An Interview with Elena Fireswan
Creative photography has always been very appealing! The photographs take much work to achieve the desired result but the adventure in obtaining that finished art piece is well worth the effort. We’re here today with Elena Fireswan to discuss some of the amazing projects she’s done.
Thanks for joining us today Elena. To get started with, could you tell us about your start in photography and the type of photography that you do?
I’ve always had a fascination of seeing life through a lens. To me it’s like an escape to another dimension, almost like virtual reality. I first began photography classes back in high school but did not continue them in College. Back then my interests took a turn towards old classic cars and dance; leaving photography on the back burner for a little while. It wasn’t until 3 years ago when I picked it up again and noticed that my passion grew even stronger. I began to explore with photoshop and photo editing. I fell in love with the fact that I can manipulate these photos and create them into my reality.”
You have a lot of creative photography, can you tell us, what keeps you inspired? What keeps you coming up with new and unique ideas for your photography?
“My photography is based on personal dreams and episodes of my life or someone else’s life. Stories of pain, love, hurt and passion is what I love to photograph. We all feel these emotions sometime in our lives and we can all relate. I like to touch people with my images, sometimes they’re pretty, sometimes they’re not…. that’s ART, it’s life, candid and raw.”
After you come up with an idea is there a particular process that you go through to make your image happen? What work is involved in the setup, execution, final editing and presentation of your art?
“Depending on what feeling I want to give to the viewer is how I began to create my images. Low key lighting can give a feeling of mystery or sadness. I like to create my work in a more darker gloomier environment since my edits tend to be more on the darker side of our feelings and emotions.
I like to choose models that are more passionate and in a sense, deep in personality, I have discovered that it’s these types of personalities who understand the real meaning of surrealism and conceptual projects.
I explain to them the concept I am looking for and they are usually very good in posing as the character of the story. These models are personal friends and co workers of mine.
Usually the set up, including lights, background, model positioning and props, take about an hour. The photoshoot varies from 1 hour to 3 hours, depending on the concept. I don’ worry too much about background if I already have in mind where I’m going to place model in photoshop. I make sure it’s a gray or white background since that makes it a lot easier to replace the model
My composites in photoshop take up to 1 to 4 hours of editing depending what type of edit I’m doing. Sometimes the lighting on the model is different than the setting where I would like to place her/him in and trying to match the subject with background colors can be very difficult.
One of my favorite edits is a self portrait “the girl in the box” (down below under the favourite piece question) The setting to this was not too difficult, actually. We set one Paul C. Buff light up high land one to chess box level where I placed myself in. My husband climbed a latter and took my photo.
I then took a photo of a shallow hole in my backyard. I placed myself there and reduced the size of the photo to make the hole look deeper.”
Are you always able to make your ‘photographic vision’ work? (If not, how do you deal with the frustration?)
“There are times that photos do not turn out the way we want them to, it happens to everyone. Sure it’s frustrating and disappointing but this is what makes us succeed. As we try different methods to make it work, we discover new methods along the way as well. This is the beauty of photography, lighting and editing…. mistakes will lead you to success.”
Would you mind sharing with us the most challenging project that you’ve completed and tell us about the process of it’s creation? What challenges arose, how did you over come hurdles in it’s creation?
“The most challenging project for me was the editing of a still born baby (Deceased baby). It was very hard to sit through it but I kept thinking how special this photo will be for the parents, it’s the only memory they will have of him and this is what kept me strong and willing to continue with project. The results were rewarding when I saw how happy they were to have a photo of their beautiful son to show to family and friends.”
(The photo we chose not to include in the post. It will remain between the parents and Elena, as the person asked to do the photograph for the parents. Elena explained to us more the difficulty of doing the photograph. We can only imagine the difficulty and heartache of the parents! Doing the project would be a real struggle, but a beautiful one thinking of the parents that requested it.)
What’s been you favourite piece thus far? Please share the story behind it’s creation as well.
“I think my favorite so far has been a self portrait that tells a story of a an exchange college student in Ireland who went missing then later found buried in a shallow grave. I read this story when I was in high school and it stuck with me forever. The image I created did not sit well with many viewers but this is ART, reality, and reality isn’t always pretty.”
Finally, could you give us a glimpse about your current projects, what can we look forward to in the near future?
“I will be creating images underwater and conceptual style editing. I look forward to an underwater photoshoot that I will be working on in September of this year.”
Thank you, we look forward to those projects! Thanks for agreeing to come on with us and share your stories along with your art.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading our interview with Elena about her creative photography. We hope you will leave us your thoughts on the interview and/or questions down below in the comments. If you enjoy learning more about different types of photography and being inspired by other photographers and their stories be sure to subscribe to the blog as well.
About Elena (interviewee)
Elena is very passionate about her creative photography. We invite you to check out her Facebook page to follow along with more of her work and upcoming projects.