Monday, December 10, 2012

Enter the Temptress | An interview with Ellen Rogers

Ellen Rogers shot by Yelena Buck

How old were you when you decided Photography was your passion and can you tell us how you found yourself a career as a photographer?

 I started photography young and I got a darkroom for my 15th birthday and started to experiment. I suppose I was just lucky in that I had access to an amazing shop nearby that consists of two guys, a few old men sitting about and wall to wall cameras that you can buy for very little money. So I began working with large and medium format cameras early on. Nobody seemed to be clambering over themselves to buy these wonderful cameras in the part of the England that I grew up in so I now have a collection of cameras that can emulate many of my ideas relatively well. As for a career I fell into that after my degree by meeting a fashion stylist and began collaborating.

Your work is very unique and has a very ethereal and feminine undertone to it. Where do you find your inspiration for your work and are their central themes you like to visit and re-visit? 

I suppose up until recently there was a certain aesthetic or content I couldn’t put my finger on, something quite close to me. But I have shifted recently and lost all desire to make that same work. I think I am changing and in turn so is my work. I will have to re answer this is few years maybe and let you know what themes I am interested in then? 

Some people may be forgiven for thinking your work is completed at least half via digital photography but in fact all your work is 100% analogue. What is it you love about analogue and the process of coming up with new techniques and experiments? 

I like darkrooms, the scope for experimentation with in specific boundaries and the tactile finish. I especially like the realism of the paper and the fact the the images are in-effect real objects. 

A lot of your photography features women. What is it you like about photographing women more so than men? 

As a writer is encouraged to write what they know, I encourage myself to do the same. It’s my chosen outlet because I understand the character and can express myself more effectively though her than anyone else.

 Can you briefly explain the process you undertake from idea to finished photo? 

The idea isn’t always my own, it depends if it’s a commission or not but whatever the case an idea is laid down, I plan for weeks if not months how to organise a team and location, I shoot it, process it, print it, colour it (if needs be), scan it and then send it to the client. 

Are there any photographers you admire and would love to someday work/collaborate with?

I suppose I am more inclined to work with makeup artists, hairstylists, set designers than I am other photographers. But I would like to do another form of photography at some stage maybe, with a different set of collaborators entirely. 

Is there any subject matter or person you would love to shoot but haven't yet had the opportunity to? 

I am most interested in building a relationship with models I meet, for example I have been working with a model called Maxine for a year now and we are getting to a stage where I can just suggest a movement with my hand and she knows what I mean. This relationship is much more important to me than it would be with someone I don’t know well. 

What I love most about you fashion photography is that it is very much very recognizable as your work. How difficult is it to maintain personal integrity while also working on more commercial photography? 

Very hard! In fact there may or may not be some commercial work on the walls of shops you might not know are mine but I don’t tell anyone. 

Is there one piece of your work that you are most fond of or proud of? 

I wish I could say that there is. But I am hopelessly appalled at myself and my performance.

What can we expect from Ellen Rogers in the future? 

I have a book out next year! Its secret for now but it’s out in February!  

Ellen shot by Yelena Buck