Anja Poehlmann is a filmmaker and photographer. The Covid-19 pandemic saw Anja’s business as a freelance photographer halted by lockdown regulations. “My day job photographing those fantastic, chaotic family scenes within the home came to an abrupt end. I used to work with small creative businesses too, but had to immediately stop.”
All jobs for spring and summer were cancelled within two days, leaving Anja with no income for months. “It all made me question who I am if I can’t do what I love – document the life and work of others.”
During this forced hiatus, Anja was able to earn a small living with remote video editing jobs from previous clients – but financially it was very tough and 2020 was a year driven by fear and financial worries. To cope, Anja turned to personal projects and developed her business and marketing skills through online courses. “I wanted to be prepared for a time after the pandemic and get back to work as soon as regulations allow.”
Anja’s body of work for the In Their Shoes exhibition, captures moments of meaning and documents life authentically, focusing on the characters behind the faces. “I missed being able to portray people and tell their stories through my images. Meeting all these wonderful people threw me right back into my work. I’ve missed this!”
The work Anja creates is driven by emotions and connections. During the In Their Shoes photo sessions, she effortlessly bonded with the person in front of her camera – their sense of relaxed ease is beautifully captured.
Anja shared many similarities and feelings connecting her to the group she photographed for the exhibition, significantly the other artists. “We’re all in this together. We’re not all in the same boat and we all experience it differently – but ultimately, it’s the story of everyone. It’s important to hear various versions of it and emphasise how we all cope differently.”
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