Eleonora Sabet is a one-of-a-kind photographer who always knew photography is the right path for her. She started out by taking beautiful self-portraits and ended up experiencing a whole new world throughout her photography. We were instantly blown away by how good she portrays the people around her and captures their essence. In this interview, Eleonora talks about the great support she has on Instagram and reveals who are her all-time favorite photographers.
Hey, Eleonora! Welcome to Lomography Magazine! What sparks your inspiration the last couple of days? What exciting projects are you working on at the moment?
In last days I was significantly inspired by the change of weather. I enjoy the sound of rain and the way it makes me feel. That has a creative echo on my photography. I’m currently working on some small personal project and a big one that I’m quite excited about but I can’t reveal anything yet.
When was the moment you first picked up a camera and realized photography was something you wanted to pursue?
I think it was when I started to take self-portraits. Though these portraits I was able to see different sides of me. It felt like a thick introspection of my persona, and I thought I could do the same thing with other people.
Do you remember your first big photo shoot? What was going through your head while shooting it?
I don’t remember the first one, but I remember how it made me feel. I was a bit agitated because for the first time I had to manage everything on the set, but It made me feel good because I learned a lot about myself and my craft.
What do you seek in your models? How do you connect with them so your photos could turn out the way you've envisioned them?
Usually, for my projects, I prefer working with amateur models. When I have a shooting, I want it to feel like reportage. I typically give the models a vague idea of what I want to portray through the pictures, and then I leave them free to represent it. I want them to be natural because I strive for authenticity.
What is it that inspires you as an artist? Who do you turn to when in need of inspiration?
It might sound cheesy, but I’m inspired by love found in every little gesture. At the same time, I can be inspired by other artworks; a movie, a painting and their aesthetic point of view.
How did you establish your style, something to be recognized by?
I think my style is all about the colors and composition. I want my photos to look as real as possible. Sometimes I’m inspirited by the look of old movies, and I use them as an example of choosing the colors of my photos.
Which photographers influence your work? Who are some of your favorite ones?
One of my favorite photographers is Steve McCurry. I love the way he portrays people, the frame around the subjects and the way he chooses colors. He can make you feel part of the situation he is living and involved in what the subject is feeling.
Also, I feel inspired by Theo Gosselin, a French photographer that I appreciate a lot. Recently, I had the chance to show him my work; it was quite an exciting experience.
I feel both these two artists can make you feel like you are inside their photos and one with the situation captured. I hope I can make people experience the same thing with mine, I want them to feel involved and captivated by them.
Having such a great support on Instagram must have helped you reach out to many different people and showcase your work. How crucial is for photographers to stay engaged with their audience and connect with them through social media?
In my opinion, it is fundamental to have a good relationship with your audience. In my case, I was fortunate because people started following me some years ago, but only recently my audience has increased a lot. The idea of having more than 70 thousand people following you and waiting to take a look at your next photos is inspiring. Thanks to those that appreciate my photos, I have created a media stream that has made more visible to clients, companies and big camera and photo brands, just like you!
Nowadays, the use of social media is crucial if you want to target a broad audience and if you want to create a good relationship with them. We must not forget that it is also thanks to them that new opportunities arise, like an exhibit or a book deal!
What I have always argued is that, for a photographer, unlike an Instagrammer, is more complicated to create and maintain a unique relationship with the community that follows you. I'm lucky to have an audience like mine that is always ready to support me.
How do you spend your day when you are not shooting? Do you have other hobbies you are passionate about?
When I am alone, I am always thinking about new photos and projects; my mind is continually drawn to those thoughts. Other than that, I like reading, especially when I lack inspiration. Whether it's a book or an article is indifferent. I often find inspiration in a single word read anywhere.
I love writing my thoughts too, and sometimes I like to decorate my photos with them. I am a very determined person, and if I do not have significant commitments, I always focus on creating something new that might leave you speechless.
Can we expect more magical work from you soon? Do you have any new projects you would like to share with our community?
Many things are happening, apart from the photos that I post daily on my Instagram page. At this time, I'm taking part in the Kenzo social campaign and the forthcoming crowdfunding campaign of LaNuvelVag, a T-Shirt Brand active in the prevention of violence against women.
There are other projects I am working on, especially one that I am ecstatic about, and I would love to share it with the whole community... but it is top secret right now! I will only say that it will be the most significant project I have ever carried out.
All photographs shown in this article were used by the permission of Eleonora Sabet. If you want to see more of her work, follow Eleonora on Instagram.