The Six Questions


Who: Anne Kohler, 36, of Alameda

What: She’s a photographer who likes to take the time to get to know her clients, which helps her show their true personalities in the photos she takes. Wedding photos featuring an old rusty truck and a big barn? Beautiful. A collection of pinup photos of a young woman with tattoos and an accordion? It works. Kohler is partial to up-close, well-framed shots of faces and details of eyes. She’s also a mom who enjoys staying home with her two young children, Emma, 6, and Sam, 4, who are often the subject of some of her most powerful work.
When: Kohler started taking pictures when she was 15. Her grandfather, Billy Selman, had a dark room in his basement, and he showed her how to take photos and develop the film. “I remember being amazed, seeing these pictures develop,” she says. It was a moment that ignited a lifelong passion for photography for her. Although she began her career just four years ago, her work has been exhibited at the Blue Dot Café, where she has a loyal following and has sold nearly 50 pieces of her work. You can find her portfolio at
Where: Originally from Greensboro, N.C., she and her husband, Fred, moved to Alameda three years ago. She has also lived in Russia, Singapore, Switzerland and Wyoming. Some of her favorite photos involve the places she has been. “It’s a travel thing for me,” she says.

Why: “It feels good, because photography is something that I love,” Kohler says. “I just like to be on my own, with just the camera in my hands.” She has a degree in recreation management from Appalachian State University.

How: Kohler started taking pictures with a Pentax K 1000, an all-manual film camera. She moved to a Canon film with some automatic features before going, kicking and screaming, to a Canon digital in 2005. “Now I absolutely love digital,” she says. She also has her grandfather’s Rolleiflex camera, a distinct camera with twin lenses that dates back to 1929. Her favorite projects involve using his camera, in combination with her Canon, to take photos.

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