From renowned voices such as Anna Atkins and Susan Meiselas to the unbelievably fierce Margaret-Bourke White, women have significantly contributed to photography. These women through time helped shape the artistic value of photography. The images captured by these incredible women photographers clearly demonstrate their exceptional talent.
Today we want to introduce you to Elizabeth Mei Robin, a lifestyle, fashion and commercial photographer based in London. Elizabeth started her career as a model, actress, and dancer in Prague when she was 16 years old. Soon after, she moved to Milan to pursue modelling but fell in love with creative production and photography. As a producer, she felt that instead of explaining her vision to other photographers she should try it herself. So, at the age of 26, she decided to borrow a camera and organise a test shoot. This made her realise that she has a knack for photography and she has not looked back since.
Elizabeth is also the founder of a creative production agency called 22bites Production. Its mission is to not only produce creative content but also support artists and create work opportunities for women in leading roles. Moreover, she is the founder of “The Healing Story”, a foundation that focuses on relationship issues, domestic violence, and connects people to inspire each other to turn their lives around.
We asked Elizabeth a few questions to get to know her better.
Do you have formal training as a photographer, and have you worked in a professional studio before?
I am a self-learner. I have been on hundreds of photoshoots as a model working with the best professional photographers. This enabled me to learn about their techniques and how to best capture lifestyle and fashion models. Moreover, I also run a photography studio where I learned everything about various types of equipment. In addition to that I always keep myself up to date by taking online photography courses.
Which tools do you work with?
I am still using an old Canon EOS 5D Mark II. But I also combine it with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Through these years I have learned that it’s not about the gear you use. It is about your vision and the natural feelings of how to portray it and some may call it “the talent”. According to me, some equipments that are a must-have no matter where you work are: camera body, lens, flash and sometimes a reflector.
Which photographers have influenced your work, and do you incorporate their techniques into your shoots?
Director and photographer Amber Gray is a reason I started photography as I absolutely fell in love with her work. Although my style has changed over the years, I still see her as one of the most creative photographers out there.
Is it challenging to earn a living in this business nowadays, if so why?
It’s definitely challenging as everyone nowadays has a camera on their phones. Moreover, just like with every business, there are other aspects we have to consider and skills we have to learn to succeed. Being a good photographer isn’t enough and even the competition is really high. However, if you do what you love, you always tend to find a way.
Do you also take photos in your spare time or on holiday? Or just for work? If so, what type of photos?
Absolutely! I see life through pictures, which is of course annoying to my partner. I use a professional camera just for work. However, I enjoy using my phone for travelling and “in-moment” memories. But, the amount of space these photographs take in my phone makes me control myself, haha.
Which famous person would you like to do a photoshoot with, if you could choose?
It would definitely have to be American fashion model Karlie Kloss.
What makes a great photo from your point of view and how do you achieve that?
There is so much that a picture can do. Apart from being beautiful visually, photographs tell a story, bring back memories and make you feel emotional. Every photograph is different and so it is really difficult to say.
Adding to that, I think it is the natural feel that decided which photograph is the “one”. Sometimes, I take a thousand photographs out of which only 2 are just perfect and other times you don’t know which one to choose because there are too many good ones. I actually like to work spontaneously or at least try and have some extra time at the end of a shoot. I do this because I usually get the best images from unplanned situations.
Share with us a project you’re most proud of? And why?
I wouldn’t say I have a project that I am proud of, in particular. I love a lot of my projects. But, off the top of my head, it would be a photoshoot with Lyun magazine. It was the first time I was shooting in a studio as a photographer, just by myself. The only person I could rely on was myself which was very challenging at first. When I was editing the photographs from this shoot, I was truly proud to see how beautifully they turned out. So, that was most certainly an empowering and memorable moment.
How do you think Online platforms such as Klaud9 have helped you in getting more work?
I like working for Klaud9 because every project I do with them is different and I get the opportunity to constantly grow and learn new things. Being challenged in areas or styles I would otherwise never have done if I stayed just in my niche is something I can achieve working with Klaud9. Thanks to Klaud9, I keep expanding my portfolio with a variety of shots and thus attracting more work.
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Also, read our blog on the power of lifestyle photography.
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