Anabela Carneiro's Dreams Are Made of Cats, Roses, and Love Letters

To the eternally dreamy Anabela, holding a print in her hands is elation. There is more depth and colours become more alive. She would willingly go back to the Middle Ages just to take a film photograph of Charlemagne. Read on and find out more about her photographic reverie!

Tell us something about yourself.

My name is Anabela. I’m 32 years old and I live in Toronto, Canada, with my boyfriend Geoff and our two cats. I keep a blog at, and my day job involves typesetting books.

How/When did you begin taking pictures? What was your first camera?

When I was about 10 years old I was shopping with parents when I saw a little Fuji 35mm point and shoot camera for sale. It was nothing special. They bought it for me, and I proceeded to take pictures of everything I saw. My first few rolls of film had my thumb in them, but I loved taking pictures. I started to think that I wanted to be a photographer, but when I told my brother about it, he said that it was impossible to earn a living as a photographer. I used that same camera for a long time, but was never interested in photography, not until recently. I was pretty intimidated by it.

Describe your style in photography. What are your usual subjects and themes?

My style is probably similar to my preferred overall aesthetic, which has been described as “dreamy.” I think any style I might have is accidental; I don’t spend a lot of time setting things up or even thinking about what I’m going to do. I do usually have an idea of what I want, even if I can’t quite express it, and keep trying until I get it or until I am pleasantly surprised.

Home: I think most of the pictures I take are taken indoors, at home. I think this is because I feel prefer taking pictures of things than of people.
Nature: I really love taking pictures of flowers. I know it’s cliched, but they make me happy.
Cats: I’m usually pretty happy if I see a cat on the sidewalk and I happen to have a camera on me.

Amongst your numerous film photographs, which is your favourite?

It would probably be this one that I took of a rose in my neighbourhood. It’s in one of my favourite gardens. I would ride my bike past it and always notice this one particular rose. I was thrilled with the colours in the picture. I know it’s simple, but maybe that’s part of the appeal.

If your photographs could have a soundtrack, what would it be?

There is a French musician who goes by the name Colleen who I adore. She makes beautiful instrumental music that I find so calming and yet challenging. I’ve been told that people find my photos calming, so I would hope that the two would go together. Or maybe I’m just flattering myself.

We all have our idols; which photographers do you look up to? Who or what influences your photographic style?

I can’t say that I’m influenced by anyone in particular because my method isn’t deliberate, but I do really admire photographers such as the great William Eggleston and Nan Goldin, of course. I recently discovered a Toronto-based photographer through my friend Anja named Mark Peckmezian, and he takes incredible portraits on film.

If you could take anyone’s portrait using film (living or dead), who would it be, which camera would you use, and why?

I would definitely go back to the Middle Ages and take a picture of a really important figure from the time such as Charlemagne, because then I could come back to 2011 and blow people’s minds with a picture of a medieval person. I would use my Canon A-1 because it’s my favourite and it takes really nice portraits.

Analogue vs. Digital. What makes analogue/film photography more special than digital?
I love holding a print in my hands. I love the grain that you get through a film photo that digital photos can’t quite replicate. I love that even with a cheap film camera, you can get a beautiful photo that you can only get with an expensive digital camera. The colours are more alive, and there is more depth.

Do you own Lomography cameras? Which is your favourite? / Which Lomographic camera would you like to have and why?
I have a LOMO LC-A+, a few different Dianas (Diana+, Diana Dreamer, the white Diana Mini, plus the instant back for the Diana+). It would be pretty cool to try the LOMO LC-Wide.

A lot of people are into photography today. What would you say to them to inspire them more?
That even a picture taken with a disposable camera and the built-in flash can be the most beautiful picture you’ve ever seen. Just take as many pictures as you can, without getting too caught up in taking pictures. It’s more important to enjoy the moment than to have a picture of it.

Aside from [featured blog], do you have other creative online/offline projects? If none, what other creative pursuits do you wish you could explore?
I have an online shop,, where my boyfriend and I make tote bags that we design and silk-screen ourselves. We’re hoping to incorporate photography into our tote bags as well in the near future.

Additional Information:

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