Ask an Artist: Annie Noelker

Annie Noelker is currently a senior studying photography at the Columbus College of Art and Design, and I am lucky enough to know her personally.

I met Annie a little over a year ago when I was first learning photography, when I knew absolutely nothing about being a good photographer. She shot with me anyway. Annie is kind and passionate about what she does, she glows and radiates positivity. She is such a strong female role model that I will never forget. From her, I learned to have a creative eye and to make something from nothing. I learned that you can take great photos without fancy locations and equipment, and was inspired by how hard she works on her craft.


This photo is part of a series of images I shot with Soblue. It’s based around this idea of watching my brother grow up and seeing him stifle and hide his emotions. As a female-identifying lady, growing up with tears was normal and even expected. I watched my father walk away from situations that enticed such emotions and see my brother follow suit. With this series, I wanted to explore this idea of displaying emotion and how that ties to femininity

Model: Lem Worrel


My entire life i’ve struggled accepting my body for all its imperfections and even now, maybe even more-so, and still haven’t come to terms with it. I tend to hide- behind clothes, smiles, and most of all, hide behind my camera. I’ve been feeling very uninspired lately and to get out of my comfort zone I did everything I despise doing and I peeled back my layers and exposed myself in these images. I had never shot self portraits of anything other than my face, so I set out to photograph myself the way I photograph my muses.

Stylist: Roman Cartegena 

Model: Thomas Price

All photos by Annie Noelker.


What is your number one inspiration? A place? Another artist? What drives you?

My biggest inspiration is my family. My dad found his love for photojournalism after high school and built a portfolio on the streets of Cincinnati. To pay for school he hitchhiked to Alaska and worked on a salmon boat. In high school I would bring him my photos and he would critique them. He would say things like: “shoot it again, try this, what if you..?” He always pushed me to door better, to think differently and to tell a story.

Late in my high school career when I expressed interest in going into photography as a career choice, he tried to steer me away. He feared that in this digital age a career in image-making would be very difficult. This made me work harder, made me want to prove him wrong. Storytelling became so important to me, to be able to tell a narrative through a single frame became my language and I couldn’t just let that go. I was bursting with passion and an insane drive to make make make and I think when my dad saw that, he realized I wouldn’t let anything slow me down.

Where do you see yourself after you graduate next year?

I’m a very antsy person. I can’t ever sit still. I recently visited New York and I found myself so uncomfortable there–stacked between the skyscrapers and the endless stream of faces brushing past my shoulders. It was frightening and absolutely exhilarating. I think I have to go. I have to try.

What is your favorite subject to shoot?
I love faces. Faces tell stories

What is your ultimate career goal?

I think my career goal at the moment is to work for a music publication. Music has had such an impact on my life and undoubtably a source of inspiration for my work. To be able to combine my two loves would be the dream. I’m seeing more and more strong leading ladies heading the photo departments of these magazines and it makes me so happy.

I don’t ever want to limit myself to a singular genre of photography— I love portraiture, fashion, documentary and fine art photography. I want to shoot fashion editorials and shoot my favorite musicians and write interviews and travel the world and tell stories with my lens.

In the future I’d love to publish photo books and little books of poetry and make films too. I’m just kind of all over the place but thats how I like it.


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