Shawna Ankenbrandt of Shawna Ankenbrandt Fine Art
Shawna Ankenbrandt may have grown up in Texas, but her photography seeks inspiration from some of the most far-flung places on the planet. Best known for her landscapes and integrative nudes, Shawna's pieces can be seen in galleries from Hawaii to Hong Kong. Her instagram is a must follow with creative candids of her 2 boys and peeks into her dreamy life as a globe-trotting photog. With her laid-back approach to life in LA and summers spent in Jackson Hole, WY, Shawna is just one of those women who has created a life full of adventure with family and art at the center of it all. She is truly an inspiration, and I was SO excited to catch up with her last week to talk life, balance, and the best way to curate art in your home.
Read on to see the full interview, and shop Shawna's exclusive limited edition prints in the R+W shop.
R+W: How did you get your start in Photography?
SA: I bought my first real camera when my oldest son was born. I just wanted to document his life with good quality images. We would go to Venice Beach in the mornings with my husband and his friends to watch them surf. I started taking pictures of them surfing and hanging out. Those images started my fine art career.
R+W: Where do you find inspiration for your subject matter?
SA: My images are always inspired by the landscape, not necessarily by the person in the image. I will often look for really beautiful places either by just going on road trips and driving down random dirt roads or by searching for places online and going there.
R+W: What do you think makes a great photograph, and how do you feel when you know you've just captured something amazing? What is that process like?
SA: For me it's not just about taking a pretty picture, there has to be some movement or something happening in the photo. I don't always know right away if it's good. There was definitely something that happened that made me want to capture it in the first place, but I will often come back years later and find one that I initially passed over.
R+W: What is your advice to people who are looking to add photography to their art collection?
SA: I love all art mediums, but I have always been particularly drawn to photography. You should really pick pieces that move you in some way. There's nothing better than looking at an image on a wall and being transported to a certain place in time. I'm always looking for new talented artists to add to my collection. From a design stand point I look at photography like a piece of furniture. It completes a room. The first thing I do when I walk into a house is look at the other art in the house. You can have amazing furniture, but if the art is bad it really takes away from the room.
R+W: What is the best way to curate art in a home?
SA: I usually do it by color tones in the photo with the other fabrics in the room. It also depends on the image though. Some images do not work in certain rooms in the home.
R+W: How do you time manage with 2 kids and a baby on the way?
SA: My life is always chaotic. Having a quiet space to work is not my reality. Plans often have to change. A lot of times my kids are there with me and a part of the process. My 7yr old will often assist me and help me edit.
R+W: What's next for Shawna Ankenbrandt Photography?
SA: I have recently fallen in love with a different printing process. I have started taking some of my black and white images and making them into copper plate photgravures. It's a very timely and costly way of printing, but the result is worth it. It's a chemical process where the image is etched onto a copper plate, ink is applied to the plate and a small edition of images are printed from the plate. The images have almost a 3D quality.