At the age of nineteen, I was given a camera as a present from my parents. My father had been into photography when he was younger, and he still had lenses and other equipment which was compatible with the Nikon I was given. With a half-remembered high school photography class as my only training, I decided to take a photograph every day for a year. When I returned to Mount Holyoke College with my new hobby, I began to escape into photography to escape the pressures of a double major (cultural anthropology and Russian literature) at an academically rigorous school.

After weeks of photographing my roommate around campus, another friend volunteered - she was a dancer and needed photographs for auditions. Soon I had other volunteers, not just friends but acquaintances, friends of friends. At a time when I was struggling with what turned out to be an undiagnosed anxiety disorder, my confidence and self-esteem was bolstered by an outpouring of support from the college community I loved. With this support, I began to informally sell prints of my artwork. I began to take on more ambitious projects.

In Spring 2013, I applied to exhibit a complete project - "The Seven Heavenly Sins and Seven Deadly Virtues" - at the Blanchard Student Art Gallery at Mount Holyoke College. That same semester, I received the Grinspoon Award for Young Entrepreneurs, despite not feeling like an entrepreneur in the least. Suddenly strangers were supporting a business I didn't know I owned.

After graduating college, Annushka Münch Photography was officially started. What had been a hobby, a creative distraction, became a part-time job. While titles like 'Artist' or 'Professional Photographer' still feel oversized, like wearing your father's suit jacket, I am growing into them.


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