Adobe Rising Star Anna Neubauer Focuses Her Lens on Inclusivity

In its annual tradition, Adobe has announced a list of talented and extraordinary photographers who have been named as 2021 Adobe Rising Stars of Photography. One of them, Anna Neubauer, has shared her insight on what it means to her and how she breaks away from industry stereotypes with her photography.

The Rising Stars of Photography has been one of Adobe’s prominent initiatives in the photography space for several years now. Selected from across the world and from different photography genres, the photographers explore themes ranging from conservation to cultural expression to racial identity and natural phenomena.

All of this year’s honored photographers have something in common — they document a pivotal moment in our history. Adobe says the images of their highlighted photographers reflect wonder, beauty, and resilience during a time of global change.

This year’s list comprises travel and food photographer Calvin Hu, adventure and underwater photographer Inka Cresswell, street photographer Amanuel Tsegaye, outdoor and wildlife photographer Rachel Hannah, street photographer Susanna Knyphausen, conceptual photographer Andrew Kung, landscape photographer Brandon Dugi, portrait photographer Anna Neubauer, fashion photographer Banvoa Ettien, and landscape photographer Frank Otto Pedersen.

Megan, Adobe Lightroom commission

The United Kingdom-based Neubauer, originally from Austria, tells PetaPixel about her experiences being named one of Adobe Rising Stars of Photography. From the first time she started using Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom at the age of 13, these visual tools have been a big part of her life and creative career.

Isabella for ‘Kaleidoscope’, personal project

Although she never imagined she will be named in the lineup, Neubauer says she is beyond honored and grateful to see her name on the list, although she doesn’t define herself or her work in awards or titles.

“I recently saw a post on Instagram that said ‘the real flex is how many peoples’ lives you can positively impact.’ and I couldn’t put it better,” says Neubauer. “For me, this is the chance to get my work out there and share stories of people that inspire me, hoping to inspire others.”

Her portrait work not only spans across commercial projects and commissions, but also her own self-portraits, where she can fully express what she feels within. Her personal work shows things that she probably wouldn’t verbally share with just anyone, such as her hopes, dreams, and visions, as well as her nightmares, fears, and phobias.

Megan and her sister Mia, Adobe Lightroom commission
Lauren, personal project
Mac, Adobe Lightroom commission

She finds inspiration in many things around her but is especially driven by music, be it the artist, the melody, the lyrics, or the album art.

“In addition, I’m inspired by peoples’ stories, their hopes and dreams, and fears, and I’m incredibly grateful when someone trusts me with portraying something so intimate,” she says.

When it comes to commercial work, Neubauer says she enjoys working with “diverse models, people of all backgrounds, ethnicities, body types, sexual orientations, and abilities.”

Photography is an incredibly powerful tool that helps shape how society sees the world and the people within it, which is why Neubauer finds traditional stereotypes bothersome.

Ariana, Cayson, Clara, Izzi, Jordana, Katerina, Maisie, Sahar and William for ‘The Story I Heard’, personal project
Olivia for Zebedee Management
Cheryl for Zebedee Management

“As a photographer, I can show how beautiful differences are and contribute to a more open, diverse, and inclusive society,” Neubauer says. “I have the power to redefine representation and drive inclusivity within photography.”

As Neubauer’s client list grows, Neubauer has found in her recent projects that working with big clients — such as, Abercrombie & Fitch, Adobe, Harper’s Bazaar, Kid’s Wear Magazine, GettyImages, and others — doesn’t mean that she needs to change her style or stray away from what she stands for.

“I’m consistently up for challenges and new collaborations, and I love being artistically fulfilled by regularly working on creative projects.”

Kofi for 500px/Getty Images Intersectional Diversity
Callum for Zebedee Management

More information about 2021 Adobe’s Rising Stars of Photography initiative can be found on the company’s blog page. Neubauer’s portfolio can be viewed on her website and Instagram.

Image credits: All images featured in the article by Anna Neubauer and used with permission.