Ellie talks everyday inspiration, secret eyebrow-moving talents and more.
Australian photographer Ellie McLean always knows how to bring the moody shots. Whether she’s shooting portraits, fashion, or nature in her hometown or in LA where she lives, McLean has an epic way of capturing the essence of her subjects. MADE caught up with the babe for a little chitchat about her everyday inspiration, fave things to shoot, secret eyebrow-moving talents and more. Get into it to meet the girl behind these killer shots.
What is the most memorable moment from one of your shoots?
Probably my first shoot actually, which was my little sister. We went outside and I thought it would be cool to take shots of her up against a palm tree. I thought it looked cool lol.
First thing you do when you wake up and last thing you do before bed?
Check phone and check phone / tell my boyfriend to turn off the alarm first (power point is on his side).
Australia or LA?
They’re so different. Australia for me is more livable, but LA, America in general has all the work. LA is pretty cool though, it has this charm about it.
Who inspires you?
This is such a hard question, because there is so much that inspires me everyday. If I were to say who, (sounds corny) but I’m going to have to say my parents.
How do you want your viewers to feel when looking at your photographs?
I want people to feel moved, and to see what I was feeling in that moment of time of taking the photograph.
Share some words that you live by.
Stop worrying so much and to give up comparing yourself to others, it’s not worth it. I use to compare my work to other photographers and get so worked up, but now I don’t give a shit, such a waste of time!
One material item you can’t live without?
Do you have a secret talent?
I can raise both my eyebrows, one at a time. A lot of people say I’m very expressive in my eyebrows when I’m talking, so that’s probably why.
Fashion or still life photography?
As much as I like shooting still life, I feel fashion photography is more suited to me. Even though I hate contrived images, literally most of my photos are contrived, I’m always telling my models what poses I want them to do or facial expression. I try my best for them to look real in a contrived environment, if that makes sense..
You can only photograph one thing for the rest of your life. What would it be?
Flowers or fruit. Flowers have this sensual nature about them, which makes them beautiful to photograph. Fruit has that same element where they both look desirable and interesting.
It’s Friday night, where can we find you?
At the moment I’m new to LA and don’t have a car or know anyone! So probably watching Girls on my laptop with my boyfriend or searching pointless things on the Internet.
How do you tell a story through your photographs?
Before I photograph someone or something, I always have to have a reason why. So as I was saying before, I want people to feel moved and feel the story I’m telling, whether it’s through their expression, their body language, the colours, location or even what they’re wearing.
What are you doing right now?
Writing this interview sitting on the floor, on my rainbow carpet which I’m currently obsessed with.
Photography: Ellie McLean