Following our call for stories, today we want to feature Andrea Peipe, formerly known as Pucki_loves_Sushi on Flickr, who shares with us how her 365 project convinced her to go all the way and become a professional photographer. We had the chance to meet Andrea in Munich, Germany.
In October 2009 I was sitting in my office doing a job I was bored with and didn’t enjoy very much. It was a good job but I missed being creative and doing things on my own without having to ask permission for everything, even trivial things like sending an email. I was searching the web for muffin recipes in a short break and came across the I <3 Muffins blog. I immediately fell in love with it because of its unique style and many great inspirational posts!
As I was browsing through it, I saw a post about the awesome Anna Amphigorously. I was speechless. I was sitting there, thinking that she is half my age and doing what I love and in such a beautiful and unique way! I had never before heard of Flickr but even after days I couldn’t get Anna’s photos out of my head…
So in November 2009 I joined Flickr because of her and because I wanted to see more of her work and be able to fave it somehow. I have to admit it took me some time to figure it out but she was among the first three people I added. :)
About a month later when I had been uploading mostly holiday shots, I came across Grace Adams’ photostream who is still one of my favorite photographers on Flickr to this day. She was doing a 365 at that time and it got me thinking: I was in a bad place in life, very unhappy with my job and how my life was going, and I thought it might be a good idea to do a
365 for therapeutic reasons – you know, dealing with emotions by putting them into a photo. At the end of 2010 I met my very good friend Norb who owns a Nikon D90 and who really got be thinking if I should not get a DSLR myself! I had always wanted to be a photographer but you know how life goes sometimes… it was recommended to me by job consultants when I was still in high school that only very few people have success as photographers and I should better do something else with my life. Being young and all, I believed it and became a translator instead. But photography was always in the back of my head and I went through many cameras and from film to digital over the years. In January 2010 I went to a local camera store and got my Nikon D5000 with its tiltable display I really liked.
A few days later, when my camera was still a HUGE mystery to me, I started my own 365 project and went through with it. I am proud to say that I took a photo every day, even when on vacation, because at the end of the year I wanted to be proud of myself. My first photo was probably not the best from a technical standpoint but a very emotional one to me.
It took me quite a while to get to know my camera, always wanting to figure out how other people took certain shots (e.g. levitation) and how to get the focus the way you want etc. About half-way through my 365, I quit my job
and was emotionally and physically exhausted. I didn’t really know what I was going to do next but I knew I wanted it to have something to do with photography. I still had to go on for a few weeks with my job but knew it was coming to an end soon.
Soon after I actually left work for good, I managed to trip and fall. It turned out to be a bigger deal than it looked at first, forcing me to stay at home on the couch in the most glorious July so far. I was bored and so I got chatting with a guy who recommended a German online model agency to me. I had never really taken portraits of other people until then so I pulled myself together and starting writing to models, asking if they would let me take their shots (time for print). Lisa was the first one I met for a photo shoot. Since it went really well, I got the courage to ask more and more people.
Realizing that I was actually really good at making people relax during photo shoots and getting shots they were really happy with, gave me the courage to start my own business!
In April 2011 (later than I was hoping for but making a business plan etc. had turned out to take longer than I
thought) I finally started my own business as a photographer, naming it Cap Photography which is basically the letters of my full name in the wrong order as well as a hint towards a lens cap (my friend Alex came up with it). I decided to offer creative photo shootings for couples, babies and also just for individuals. And now, a year later, it is starting to go well. In May this year, I even had three of my photos featured as part of an exhibition at the Urban Art Fair STROKE in Munich. It was my second (group) exhibition, the first one was last year when one of my photos was part of an exhibition that took place in Berlin, Paris and London. I meanwhile had another one of my photos hang in a gallery in London as part of a group exhibition and all of this is very exciting to me!
In August 2012 I organized my first Flickr Community Meetup in Munich. We were meant to be about 15 people. Although in end there were only four of us, it turned out to be a good thing because we had an amazing time and have met several times ever since. :)
Moritz, Stefan and Anna have become amazing friends and the creativity that happens, especially when portrait photographers get together, is mind-blowing to me!
Flickr has made this possible for me. All of this! Had it not been for the blog post about Anna’s photos, I would have never found Flickr. Had it not been for Grace’s 365 project, I would have never started my own. Had I not started my 365 project, I would have never bothered to really get into photography and try to understand everything about it and realize I am actually good at this. I would have never started taking photos of others and start my own business as a photographer!
So thank you. To everyone here on Flickr, to all the great friends I made on here (most of all Patrick who is the best friend I could have ever wished for to find), to all the support I got and everything that has happened to me because of that.
Thank you, Andrea, for taking the time to tell us your story!
How has the Flickr community impacted you? Have you seen any photographers that are doing something different that you think the world should know about?
If you also have a story to share, we’d love to hear from you!