to love meeting new people. Then you’ve got to be able to work out what makes each individual tick – and do that pretty quickly – and gain their confidence.’
Photographer Annabel Moeller is explaining her approach to the often tricky business of putting clients at ease in front of the camera. ‘Many do get anxious,’ she adds. ‘But if you’re kind, let them know you care and make it fun, it will almost always work out well.’
Over the last 20 years Annabel has carved out a highly successful career and not just as a portrait photographer – far from it. Past commissions have included reportage in the world’s hottest trouble spots, such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, working in the performing arts, fashion and corporate worlds and interiors and food and drink shoots.
Annabel came to photography via a circuitous route. Having got a place at the London College of Fashion, she soon realised that the rag trade wasn’t for her. She then landed a job as a picture researcher at Camera Press, the UK’s leading picture agency. ‘It had some of the world’s best photographers on the books and I was inspired; looking at the shots, I saw history and the world unfolding in front of me.’
Following her stint there, Annabel headed for Australia on a six month trip. She stayed 16 years. ‘I got a job as a photographer’s assistant and then set up on my own. The Australian Opera was one of my first regular clients and I also worked for the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper – and that has really stood me in good stead. You had to be prepared to do everything; it could be a plate of food one moment, a building the next, then a portrait, then an interior shot and so on.’
Returning to the UK a decade ago and settling in Brackenbury Village, Annabel has built up a wide-ranging private and commercial client list (among the latter are the English National Ballet, the House of Lords and Moët Hennessey).
She now exclusively uses digital. ‘The last job I did on film was the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. For me, the beauty of a digital camera is that I can show the client the pictures during the shoot; then it becomes a collaborative process and they have a clear, reassuring idea of what the images will look like before I leave.’
Working, as she does, across all photographic genres, Annabel is happy to take both location and studio commissions. And, as she admits, she still has one ambition: ‘One area which I haven’t done – and I would love to do – is movie stills. So, if there are any directors or producers out there…’
Annabel Moeller Photography
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