Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Weds 23rd Dec: Elisha Smith-Leverock Interview

Elisha hardly needs an introduction here as one of my most prolific co-conspirators and imagists. Elisha is responsible for both my moving and still work of which the latest has just been launched in the format of my look book. In just one day Elisha shot the whole of my collection into a set of prints that I couldn't be happier with. This is it. She has catalogued the whole thing in the most beautiful way that gave me goose pimples as they individually materialised before my very eyes. So without further a-do, I hand you over to an initial interview to find out a little bit about how her vision was accumulated and cemented:

*  For more exclusive images from the shoot go to a new article on the collection at Dazed

1) When did you first pick up a camera and how did it come about?
I decided one day out of the blue that photography was it for me without even ever having really picked up a camera. It seemed instantly accessible to me although getting to a point where I was happy with the outcome wasn’t easy or instant at all.

2) What model camera was your first love and what was the first image you took that you were most proud of............a turning point?
My first true love was my Haaselblad before that I was infatuated with my Olympus mju. I used to take her everywhere and I have extensively documented the nightlife of electro era Berlin. I’m planning to exhibit those pictures at some point.
But the turning point for me was my final project at schooI, a series of portraits of female guitarists. I finally found my style and it got published in full by Bon Magazine.

3) You now use a HassleBlad...........why is that your weapon of choice?
The Hassleblad I use is special to me not only because Hasselblad's are excellent cameras, it’s the camera I have been using since I was a student. It’s vintage from the 60's and my dad acquired it as a gift to me form a pawn shop in D.C.. It’s now like an old friend because I know it inside out. Unfortunately I am sometimes forced to use digital nowadays, shame.

4) You are also a keep Polaroid'er............. how do you decide what event/subject requires that medium..........how do you keep all these portraits.......any plans for an exhibition?
I love Polaroid I like to use it when I want to add some softness to a subject. I also like the fact that you get some thing special, unique and non-reproducible. Of course you can scan it but that’s not the same.
I chuck them all in a drawer -I’m not very neat. Sometimes my medium format ones will still be wet and the chemicals will cause them to stick together then I get really interesting results. I think they will all make for a great exhibition or a book one day.

5) Whats your favourite Polaroid you've taken and why?
My favorite Polaroid is a beautiful black and white double exposure of a girl in a garden with a horses tail. I love it because it’s very ghostly.
6) Your signature style is making magic using natural sunlight. Where would you most like to shoot in the world if Conde Nast gave you an unlimited expenses trip to a location of your choice to shoot?
Marfa Texas no doubt.

7) You have quite a feminine soft touch to your aesthetic which is very refreshing. Which other female photographer's work do you admire and why?
This is a tough question because all my favourite photographers are men and the type of photography I like to look at might not necessarily reflect in my style. I must say I do love Harley Weir her work is inspired.

8) You spent time in Berlin before settling in London. Can you tell us a pro and con for working/living in each city?
I’m afraid I’m not impartial on this one because I’m German and I really miss the food and being close to my family. My time in Berlin was really fun and as mentioned I documented a lot of it. I think things have changed there tough and it seems a lot more settled. London has always been exciting and exotic to me but I could do without the completely extortionate cost of living.

9) At that time you were also a musician?! A large portion of your film work is within music video. What would be your dream project past or present? (e.g Jimi Hendrix Foxy Lady...........)
I would like to go back in time and do a video for my band Disco Arms Disco Legs. We had a massive radio hit with a song called ‘David Has Chlamydia’

10) We have ventured into fashion film together had a great time in doing so! Recently Chris Cunningham has made a beautiful advertisement for Gucci perfume and Jean Pierre Jeunet for Chanel No.5..........what brand / product would you like to get your hands on?
As you yourself once suggested Fred, I really do think we should do something for Swarovski together. It would be so lush!

"Hibiscus Ridiculous" S/S 2010
Photographer: Elisha Smith - Leverock
Stylist: Kim Howells
Hair: Aimee Robinson using Phyto
Make Up: Yin Lee @ Premier using MAC pro
Stylist Assistant: Reuben Esser
Hair Assistant: Brady Lea
Models: Ashleigh @ Profile
Petter Anderson @ D1
Body Suits: Sarah Magnay

No comments: