Annelie Vandendael is a Belgian photographer who grew up in the South of France. She likes to work with a hasselblad analog camera as the pictures it produces appear more realistic. “Nowadays it is no longer obvious to see real images because they are all manipulated and photoshopped. Representing real people with their imperfections is far more interesting for me! I depict the human being rather as a piece of nature than as an object. It is a reaction against examples of fashion photography in which the personality of the individual is irrelevant. Therefore I aim to let the authenticity of the body speak for itself. A manipulated body gives us a wrong perception of reality anyway.”
An image is something that stays forever and that makes it interesting. Image (photography or film) has always fascinated me.
What role does the photographer have in society?
Photography brings something new everyday – the photographer has the role of bringing a message to others.
What themes do you pursue?
I love nature and the human body.
What other photographers / filmmakers have been inspirational to your work?
I love the work of Tim Walker – his magical world. Guy Bourdin has been a big inspiration for me, I love the humour in his images. Tim Burton is still one of my favourites for music, emotion and story. Also Pedro Almodovar for his crazy stories. There’s so many others as well.
What do you think makes a memorable photograph?
A photograph that you can look at everyday and never get bored. A photograph that makes you smile everyday.
What do you want viewers to take away from your work?
Happiness, a smile, a good feeling.
What motivates you to continue taking pictures?
Trying to make new things everyday. Trying to make things that you first think are impossible, but then do the impossible to take that picture.
What are some of your favourite books on photography – what do you have about them?
When you’re shooting how much is planned and how much is instinctual?
I always have the exact idea in my head, I even draw my pictures before shooting it. But the end result is always different, and sometimes even better. That makes it so interesting.
How has social media played a role in your photography?
Social media is great but also funny because you can discover so many new talents and your own work can travel all over the world!