“You can see the quality of empathy between Anna and her subjects in her pictures, and that’s hard to get,” says Wolman. “She gets the musicians to work with her – that is really the most important part.” - Baron Wolman, Rolling Stone’s first chief photographer

“I was impressed with the quality, (and quantity) of her work. She seems to have a natural talent for both photography and business.” – Bob Gruen, legendary rock ‘n’ roll photographer

Anna Webber

ANNA WEBBER, one of rock photography’s rising young artists, is coming forward to break the silence of her personal battle with multiple sclerosis so she can inspire and help enable others to achieve with a similar outlook and vigilance at levels they might otherwise not think possible. The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA), so moved by Anna’s brave candor and “remarkable story,” is giving the jet-setting 25-year-old a nationwide platform to impact others’ lives by naming her the first ambassador in the organization’s history.

In-demand across the country shooting musician portraits for major magazines and record labels and at high-profile events, Anna quietly has been fighting MS since her diagnosis in 2009. With Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Month approaching in March, Anna will begin making a series of public appearances and endorsements through the MSAA, beginning with a major presence at SXSW in Austin, TX, one of the three cities (also New York and Los Angeles) where Anna Webber Photography has offices. She will be directly involved in an array of MSAA campaigns in the months ahead, starting in March as the face of its new mobile phone app, My MS Manager.

“Anna’s attitude about living with multiple sclerosis fits perfectly with MSAA’s message that people should strive to do all of which they are capable while remaining aware of their health and the steps they must take to maintain it,” says MSAA President and CEO Doug Franklin. “As an MSAA Ambassador, Anna can carry the word of our mission to enrich the quality of life for everyone affected by multiple sclerosis, while telling her own remarkable story.”

“This new role with the MSAA gives me a whole new perspective,” says Anna. “It brings me a deeper level of fulfillment through photography. “I‘m thankful for this opportunity, and I’m looking forward to discovering how much we can accomplish together.”

Anna has learned from the masters and has been endorsed by the legends since her teens. At 18, she studied in Italy with legendary British rock photographer Jill Furmanovsky and a year later, was hired by another legend, Baron Wolman, Rolling Stone’s first chief photographer, as his assistant. He remains a close mentor.

At SXSW, Anna will be joining another legend, Bob Gruen, who hand-picked her for his afternoon panel, "Haircut and Attitude - the Artist's Image,” Thursday, March 15.

“I invited Anna Webber to be on my SXSW panel because I was impressed with the quality, (and quantity) of her work,” says Gruen. “She seems to have a natural talent for both photography and business. Anna was highly recommended by SXSW and by Baron Wolman, a respected photographer who is a good friend of mine. I wanted to have a young voice on the panel and I think she'll be a good one.”

Also at SXSW, Anna will be making her debut as the face of the My MS Manager mobile phone app in conjunction with Ringful Health, its Austin-based manufacturer. Also on March 15, in the evening, Anna will be hosting her artist portrait lounge and gallery at the first-ever party at Willie Nelson’s 800-acre western movie town complex, Luck, Texas. The party, Electric Lady Presents: Heartbreaker Banquet, will feature a dozen acts whose portraits and performances Anna will be shooting in a sponsored photo lounge in Willie Nelson’s private “Jailhouse”.

Willie Nelson tops a list of Anna’s most recent music portrait subjects including Beck, Phillip Glass, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Jay Farrar (Wilco, Sun Volt, Uncle Tupelo), Jason Bonham, and Andrew Bird. Anna’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, People, Billboard, Variety, and many other publications, including Paste Magazine's current cover. Sony and EMI top an extensive list of record label clientele. She also was a music columnist for LA Weekly and is on consistent assignment at the nation’s top festivals, including Bonnaroo, Coachella, Austin City Limits and Sundance.

Anna creates compelling shots of her subjects despite the weekly ritual of taking medically prescribed shots she must self-administer to slow down the progression of MS. She’s learned to manage the headaches, nausea, numbness and other side effects of her symptoms and treatment. With a refreshing energy that belies any physical hurdles, Anna’s capacity to overcome the complications of her illness and the added hassle of including cold icepacks and syringes with her traveling gear make her photographic accomplishments all the more stunning.

“Multiple Sclerosis is not inhibiting me,” says Anna. “In fact, it’s almost having the opposite effect. It’s become a huge priority not to just take my meds, exercise, eat right and take vitamins, but to be social, be artistic, well-read, maintain relationships, have fun, and really take care and pay attention all around. That awareness makes the result all the more fulfilling. I encourage other patients to do the same: stay on their medication, do what they love, do their best to maintain a positive attitude, and everything else in-between.”

About MSAA

The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the quality of life for everyone affected by multiple sclerosis. MSAA provides vital programs and services, such as: a toll-free, Helpline; informative publications including a magazine, The Motivator; website featuring educational videos and research updates; S.E.A.R.C.H.™ program to assist the MS community with learning about different treatment choices; equipment distribution ranging from grab bars to wheelchairs; cooling accessories for heat-sensitive individuals; a mobile phone app, My MS Manager™; educational events and activities; MRI funding and insurance advocacy; and more. For additional information, please visit www.msassociation.org or call (800) 532-7667.