Saturday, June 24, 2017

Artist Interview with Morgan Ellis

 Artist Interview
with Morgan of

Tell us a little bit about you.

Hello hello! 

I am a recent Philadelphia transplant, I moved here with my husband from Alaska this past September. I’ve always had a passion for photography but I didn’t get into photography until recent years. I have lived in quite a few states over the years including ME, NJ, FL, TX, GA, IL, SC, AK, and PA. We are happy to be back in a place that has always felt like home to me, the East Coast. 

What’s in your bag? 

When did you fall in love with photography? How long have been a photographer?

My shooting style is pretty simple, and that’s reflected if you take a look in my bag. I have a Nikon D750 and only one lens: the Sigma 35mm Art. At this point, all images in my portfolio have been taken using this power duo. My style is about connection and intimacy, I get up close and personal when I need to and take a step back when the moment calls for it, and the 35mm has proven great for both of these circumstances. I also have a few odds and ends in my bag that I use to manipulate light in images, including broken glass, plastic, and a simple ziplock bag! Some of those effects are shown in the photos here. 

What sort of work do you specialize in? 

I mostly shoot engagement sessions, anniversary sessions or just couples who love each other and want that document, at any stage. I also enjoy shooting small families and occasionally photograph intimate portraiture sessions. 

Do you create personal work often? 

My personal work is centered around my travels, self-portraits, and life with my husband. My photography journey started documenting the lives of my nieces and nephew but it has since become a tool to document everything important in my life. 

What or who got you started in photography? 

As a child my dad was a wedding photographer, I can still remember the moments I captured when accompanying him to weddings with that Sony Mavica in my little hands and a stack of floppy disks in our bag. I enjoyed photography then but didn’t continue on my artistic journey until a few years ago when I took a job with Paul Nurnberg, an incredible commercial photographer in South Carolina. He reignited the spark I had and taught me an unmeasurable amount, my experience working alongside him led me to pursue my passion on my own, he has been my greatest mentor and an incredible friend. 

Who are some of you favorite artists past or present? 

I find a bit of inspiration in everything I encounter, from photographers to painters to writers and musicians. I try to draw inspiration from sources outside of my genre because it allows me to be more true to myself, when I hear a beautiful melody it inspires me to create, when I look at the brush strokes of a painting it allows me to analyze how others may perceive my work in a similar manner, that kind of thing. There are a ton of photographers out there who I adore, but I find a lot of inspiration in the business minded women who are blazing a trail in this industry. Business is important too, for me, it's not just art, that's the bonus, it's about monetizing what I love doing to put food on the table and to travel and enjoy life. 

How often do you get in front of the camera? 

I hate to admit this but, I have never been in front of another professionals camera. It’s entirely hypocritical, and it's actually on my list of things to correct this year. I have always struggled with self-confidence issues and because of this, I have stuck to self-portrait sessions because it is the only way that I have full control of the images produced. My journey of self-acceptance has led me to understand that having the moments of my life captured from an outsiders perspective is incredibly important, and since there are a ridiculous amount of talented photographers surrounding me in this community, I intend to change this pattern soon! 

What are some of your favorite photography communities? 

There are so many wonderful photography communities that it's hard to say which is my favorite. Each of them has something unique to offer. 

Print or Digital? Why? 

Print! It's always print for me. I give my clients small digital files too because I understand the convenience and importance of sharing with loved ones on social media, but to me, tangible photos are everything. I provide my clients with albums that will be treasured for decades, prints that will be flipped through by the great grandchildren, that's what's important to me and I will never stop encouraging printed products. 

How do you balance your personal/family and passion? 

Family and photography is never an issue when it comes to balance. I absolutely love what I do, but my husband comes first, end of story. He’s my first priority and my art is second, that's the way I always intend for it to be. In the evenings and on the weekends I am completely present with him, I am not working, I’m leaving work for the hours I designate to it, that time is for us, that's what's important. My clients understand this because of its what's important to them as well. 

From where do you draw your inspiration? 

If I could go back five years I would tell myself to avoid comparison at all cost. Comparison is the thief of joy and a burden against creativity. 

If you could go back in time, what advice would give to your young photographer self, today?

If I could give a tip to a fellow artist it would be this: Do what makes YOUR soul ignite. It’s not about the likes, or the numbers, or any of that, it's about YOU. Create for you and the success will follow. 

Explore the artist: Website

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