You may remember Estella who featured in my post: 'Behind The Scenes | Estella Mason Photography & Styling' back in July last year. Well, I'm back today with another episode of my 'An Interview With...' series where, this time, Estella shares with us how it all began, where she gets her inspiration from, her tips for other aspiring photographers wanting to make it in the business and more. Grab yourself a cuppa, be inspired and enjoy.
How did you first discover your love for photography?
I think my first interest in photography started when I was about 14. I used to dress my friends up and take photos of them in the garden and around the house just for fun, but I was quite serious about a career in photography by the time I was 16. I did some work experience with some great photographers who taught me a lot; Jessica Turale, Mark Cowles and Wolfgang Glowaki.
What was your first ever camera?
I got my first camera when I was 12 or 13, for Christmas from my Nan. It was a tiny compact digital, Vivitar brand.
Where do you get your inspiration for your photographs?
I draw inspiration from a variety of different sources including other artists; Tim Walker, Kirsty Mitchell, Aela Labbe and so many more. I also regularly go on 'Pinterest', it’s a fantastic way to find inspiration and reference it to use later on. I am a very observant person, I like to take in my surroundings and if I find something that inspires me I photograph it.
How would you describe your style of photography?
My style has definitely changed and developed over the years and I still can’t say I have one particular style but I like to mix fine art with fashion. My photographs almost always include people. I enjoy constructing extravagant sets for my shoots but also enjoy photographic simple details and fleeting moments.
Pick 3 of your current favourite photographs you've taken and why (in no particular order)
1. "Grandmother" there is something alluring about this photograph for me. (click here for the full 'Nostalgia' shoot)
2. Von Rock family photograph; I love the unplanned poses in this image. (click here for the full 'Von Rock' shoot)
3. "Frida Kahlo"; this is one of my favourite shoots that I've done, it was so much fun to put together and I am such a big fan of Frida Kahlo. (click here for full shoot of 'Frida Kahlo')
Share with us one of your favourite images and why.
“The Ghost Swift” by Kirsty Mitchell. I strive to create images so seamless, her eye for detail is incredible. This particular image is my favourite amongst her enchanting “Wonderland” series.
What type of session do you enjoy the most, e.g.: wedding, fashion, portrait etc.?
I enjoy doing my personal work the most because it allows me to be experimental. I also love doing styled fashion portraits.
Who is your favourite photographer and why?
This is way too hard!! I have so many but I would have to say (as mentioned earlier) Tim Walker is a huge inspiration. He creates these unbelievable and elaborate sets for his photographs.
What advice could you offer to someone aspiring to start their own photography business?
Make use of social networks and portfolio sites; post your work everywhere (whilst being cautious of copyright). Facebook is amazing for exposure and allows anyone around the globe to find you. NEVER say no to an opportunity, even if there is nothing in it for you, there is always exposure. Anything is possible so stay humble and work hard and success will follow. I also believe it is so important to be passionate about what you're doing.
Where do you see your photography career going in the future?
I hope to be able to travel with my business and be involved in editorials, meet other people in the industry and gain as much experience as I can. I hope to continue exhibiting, maybe even around the world.
And finally, a few fun questions... what's your favourite food?
and your favourite item of clothing?
I have a tailored Esprit blazer that I absolutely wear to death! I would have to say it’s probably a favourite. I can dress it up with some black pants, a shirt and heels or dress it down with a flannelette shirt and ripped boyfriend jeans.
What are your go-to pair of shoes?
Boots. I literally have 10 times the amount of boots than I do summer shoes!
...aaand that's a wrap for today! You can check out Estella's fantastic work on her Facebook page or visit her Behance page for her current projects and full shoots. I hope you all enjoyed the second episode of many more interviews to come, I really love doing them. If you're an "up and coming" blogger, artist, musician/band, author or other photographers- anything...all you creative people out there (yes, you!) don't hesitate to contact me as I'd love to feature more and more interviews on here. Click here to view my previous interview with blogger Gladys Doris Dave.