Ripples in fashion, beauty, and photography with ANNSY

Written by Imogen Morris

“There are always standards in every industry, and it’s really difficult to break those standards without doing something too crazy.”

Having worked with names such as Creators Magazine, Solstice Magazine, Photo Vogue Italia, Elegant Magazine, London Fashion Week and many more, twenty-five-year-old Annsy is on a journey of creative success. Annsy’s small beginnings photographing her grandmother’s roses at six years old was carried throughout her life, saying she ‘always had a camera between her hands’ despite initially wanting to become a fashion designer. We discussed with Annsy her career working in fashion and beauty, the groundbreaking shifts happening within the industry and the fate of editorial photography.

Originally from Iceland, Annsy moved to London in 2018 to study photography, and is now working professionally as a photographer. After purchasing her own camera in 2015, she began to teach herself the nooks and crannies of photography. ‘My favourite thing is that I meet new people every single day when I go to work’, Annsy described. The move from Iceland to London posed as a significant change, going from a tight-knight small community to a new city in which you’re somewhat isolated, meant that Annsy had to boldly put herself out there. In Iceland, Annsy explained that ‘everyone knows each other, so it’s really easy to find locations’, whereas in the UK it’s not as simple as that, ‘because I am so used to everything being simple, I might be the person that just asks.’

Photo by ANNSY

In the creative industries, many artists and creators can experience ‘imposter syndrome’, the feeling of not fitting in or as though you are not worthy of being in the industry as everyone around you is better than you. As a professional creator, when asked about this and how she deals with it, Annsy said, ‘I believe every creator feels imposter syndrome at some point. At the same time, you have people that really look up to you and you feel like you have no idea.’ This moment of realisation for Annsy came two years ago, when she received a video from a friend studying photography back in Iceland of another person in their class giving a presentation on Annsy’s work. ‘I had no clue who she was,’ she continued, ‘at that point I was like ‘wow’! You might have many people that really like your work, but people are shy. Creators need to realise they are doing amazing but there are not enough people who tell them that.’

Each photoshoot takes much planning and thought, Annsy says that ‘I [spend] time deciding why I am doing the photoshoot, what I’m doing it for, where the idea came from – ideas can come from silly places. I did an editorial last year that was inspired because I was watching James Bond for the first time!’ Once the inspiration has been fleshed out, Annsy will then consider models, styling, lighting, and set up; ‘at the same time, you can be inspired by a model’ or ‘I might be walking around and see something really interesting in the shops’ like an outfit, for example. ‘Inspiration can come from anywhere,’ and Annsy cited photographers such as Lara Jade, Bonnie Hansen and Marie Barsch as some of her influences. When shooting, 'there are so many things to think about, like the model, lighting, and pose. Shooting in a crowded location is always hard, there are so many aspects that you have no control over. But you can always make small changes to the background and shots in post if you have no way of fixing it in real life, like when you have a lot of people in the location. I always aim to get as much as possible perfect in real life so I don’t have to spend too much time retouching something that could have been easily fixed when taking the shot.’

Photo by ANNSY

We asked Annsy about her views on the changes happening in fashion. On the issues of representation within the fashion industry, Annsy commented ‘there are always going to be some projects where models are there just to be models, but what I find so interesting is that this is changing – there are so many changes being made, which I find really impressive, that are actually helping us solve this issue.’ One example of these major upheavals of traditional ideas of fashion was the latest Fenty catwalk, ‘you could see all sizes, all skin tones, you could see anyone on that runway – it was so inspiring.’ Annsy explained how the typical runway models are still ‘human’ and ‘gorgeous’, but it is harder for the public to connect with them when they’re all that is being presented in the fashion industry, as the public finds it difficult to connect as lot of shows are missing the diversity. The power of social media has aided this change, as Annsy argues there is a rise of pressure coming from the public both online and in store to include more diversity within brands and fashion. ‘There are new rules making sure everyone is healthy and everyone is happy,’ Annsy continued, ‘if they’re a model under a certain size, if they are unhealthily small, they’re not allowed to walk on a runway. Of course, there are always going to be models who are skinny, that’s just their body type.’ We were told about how many modelling agencies, particularly in London, are making the change to scout plus size models to make sure they have that diversity, ‘because there are so many gorgeous girls and boys who are not a size four’.

Annsy on the affect social media is having on magazines and shifts within fashion: “A lot of people are working towards everyone being heard, I feel like social media is helping with that. It’s easier now to connect to anyone through social media. Hopefully more feedback will help the industry showcase less ‘perfect’ and more ‘normal’.”

Annsy remarked on her belief that an increase in gender inclusive fashion and representation is ‘definitely going to happen’, but ‘the industry needs more gender neutral models’. She adds, ‘if you have gender neutral clothing and you put it on a very feminine or a very masculine [body], I feel like you miss out on the unisex vibe you were going for but if you have someone who is gender neutral, that is going to make it easier to go for the gender neutral look.’ Annsy also championed the rise in nonbinary models and the ‘exciting’ changes happening. On the topic of change, Annsy ‘can definitely see [an increase in sustainability being promoted in magazines] in the future slowly; magazines making sure they are only being sustainable’, despite the current difficulty of less content and fewer options for interviews and editorials as sustainability isn’t as popular as it should be.

Photo by ANNSY

To conclude, Annsy finished with a piece of advice: ‘If I were to advise someone who really liked photography and were thinking about going into it, I would just say do it. Worst case scenario, it’s not going to work out, but you are closer to finding your passion. It’s always going to be really difficult to find out what you want to do, but you must try.’

Check out Annsy’s work here: