January 26, 2009

it only took me like an hour to narrow the amount of photos down to what still is a large amount, no BIGZ

Back in November I got a lovely flickr message from "lenaah" about my blog. She mentioned she's a 15 year old photographer, so I took a look at her pictures and only like HAD A HERNIA. Eleanor's pictures are wistfully childish yet mature; in an email exchange she spoke about how being younger gives you a different perception on most things and how sometimes she'll take expressions literally and incorporate them into a shoot. They are similar to Tim Walker's, and she once said in a lexposure.net interview that sometimes she'll see a picture of his and it will be vastly similar to one she was planning on shooting. Eleanor has also been featured on other websites and had a few of her pictures in the recent Dazed & Confused Teenage Takeover issue. And it's no wonder why-Elle's photos have a hint of nostalgia with hope, and though magical and almost fairy tale-like, completely relatable. They are witty and inspiring, like Elle herself, and the fields where she takes them in Oxford, England mixed with clever concepts take you to another world and make you want to explore. Contrary to my complaints about school and adolescense (heh), Elle embraces youth with components of sentiment and innocence in her photos, if she isn't giving an important message about self image or eating disorders. I was honored when Elle agreed to do an interview for the blog, and, like her photos, her answers are fascinating and intriguing.What did you do today?
Apart from taking photos of myself lying in frosty grass in an immensely sparkley circus leotard, and getting myself rather cold, muddy and wet in the process, I ate some soup which tasted weird, threw it away and made some more which tasted okay, watched Marie Antoinette, did some art homework, and put my new website layout up.What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Really posh brands of vanilla icecream are delicious.. also, I can never resist some Ben & Jerry's fudge brownie icecream.
Are the concepts behind your photos intentional? Do you think about a message you'd like to incorporate into a picture and then execute the idea? Or is it more natural how ideas come up, and the message just appears accidentally once you look at a photograph in the end?
It varies.. generally I have an image in my head when I go to take photos; sometimes the final photograph after the shoot comes out nothing like it (which can be good or bad I guess) but other times it comes out exactly as I imagine which makes me happy. Both photography and drawing is like tracing an image from your head into reality, and so you can imagine how wonderful it is when an image is copied perfectly between the two, as sometimes that can prove tricky.
Lots of my photos have concepts too, however again, it varies: sometimes I think of clear concepts in an image, but other times I take a somewhat "impulsive" photo with little concept behind, yet viewers have their own ideas of what the photo shows that I perhaps didn't think of before.
Where did you get those amazing animal masks?!?!
I have three rubber masks which go over your entire head. Two (cat and horse) are from ebay, the other (gorilla) is from Carnival Stores in my town. I also have some high quality plastic masks (rabbit, pig and dinosaur) from a costume shop in my town, however sadly it shut down. Finally, I own some plastic masks that were about £1 from the same shop the gorilla mask is from.. unfortunately, they worth the few pennies I paid for them, as they're quite small since intended for children. I also own a bunch of masks from unknown stores; eye masks, vampire masks.. old lady masks..
Is it difficult for you to lug doors to fields, mattresses to beaches, and baths to flowerbeds? You must be very strong.
I'm weak.. I've only attempted to give piggy backs a couple of times in my life. One of the times I dropped the poor child on the floor. My parents and friends are incredibly lovely and help me carry these large items.. though I try my best to help out. Hopefully I'll get stronger in the future so I can do it myself, but I doubt that'll happen so maybe I'll get a special furniture carrier to help me on all my shoots in the future!
What is your favorite book? Is there any book character you think you identify with?
My favourite book is Noughts & Crosses (and the various sequels) by Malorie Blackman. It's a Romeo & Juliet inspired story about prejudice, romance and tragedy and it's incredible.
My other favourite book (and movie) has to be the Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides.. it is just beautiful. In the book the words are handpicked so carefully, the description is incredible, and in the movie version by Sophia Coppola, the beautiful descriptions whcih are diminished by turning a book into a film are made up for with the way the film is done photographically and musically.. the whole story is indescribable, so don't even ask me to explain my love for it, just read and watch it and fall in love.
Another book I discovered when I won a contest at the open day for my school and received it as a prize; it is called River Boy by Tim Bowler.. it's really sweet. It's not the style of book I normally read but this one is really heart touching.
I also love the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon, The Diary of Anne Frank, To Kill a Mockingbird, and the Series of Unfortunate Events.. I guess I read a lot.
Book character wise, I'm not sure. I love Scout from to kill a mockingbird, Violet from the series of unfortunate events, and all the Lisbon sisters from Virgin Suicides.. another thing I love about Virgin Suicides is the lack of identification with the characters. They are so mysterious about why they kill themselves and what they feel like, it adds to the charm of the book.
What is your favorite series of yours and why?
I don't really have a favourite series, however some single images of mine which I am most proud of are:
You have a great deal of photos of Blythe dolls..."great" meaning both big and fantastic...what is it about these dolls that makes you want to photograph them? Do the stories you create with their photos come from your imagination or things that happened to people you know you?
I became interested in Blythe when I was about nine, however it wasn't until I was twelve, in early 2006, that I bought one. It was photographing thesen dolls that kicked off my interest in photography, and although I don't take as many photos of them now as I used to, they have a lot of sentimental value to me because without them I never would have begun and kept up taking photos. The photos I took of blythe remind me of a time when my photography was somewhat naive and carefree, and looking back on them, although all the images are pretty bad technically, they make me feel nostaligic and happy when I see them.
Do you think photography is a natural talent or gift, something you need to have a born eye for; or something you need to be very smart and educated about?
I've certainly never had any formal lessons or education on photography.. a creative eye is only part of it.. a lot of photography is will power to put effort into images, to look at the world as if looking through a lens, and just to enjoy yourself. Everything I've learnt about photography has been because of my own interest, and it's only practice and support that has got me where I am now.
Thank you so much Eleanor! To see more of her photos and what inspires her, you can check out her flickr, website, or blog.

64 comments:

Irene said...

Great great great! I linked you by the way

AlicePleasance said...

Fantastic interview! She's one of my favorite on Flickr.

zekay65 said...

wow, those pics were great, and the interview was really good. I feel very pleased now!

Emma said...

Naughts and Crosses is one of my favorite books too. Her photos are great. :D

ClaireRuth said...

I want to give you the Lemonade Award for site with best attitude and/or gratitude! I love your site, keep blogging. Check out my blog, www.ilsscion.onsugar.com to know more about the Lemonade Award!

TheShoeGirl said...

Thank you for sharing Tavi! This girl is amazing- so talented and inspirational!!

:)

Isabel said...

Oh my gosh, her photos are beautiful and haunting. What a talent! Though i do wonder where she gets the money to execute some of those concepts.

love and youth said...

truly amasing photos! especially love the one with a girl in the field with butterflies xx

laia. said...

incredible. just incredible.

Krysthopher said...

I love Eleanor photos so much! she's really talented... i wish i had a bit of her eyes.

greetings from argentina and sorry x the bad english! :P

KDW

pixie said...

the last one is best. :)

Joey said...

Some of those are just so stunning! I have an immense appreciation for photographers, because trying to use a manual camera drives me crazy. I think she could be a big photographer if she pursues it as a career. Oh and I also totally agree with what she says about getting something from your mind to a physical form. That's the real challenge of artistry.

Kelly said...

thanks for sharing! her photos are so magnificent!

paris said...

Wow brilliant photos and only 15?
Great interview.

xL

Lily said...

How can she be only 15 the photos are so brilliant.

xl

maddie said...

i just wanna know what camera she uses :) cool pictures

KEREN said...

Her photography is just beautiful.
It's the kind that makes you hold your breath and keep staring. I love it. :)

keira antoia rose said...

This girl is fifteen?! How amazing. So lovely.

xoxo Isabella Clarisse xoxo
www.tasteoffashionkar.blogspot.com

Katie said...

these pictures are so so wonderful! i want to go grocery shopping with a mask on. actually i just want to wear one anywhere and everywhere.

PS: I tagged you on my last post =)

jess said...

WOW. so haunting & magnificent! these are stunning. thanks for sharing!

Flashes of Style said...

WOW this is my first time at your blog. It is fantastic! I love these photos in this post they are so enchanting and dream-like.

Eleanor said...

i cannot begin to explain how thrilled i am to be a part of style rookie! it really means a lot to me that you want to feature me, and it was great fun to answer some more unusual interview questions :)

isabel: regarding money for shoots, i honestly don't spend as much as some people may think. the majority of my props are from around my house, bought cheaply at jumble sales, or lent/found (eg. the doors belonged to my friend, and i also have a bath in my garden which a kind lady let me have when she threw it out!)

maddie: i use a canon eos 400d, with a 50mm f.1/8 lens

Eyeliah @ stylesymmetry.com said...

oh so stunning, I can see why you freaked out!

lily m said...

gorgeous! representin the age of 15!

Sarah said...

OHMYGOD! Shes fricken amazing! I love love love those pictures! Theyre sooo inspirational!

<3 Sarah

Merche Grosso said...

thank you Tavi

chelsea said...

15??15! These pictures are great.

i heart art said...

LOVELY photos! this has inspired me! i soo want to run to a store right now, buy myself a digital cam and take awesome pics all day. sadly, i have homework.

KD said...

Egads!!! Such talent. I feel like such a bore. How does she have time for all this stuff?!?!

brooke said...

no way... these are so amazing. how awesome would it be to be photographd by someone like that?!

wow...

<3 brooke

hazel said...

i'm a huge fan of hers! thank you sooooo much for this tavi!!!

Ashford said...

blythe dolls are bananas.
lovely photos + lovely interview.

tarrrryn said...

I'm so envious of these photos.
It's not even funny.

Sydney said...

what great pictures.

Hannah Cheeto said...

Wow, she's amazing! And she's 15! The photos are just so gorgeous! Exclamation point overload.

punyatara said...

thank you for sharing tavi, she's amazing her works also great just like you , linked you by the way :)

thedrifterandthegypsy said...

OMFG!!!!! that is amazing. i literally fell off my chair and peed in my hudsons. well...almost. 15?!?!?! and she's such a professional photographer. see, its young talent like that that makes me feel like a waste of life.
xoxo,
Micaela

Isabel said...

Thanks for answering my question, Eleanor. :)

My Daily Vintage said...

the picture of the girl with the masked reflection is brilliant

fiercekitty said...

when i grow up, i want to live in the world that she sees thru her camera.

one day.

TatiPelo said...

Hey! you are great. Congratulations

http://anewgirlinthecity.blogspot.com/

jennine said...

gorgeous interview!

Agathe said...

Very interesting !
Thanks Tavi

Bob said...

I discovered Eleanor's website a couple weeks ago. Just amazing.

Lara said...

i found this girls flickr site quite a while ago but forgot about it, and this interview reminded how great her photography is! and i cant believe she is only fifteen. shes very lucky to have such a natural eye, and i can only imagine she will have a very prolific career when she is older...

Jasmina said...

thank U so much for this post :oo I wouldn´t have found her in 1000000 years without this :>

avputries said...

im very happy you posted this.
sucha great photography talent, and with no formal education in photography ??? this is superwicked i tell you.

Aysha's Rabbit Hole said...

love her photographs, I am a big fan of hers myself. specially because she is a natural born talent, just like you!
x

Tavi said...

I'm glad you guys enjoyed the interview! It was an honor to speak with you, Eleanor :)
Only fifteen, blablabla...you'd think we were past that whole age thing by now, eh?

avputries-If I do recall Elle has interned a couple times with a few photographers, but I might be getting that wrong...she has a natural eye for sure though!

aj said...

wow- her photographs are amazing! makes me wish i had a better eye for those kind of things... feeling inspired already.

thanks tavi!

eleanor said...

avputries in england in 9th grade you have to do 2 weeks of work experience, where you work (without pay though haha) at two places for a week each, so i guess i had those two weeks of experience, but they're not what i'd call a class.. more of a watching-photographers-work :)

i heart art said...

the pic of the bare forest w/ tinsel-strung trees and someone looking in should soooo be a pic for a fantasy book. SERIOUSLY! love them all! eleanor: how did you take the water pics. under-water camera? please tell me!

avputries said...

elle & tavi, thanks for answering my question! :) it's great to see today's young generation excel !

melange muse said...

WOW WOW WOW! These are great pictures!

melange muse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alice said...

beautiful.
She'd be a good editorial photographer.

The Clothes Horse said...

I love her photographs (and Chrissie White's too), I have her listed as a contact on flickr just so I can stalk her updates! Great interview Tavi. I really enjoyed your questions and her responses.

eleanor said...

i heart art: i used a disposable underwater camera, it cost about £5 from the chemist's!

.alexandros mohr said...

all of these are gorgeous pictures
i like your blog... its very interesting

donna AND navaz said...

Aw inspiring. Just goes to show what you can achieve with passion, determination and hard work (oh Ok then, and talent!!)... Also, as much as I love Tim Walker, Eleanor's work is more diverse. Go Elle!

Nx

donna AND navaz said...

Aw inspiring. Just goes to show what you can achieve with passion, determination and hard work (oh Ok then, and talent!!)... Also, as much as I love Tim Walker, Eleanor's work is more diverse. Go Elle!

Nx

donna AND navaz said...

Aw inspiring. Just goes to show what you can achieve with passion, determination and hard work (oh Ok then, and talent!!)... Also, as much as I love Tim Walker, Eleanor's work is more diverse. Go Elle!

Nx

ircourtney. said...

i have a t-shirt with a blythe doll on it.
i always wondered what they were and stuff :)

Tess said...

HOLY HOLY HOLY HOLY SHIT!!!
I love Eleanor Hardwick, I nearly died when I saw that you interviewed her! I love her work because it's kind of accessible, like a lot of photos that she takes are really similar to one I'M planning! Needless, to say, I love Tim Walker as well.
And Tavi. You're all awesome.