Multimedia Laboratory

Interview with photographer | Elizabeth Fleming

Why do you take photos?

Because while I’m shooting I feel completely present and absorbed in the task at hand, which is rare for me. Beyond the act of taking the photographs themselves is the fact that my brain is wired to approach things creatively, and in order to stay sane I have to translate my thoughts, emotions and preoccupations into visual form.

Describe your start in photography.

My parents bought me my first camera when I was about ten, back in the old days of film. I shot black-and-white, which made me feel like I was a true “artiste”– no kidding, I took a portrait of myself wearing a beret. I was also into double-exposures and cheesy, dramatic setups. I continued shooting throughout high school, becoming mildly less cheesy as the years went by (or so I’d like to hope).

Who are some of your favorite photographers and why do you admire their work?

I’m drawn to anyone whose photographs hit me on a gut level. Work that is intimate and moving is my kind of thing, though I can be pretty fickle and my favorites are always changing. Currently at the top of my list areĀ Alessandra Sanguinetti, Jo Ann Walters, Doug DuBois and Emmet Gowin.

What is your greatest experience as a photographer?

The ability to process and explore various emotions– many difficult– through being creative. It’s also always very meaningful to me when I hear that my images have had an effect on someone.

What equipment do you prefer to use and why?

I use a Canon 5D and that’s basically it.

Describe your editing process (i.e. How do you go about selecting, retouching and printing your photographs?)

It’s very instinctive. When I look through what I’ve shot, certain images just click (no pun intended). I’ll narrow it down to two or three of my favorites, compare them and (again through a process of what feels “right”) will make my final choices. Next I tweak, re-tweak and obsess over color balance, contrast, etc. in Photoshop, and the final step is printing them out on an Epson.

What are your plans and aspirations for the future regarding photography?

Right now I’m focusing my energy on starting a new series, so I’m in a production rather than promotion phase.

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