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SBF Personal: Anna Wiman


Anna Wiman, creative food photography, squid, 2021

Photographer Anna Wiman - born in Sri Lanka, grew up in Sweden and now lives near Zurich - came to photography as a career changer: After finishing school in Sweden, Anna began working as a hotelier here following an internship at a Swiss hotel management school. This was followed by training as a marketing planner and an Executive MBA. Anna has worked for various hotel chains, most recently as Director of Sales & Marketing and in the management of various hotels.

In 2014, the Swedish-Swiss national completed a one-year photography course at the Photography Institute in Zurich on a part-time basis. Anna gained additional experience by mentoring photographers and taking online courses. Today, she is active in social media groups and follows various discussion forums, also to keep up to date with technical news.

You worked in the hotel industry for over 20 years. What prompted you to get into photography? I was always interested in art and took drawing courses as a teenager. About 10 years ago, I did a shoot in a hotel and worked with a photographer. She inspired me to try out photography. My curiosity grew into a passion, which I was able to develop further during the pandemic and lockdown and turn into professional photography.

What have you learnt from your work in the hotel industry for photography? Thanks to my network in the hotel and tourism industry, as a career changer, I was probably able to move faster than would have been possible without this professional background. Thanks to my position as Sales and Head of Marketing at the time, I know what's important when it comes to shoots. I looked after photographers and know the planning, timelines and budgets. And I know the importance of images for communication. 

How did you get started as a freelancer? I lost my job during the pandemic. The hotel where I worked went bankrupt. Even though photography was initially just a passion, a balance and a hobby, I decided to pursue photography as a profession during this time.

What thematic areas did you specialise in? I specialise in events, interiors, and food. This means I can not only take on one project for one partner, but also use my work for several projects. It's an exciting and nice change for me to be able to cover various areas.

One of your specialisms is hospitality photography. What does this involve? The hospitality industry doesn't just include hotels, but also tourism, catering, destinations and management. The industry works with people, food and the sale of destinations and spaces. That coincides with my thematic areas. 

What does photography mean to you? It's no longer a hobby, but a profession. I take pictures that are important for the image of companies, for their reputation, for sales. The aim is to support the companies, but also to make my clients happy. I am very happy when I see pictures of my projects on LinkedIn, on posters, websites or on social media and even happier when I receive positive comments.

You are new to SBF. What do you expect from membership? Networking and dialogue are essential to me. Membership is an enrichment and I hope to learn a lot. Many experienced photographers are members of the SBF. The topics that the SBF deals with are also important to me. This allows me to constantly improve the service for my customers. SBF membership is also a seal of quality, which is significant to me as a professional photographer.