UK based film photographer and Creative Director of The Earth Issue talked to us about her latest series of photographs that were exhibited at the Jam Factory in Oxford and her reasons for choosing to shoot with film.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Elena, I was born and raised in Munich (Germany), to an Italian father and a German mother. My upbringing has left me forever longing, and wanting to learn about every culture in the world, as well as finding a deep connection to Nature. I care for Nature, as I belong to it. The more I started to love myself, the more I became aware of the actions I have towards the planet. It took years of questioning myself, and my surroundings to seek answers within nature.
How did you get into photography?
Art, through any form of creation has always been the truest form of expression, in my eyes. I don’t remember there being a specific time when I started photographing, it just always came natural to me to express myself through my chosen craft. I photograph to pour meaning into who I am, to understand better, to grow, to connect and to admire to the Earth that birthed me.
Why do you choose to shoot with film?
For me, film photography is about imperfection. Whether it may be with discontinued or expired film, or finding a camera at a flea market that has a sentimental value to the owner who previously used it. The authenticity of the photo I take using this camera adds a further level of depth to the image taken. Unpredictability and flawed outcomes are two intrinsic elements when it comes to shooting in film; I love the excitement and satisfaction this brings when I develop the images. Modern society has given rise to the digital medium of photography which lacks the hands-on involvement and creativity that analogue photography brings to the table.
Tell us about these photos?
The ‘Uncertain States’ series is a reminder of our fragility on Earth, a homage to my Mother (Earth) and hopefully an appreciation to the core elements that make up the planet we inhabit. To me, photography makes conscious and redraws invisible lines. In doing so, it reminds me that though my life moves forward and leaves behind past memories, it is I who creates new memories through the uncertain states and vulnerabilities of life. I find it hard to understand life and society, to make sense of all the different aspects that we are born into - a system driven by power, money and exploitation, where greed seems to be put above the wellbeing of our planet. Society is ignorance but Nature is bliss. It is important to use my photographic work as a tool to awaken consciousness and create a sense of awareness and respect for our irreplaceable landscapes; to not only challenge the mind set of society, but to evoke an emotional and tactile connection between ourselves and Nature.
What or who inspires you?
The most simplest of answers: Nature, and everything she creates.
For more information visit elenacremona.com