How do you break a creative drought? Ellie Victoria Gale tasked herself with a new portrait project – and was pleasantly surprised to watch it develop into something beautiful.
Ellie weaves new worlds through her photography, letting her creativity take the lead in post-production as she combines multiple images from shoots to create one sublime picture. “I love seeing this dream world become a reality, allowing the viewers to immerse themselves into it and find their own meaning”, she explains.
Ellie’s work focuses on the feminine and the natural world, as well as the rich, vibrant colour-scapes she finds there – red lips and red roses, freckles and fronds, tulle and wildflowers.
We were lucky enough to chat to her about her project, “The Flower Keepers”, which is a regal and vibrant series of portraits of women in nature, all of them seemingly walking through the enchanted gardens of a decadent dream-land.
Q: When did you realise you wanted to pursue photography?
A: I was quite lucky to find this passion from my early teenage years. My father used to do photography in between his full time job so it’s something I’ve always been surrounded by. I started taking it more seriously as a teenager, when I’d go out and photograph friends and landscapes, always rushing back to upload the images to edit. Post production is something I’ve always loved just as much as taking the images. I always knew I wanted to photograph people, but it took many years of experimenting to find my photographic voice and the whimsical portraits I create today.
Q: What media inspires you – books, art, movies?
A: Inspiration can strike at the most random of moments. Sometimes listening to a song can evoke a feeling or take me to another world that I’d like to explore. Not necessarily a specific genre or band, but often something quite atmospheric. The clothing or a specific scene in a movie or program can spark an idea for a photograph. The Pre Raphaelite’s are a constant inspiration though. I love the attention to detail and the use of nature in the paintings.
Q: Your work centres heavily around nature and the feminine form – what do you think keeps driving artists to explore and celebrate these elements?
A: Nature is incredibly enchanting, and the seasons especially. Each season is a fleeting moment in time, bringing it’s own character and colours to the world. Both ethereal and powerful at the same instant and a perfect unification with the female form. Femininity has evolved incredibly over the course of history, but we live in a wonderful time where femininity can mean strong and powerful and this in itself is something to be celebrated.
Q: Your work often features a stunning location – how do you go about choosing one?
A: The locations I find appear in the every day. As spring approaches I’m always keeping my eyes out wherever I go, looking for blossoms peeping out. I often find these in neighbours’ gardens, next to a road, local parks or even hidden away on little footpaths. Some of these locations you wouldn’t give a second thought due to the surroundings being not very glamorous, but that’s what’s so magical about them.
Q: What are you working on next?
A: I’m currently working on my personal series ‘The Flower Keepers’, which I will be experimenting with indefinitely, but the next challenge will be winter approaching. My creativity takes a huge dip during the winter months because I’m so drawn to spring and summer and the beautiful colours these seasons create, so I will be challenging myself to stay creative over winter and keep creating photographs for ‘The Flower Keepers’.
Ellie is based in West Yorkshire in the UK. Her work has been featured in Art People Gallery, My Modern Met and Practical Photographer Magazine. To see more, visit her official site, follow her on Instagram @ellievictoriagale, or like her photography page on Facebook.
Cecile Blackmore is a writer from Brisbane, Australia. She writes and edits at The Creative Issue and hoards vintage clothing – follow her adventures on Instagram at @saintcecile.