Eleanor Hardwick was born in Oxfordshire, England, in 1993 but she is already one of the ‘IT’ fashion photographers of her generation. Her passion for photography began at the age of twelve. Soon after that magazines including British Vogue and Dazed & Confused took notice of her pictures and wrote articles on her and her photographs. Because of such press recognition, Eleanor has since been commissioned to shoot for clients including Harper’s Bazaar, Jack Wills, Oasis, Polydor, Sony, 125 magazine, Rookie magazine, Flavor magazine, Marie Claire Enfants and Puella.
How long have you been a Lomographer and how did you find out about the Community?
I’m quite new to this, though I’ve known about it for a while through the internet and friends. I’m not sure why I didn’t join sooner!
Any funny or strange encounters you’ve had with analogue photography?
I guess every analogue photography encounter is a little strange as you never quite know how your photographs will turn out!
Where is your inspiration coming from? Is it coming from a book or a movie?
I find inspiration everywhere, I try to explore and research into places and history as much as I can. I love to tell stories through images, so movies are very inspiring to me. My favorite directors are Michel Gondry, Sofia Coppola, Miranda July and Stanley Kubrick. Patti Smith’s autobiography is also one of the most inspiring books I have read, I put it down afterwards feeling an immense need to create.
Your work is very creative. Where do you get your ideas from?
I can’t pinpoint where I find my ideas. I just never stop looking around me and documenting my inspirations and research in a scrapbook. I am most interested in adolescence, femininity, different cultures and telling stories.
What are favorite photographers, and what have you learned from them?
Ryan Mcginley, Venetia Scott, Saga Sig, Tim Walker. I feel that their work is very innocent, and full of soul. Looking at these artists makes me know that I should always stay true to myself and be as creative as possible.
What is the secret behind your success at such a young age?
I don’t think there is a secret. I think I am lucky that I found my purpose in life so young, and I am lucky that I was born in the age of the internet where people could see my work online. I work really hard. My life literally revolves around taking pictures. If you put your heart and soul into what you love, then that really is true success, regardless of money or fame, which should always come second.
You have been featured in top fashion magazines like British Vogue, Dazed and Confused and Harper’s Bazaar, what are you dreaming of now?
I hope to able to make a living from art for the rest of my life. My ultimate dream is to shoot for Lula Magazine.
What analogue cameras do you have? Which one is your favourite?
I have so many! Canon and Minolta SLRs, Yashica and Pentax point and shoots, Polaroid and Fujifilm instant cameras, Pentacon Six, Lomokino, and of course my Diana Mini! I just bought a 3D camera which I am so excited to shoot with.
You got Diana Mini Gold edition camera, what do you like about it?
It is so easy to take everywhere with me! It is fun to experiment and play; I feel that it is so small and unintimidating compared to my normal camera equipment, so people let their guard down more when I take pictures with it… and I love the gold color and chain, I have nicknamed it the g-cam as it makes me feel like a super badass gangsta when I use it.
What advice can you give to other Lomographers out there?
Take a camera everywhere with you, and never be afraid to experiment.