After experiencing the narrow concepts of beauty in the fashion and advertising industry, I decided to use that power and focus on what I can do to contribute to a more open, diverse and inclusive society.

Anna Neubauer made a name for herself thanks to her natural and intimate portraiture that shines a light on the lack of inclusivity in the modern beauty and fashion media landscape.

Three individuals lying down amidst a sea of bright yellow chrysanthemums. The atmosphere is softly illuminated, casting a moody and intriguing vibe.

Can you tell us a little about your background? What was a defining moment of your career?

I was raised in a little village in Austria, surrounded by peaceful lakes and big mountains, and I was lucky to have such a safe place to grow up in. I loved spending time outside, observing the world around me. I’d sit for hours, watching the light change and the colours shift, and I especially loved the way the leaves on the trees danced in the wind. I’ve always been a dreamer, finding happiness in small moments others might miss. I’d watch the sunlight come through windows, making dust particles sparkle, or listen to rain on my window for hours. I think my love for the beauty of the world inspired my passion for art that incorporates sound, water, and light. However, unfortunately small towns often come with narrow-minded attitudes and to be honest, trying to be an artist wasn’t always easy. Sadly, I cared too much about what others thought and I often struggled with the fact that fine art photography wasn’t considered a profession. It wasn’t until I moved to London that I realised I might actually be able to turn my passion into a full-time career, and one of the most defining moments was when I was named Adobe Rising Star of Photography in 2021.

Where do you find inspiration for your portrait work?

I have a deep and enduring connection to both music and nature, which is why they are my main sources of inspiration. Despite the fact that I used to be much more of an extrovert than I am now, I also love listening to people and their stories. When I was younger, I had absolutely no fears of interaction or any doubts about talking to complete strangers, asking all sorts of questions and having the most intimate conversations with them. I think as I grew older, I got more reserved and, in a way, turned into a bit of an introvert. Photography is a way to tell stories, often stories of people who don’t always get to be heard, and thankfully I realised what kind of power I have as a photographer. After experiencing the narrow concepts of beauty in the fashion and advertising industry, I decided to use that power and focus on what I can do to contribute to a more open, diverse and inclusive society. I feel incredibly lucky that the people I photograph share their most personal stories with me by letting me capture them in a raw and sometimes vulnerable but honest way. I really don’t take it for granted when someone opens up to me and nothing makes me happier than hearing from someone that they felt entirely themselves and confident in front of my camera. In addition to this, I am inspired by the effect my work has on people. I have received messages from strangers telling me that my photographs make them feel seen for the very first time, make them feel like they belong or grow in confidence. Additionally, people have told me that my photographs positively changed their perspective on certain things and for me, this is the most amazing reward because I think sometimes all it takes is an inspiring story told through a powerful image. By working towards figuring out how to make viewers see strength in vulnerability and rawness in imperfection, I want my work to be a bold and beautiful statement of rebellion against the confines of beauty standards.


Can you tell us about your photographic process?

I am a very simple person and a lover of light, so I work with natural light whenever I can. Though I love playing and experimenting with light, I sometimes don’t even plan the lighting until I’m at the location with the people I’m photographing. My highest priority is making everyone comfortable in front of my camera and in my opinion, complex lighting setups often get in the way of that. If I have to use artificial lighting, I prefer continuous setups. My preferred focal length is around 28mm so I usually work with a 24-70mm lens and every once in a while just a simple 50mm. As for locations, it really depends on the project, but I prefer outdoor places that aren’t too urban. To be honest, all these aspects used to stress me much more than they do now and I’ve learned to trust my instincts over the years. Now my photographs are less about getting the perfect shot and more about capturing the person and their story.

How was your experience test driving the M11 and M-Lens

The Leica M11 is truly something else. It’s not like any other camera I’ve ever worked with. First of all, it’s small, and every part of it feels incredibly special. When I hold it, it’s like I’m holding a piece of craftsmanship. Using the Leica M11 is a whole experience in itself. It’s not just about taking photos; it’s about exploring its capabilities and performance. I’ve had so much fun experimenting with different settings and shooting conditions to see what this camera can do. In addition, the image quality is so beautiful, the photographs are so sharp and full of detail that editing them feels like a therapeutic process. I think the biggest change for me is the manual focus. Unlike some other cameras, where I got used to relying on autofocus, with the Leica M11, I have to take my time and really focus on what I am doing. It makes me slow down and pay attention to every detail, which I really appreciate. Shooting with this camera has changed the way I work and the final output of my photos. Each shot feels more intentional and meaningful. Overall, the Leica M11 is more than just a camera to me. It’s a tool that inspires creativity and pushes me to see the world in a new light.


Try out a Leica camera for the weekend with a complimentary Test Drive. See more of Anna’s work on her website and Instagram page.