If the photographs are of you, make sure you have put on your make up properly with foundation that suits you. It can be a deal breaker. Wear clothes that suit you. I think of a fictional or historical character to emanate. Think of how you stand. Stand up straight. Learn to move well. Use lighting wisely. As you get older you need more light.
As a part of my series about “5 Strategies To Take Stunning Photos” I had the pleasure of interviewing Amanda Eliasch.
Amanda Eliasch is an award winning film maker, photographer and poet from London, her photographic work has included a black and white show ‘Three Way Mirror’, held in London in The Cork Street Gallery and ‘Peep’ that was exhibited at Proud Gallery London. Her photography work often consists of glossy fashion-shoot images and nudes, she also created a book of photographs called ‘British Artists At Work’ with Assouline on 46 Artists for Italian Vogue, which included contributions from her best friend Tracey Emin, The Chapman Brothers, Mat Collishaw, Sam Taylor Wood and Fiona Rae.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I believe in saying yes rather than no. I was walking up Sunset Boulevard and someone patted me on my shoulder and said “would I like to be their Fashion Editor, and I said “yes”. It was a job I had wanted to do all my life. I still work for Genlux Magazine which has amazing photography in it and exciting fashion.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?
I have had a few careers, and everything leads to something else and lots of exciting times. I was offered to photograph some artists by the Fashion Editor at Italian Vogue, Franca Sozzani about twenty years ago. I said, yes but I thought I did not know any British Artists at the time. I asked one artist and from them got together 46 artists. It turned into a book of Artists and their studios. It was then printed by Vogue. I could not rely on galleries so went to loads of exhibitions and picked up artists at the time. Luckily contemporary art was exciting, and people were enthusiastic to join in.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
I have made many mistakes sometimes I learn from them often I do not! My first shoot I ever did my agent told me to take photographs and I did not know how to use that particular large format camera. My agent said “Pretend you know what you are doing and it will all fall into place” You know the funny thing is that it actually did. I was acting but it worked out.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I really work for myself and I think that you should always be yourself. People can tell when you lie. Always make an effort when you get up in the morning and always get dressed. Sloppiness is not for me. Get dressed up put on your make up and have some humour. Genlux has punchy articles and terrific artwork so in Beverley Hills it is well known for its fashion statement. The production by Stephen Kamifulgi cannot be surpassed. He is the best. He has cutting edge appeal with a brilliant sense of colour.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Burnt out? It sounds very 1980’s? I think that it is nowadays more about keeping optimistic when nefarious things may be going on in the world that are not good.
I think walking is brilliant for the brain and everything starts with the feet and legs. Conversations when walking keep you sane. Exercise and eat well. Make sure nothing passes your lips that is processed or in a packet!
Sleep well. I use My Pillow company who have excellent pillows for a good night’s sleep.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I owe a lot to Tracey Emin in lots of ways. I met her during do the book on Artists. I met her Father first and then her. Tracey noticed I was shy as I had not asked her to a party. I thought she did not like me. She then said come to Paris and stay up all night with me at the Costes Hotel..I did and she said many things. She told me that Chelsea was too privileged to live in if I was going to be an artist.
She told me to change my name. Her inspiring work stays close to your soul if you read her notes. You learn a lot from someone like her. I love her she is always nagging me to be better. This week she told me I was spoilt. I sort of like that.
Are you working on any exciting projects now?
I am making a book on my Hat Collection. I love hats. I have about 100 and so I started a shoot during Lock down in order to keep going. I love reinventing wearing them. My favourite one is a top hat by Victoria Grant with crystals that Madonna wore. I am writing too, at the moment about politics which I think has gone far left. Sometimes it is about love but I have gone passed that really.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Equating success is a funny thing. I am outspoken. I do try to help others. I lost a bet the other day and paid money to Glass Door on the Kings Road that helps the homeless. I try to help anyone if I can. I often give clothes away help support young people. It depends what moves me at that moment.
Can you share “5 Things Anyone Can Do To Take Stunning Photos”. Please an example for each.
1. If the photographs are of you, make sure you have put on your make up properly with foundation that suits you. It can be a deal breaker. Wear clothes that suit you. I think of a fictional or historical character to emanate. Think of how you stand. Stand up straight. Learn to move well. Use lighting wisely. As you get older you need more light.
2. I also have loved taking photographs of empty London. Quiet and desolate, rainy and sunny I found inspiration from walking the streets and snapping with my iPhone.
I think always take a tri pod with you as movement can often ruin a photograph. I don’t mind any format, I don’t believe in equipment just shoot. You are the eye. I also believe in editing well. Anyone with an eye can take photographs, but you have also to be good with light and production and that is trickier.
3. I am good with shapes and colours and not so good at paperwork. Paperwork is needed.
Photographers need to be paid so make sure you get paid half beforehand.
4. Learn to clean up photographs especially if you do photographs of women. They like to look good.
Make sure you become good at it. There are plenty of lessons on line which will help you make someone look good.
5. Always finish what you start never leave work not completed. Use stories and films as inspiration if you get stuck.
Find good hair and make up artists and try and make a team. Teamwork pushes us all forward. Everybody needs great photographs for Instagram and social media so practice.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
We are rapidly losing “Freedom of Speech” and the biggest advocate for that lies in prison, Julian Assange. Freedom of speech is the cornerstone of a free society. It is tragic that we are losing it. Twitter and Facebook and Newspapers are all at fault. Freedom of speech is what I will fight for. I am happy creating movements. I now work at being a digital soldier. You can wake people up with a meme or a clever sentence. I make political videos too. I enjoy doing them.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!