In her portraiture and long-term documentary work, Annika Haas creates imagery that is visually poetic. The images she makes are also a way for the award-winning Estonian photographer to learn more about herself and the communities she depicts. "I have been quite a withdrawn character socially and even shy away from people, but observation with the camera has given me courage," says Annika, reflecting on what photography has taught her.
Annika's journey began at 13 when she received a film camera from her parents as a birthday present. Born in Tori-Jõesuu, a village in the area of Soomaa National Park in southwestern Estonia, Annika felt her wild surroundings call out to her. "It was a very natural thing to capture nature and the local people," she says.
Her first Canon camera was the Canon EOS 3 35mm SLR, and at age 19, Annika's first foray into being a published photographer began with regional press. "At the beginning of the 1990s, I had my first picture in a local newspaper and I was so proud of that," she says. "I then decided that my future should involve photography." Annika has gone on to have work published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Der Spiegel, Monocle magazine, San Francisco Chronicle and LensCulture magazine, and has been featured in exhibitions across the world.