Not many photographers have demonstrable talent with everyone from rock stars to porn stars. Then again, not many have this much talent either.

In Deep with Anneli Adolfsson

Photographer Anneli Adolfsson has spent more than three decades shooting some of the world’s most famous performers — including notorious rock stars and gorgeous glamour girls. But no matter her model, the Las Vegas-based shutterbug has a knack for putting subjects at ease, inspiring them with her energetic encouragement and capturing them at their best.

The native of Sweden found her life taking many turns before she wound up behind the camera. Anneli reveals she originally set her sights on a career in medicine and worked for nine months at a mental hospital — but the compassionate empath found it difficult not take the job home with her.

Later in London, she employed her knowledge of fitness and sports nutrition to work with athletes, and she toured Tokyo as a professional dancer. But when she moved to New York City with just two suitcases and a dream, her life’s calling took shape.

Her intuitive awareness of human movement allowed her to shine as a camera operator covering competitive bodybuilding contests. She later struck out on her own as a photographer, landing gigs with music and men’s magazines.

Anneli says her down-to-earth approach has helped her capture rock stars in relaxed moments, and her willingness to think outside the box has led to some striking portraits.

“One very memorable photo shoot was with Marilyn Manson,” she recalls. “I had brought some accessories I thought would be motivating outside the standard backstage shot: an iron head cage and roses with thorns. Happy to say, that did the trick and I got the shots I needed! He was great to work with, very intellectual and quite different from his onstage persona.”

Though Anneli has remained largely nonplussed by her famous subjects, she does remember being in awe of meeting KISS. She says being able to photograph the legendary band was a real “pinch me” moment!

Being a woman in a largely male-dominated profession — especially in the realms of celebrity and rock-‘n’-roll — Anneli says she’s long stuck to a few important ground rules: “Always stay professional, don’t act like a lovestruck fan, and keep it real!”

She adds, “I always engage in conversations about life, family and pets as opposed to asking them the same questions they have answered a hundred times about their career. Trust and integrity are bar none the two most important factors with anyone in front of my camera.”

Anneli has also photographed many Penthouse Pets — including Tera Patrick, who she considers a “world-class model,” Janine Lindemulder, whom she praises for her edgy look and great personality, Jenna Jameson, who she calls “the queen of queens,” and late glamazon Julie Strain. She recalls working with Julie was like shooting a movie and explains, “Every frame was a different pose and energy. You could pretty much press the shutter, fire away and magic would unfold.”

Anneli reveals, “I love shooting glamour because the female body is a work of art that needs to be celebrated.”

When it comes to working with adult models, Anneli says she prides herself on the ability bring out something different in them and to provide a fun and safe environment to do so. Though she admits, “Most of the time it’s like a pajama party with bloopers and hysterical laughs.”

Anneli believes her personal background in dancing and fitness gives her an advantage when it comes to posing models. She says, “Knowing what movement and positioning is the most flattering, knowing what arch, turn, tilt or point makes it more fantastic is an acquired skill.”

In Sin City, where Anneli has a studio, her work has graced local magazine covers and billboards. She shares, “I have also been fortunate enough to work with many of the performers from the Cirque du Soleil shows here in Vegas. These talented people are inspirational, have bodies with abilities most of us can’t even dream of and push harder than any model I have ever shot.” 

Anneli has a number of projects lined up, including a collection of highly stylized black and white images with a fetish edge. The self-admitted “tech geek” is also working on getting her drone license. While she embraces technology, this savvy artist knows machines are no substitute for human intuition and creativity!

“I do believe an amazing artist with a creative eye will truly never be replaced by technology,” she says. “So let’s keep real artistry alive!”

Having met Anneli on several occasions, we can promise that you will find her as captivating in person as her photography would indicate. While we encourage you to visit Anneli at her site or on Instagram, we also endeavor to avoid voicing favorites among the selections of her work displayed on this page. (We did have to slightly crop some images in order to fit our presentation, Anneli, so for this we apologize.) Having said all that, everyone’s crazy ‘bout a sharp-dressed man.

Have Something to Add?