“I try to stay positive and give myself all the time I need. This really helps me to gather my thoughts and creativity.”

Amelie Strobl (@ameliestrobl) is a sixteen year old photographer from Vienna, Austria.

She has been interested in photography from a very young age, and says, “I don’t know exactly how old I was… but I always loved to take photos.” Amelie recalls using inexpensive children’s cameras and walking around and taking pictures of everything. She also says that her family was a big creative influence for her growing up, saying that her “family is full of creative people,” and that her father is also interested in photography. “He definitely supports my passion for photography… he also gave me some of his old film cameras, which is great.”

Location definitely plays a large role in Amelie’s photography. When looking at her work, the brick walls and quaint streets of Vienna are featured often. “I’m so happy to live in Vienna,” says Amelie. “It has tons of photography spots, and I’m happy to live in a big city because I’m able to connect with other creators my age.”

Like many young creators, Amelie juggles school and photography. When asked about balancing her classes and her shoots, Amelie admits that it has been her biggest struggle for the past five years. “My school day went from 8:00am to 6:00pm every day, so it was almost impossible for me to plan photoshoots during the week… I kept making excuses to leave school early then rushed to get to my photoshoot on time.” Though this has been a struggle in the past, Amelie is hopeful that she will have more time to balance school and photography at her new school.

Something that Amelie has learned from her experience in photography is that creativity is not always consistent. “There are times when I’m in a creative down phase, when I’m just not motivated or unhappy with my work.” She says that Instagram can play a large part in these feelings. “You constantly see other photographers posting these incredible pictures,” she says, “and sometimes it just makes you feel unworthy or untalented.” Amelie shares that she has taken multiple breaks from her Instagram account, saying “I wasn’t happy with my latest photos, I couldn’t bring myself to be creative, and regularly posting made me feel exhausted and stressed.” For Amelie, Instagram “shouldn’t be a competition,” but it was starting to feel like one. “It should be people wanting to share their work and what they are proud of.”

“I’m happy I took this break,” says Amelie, “because I gave myself time and I didn’t stress over the things I needed to do.” Though it’s difficult to be creative all the time, and it can be stressful to always have new, unique content, she has kept a positive attitude. “Even in those times,” says Amelie, “I try to stay positive and give myself all the time I need. This really helps me to gather my thoughts and creativity.”

Finally, Amelie has just one piece of advice for beginning photographers: to just go for it! “Especially when you’re just starting out,” she says, “don’t worry too much about expensive equipment. Just ask people in your area to shoot with you, and let things evolve naturally.” Most importantly, she says “don’t stress yourself out and have fun.”

You can find more of Amelie’s work here:

Responses have been edited for length and clarity.

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