Photography is hugely personal and unique, no two photographers are the same. Your style, likes and your very essence show up in every photograph you take, enjoying and celebrating these differences is the thing I love the most about photography.
Looking at the next photographer in my people behind the lens series, the thing that stands clear in every photo of hers I have seen, is pure and honest fun. In every photo, everyone looks like they are having an absolute blast!
So sit back, relax and enjoy getting to know Ella, from Buxton Photography.
Ben - What's your name, and where are you located?
Ella - Hi!
I’m Ella, originally a ‘Cornish Bird’ I’m located in the South West (UK) and I base my Photography work in and around the Devon & Cornwall area.
B - Nice to meet you, so, how long have you been a photographer and how did you get into it, how did your journey start?
E - My Photography journey started when I was young and took an interest in my Grandad’s camera collection, from then I received my first little compact camera for Christmas and that’s where my passion ignited! I was always that friend in the group that HAD to document and photograph everything that we did… to be fair I still do that now!
In school I took GCSE & A-Level Photography which I really enjoyed and that was when I came to realise that I wanted to pursue this into a career. My dream went from wanting to own a zoo to becoming a full time Photographer to which I embarked on that journey back last year in 2021 where I finally started my business: ‘Buxton Photography’!
B - Owning a zoo to photography, thats a fun switch! So you've always been around cameras, thats cool, speaking of cool. What would you say is the coolest event/wedding/or even shoot you've done?
E - I’d have to say that my coolest shoot that I photographed was when I was playing around with working on ‘Underwater Fashion Photography’ during my A-Levels. I wanted to continue with this but it would have meant that I needed to look into moving up to the likes of London from down here in the South West which just wasn’t an option for me! I’m such a homely girl that I couldn’t think about living in a big city, I need my woodlands and beaches nearby!
Wedding wise the coolest Wedding that I photographed would have to be J&L’s Wedding down in Cornwall at Mount Edgecombe, the house is absolutely stunning and the reception in the Orangery was super light and airy which works perfectly for me and my style! I actually went to this wedding as a second photographer and it was the best experience! We made use of the National Trust’s beaches and grounds there and captured some great shots!
B - Ah that sounds amazing, I am much the same, I dont think i could live away from the sea. So tell me, how have you been enjoying your Cloverlily Harness?
E - Honestly it has been such a lifesaver for me and my work! It has enabled me to make full use of both of my Cameras rather than have one over my shoulder and the other stowed away in my camera bag. From this I am now producing and presenting almost double the amount of Photographs to my clients which is amazing!
I was worried that I would be too short in the torso to be able to wear any form or camera harness but you were a great help by asking all the relevant questions like my height to get a rough idea of what sizing I would need and much to my joy he told me that it was all sorted and I could go ahead with ordering!
This Harness has been by far the best purchase I have made for the business, the amount of positive comments and compliments that I have received from clients and even wedding guests has just confirmed that! I even wore the harness as a guest to a friend’s wedding that I was not only attending but also photographing as well and it was still just as comfy on top of a dress as it usually is on top of my jacket or work clothes!
So… yes, I’m thoroughly enjoying my new Cloverlily Harness!
B - Ah thank you for the kind words! So you said you've got two cameras, what camera setups do you use typically with your Harness? And do you have any interesting cameras in your arsenal?
E - So I am a Canon girl at heart and have two Canon DSLRs that I currently use. A Canon 30D and a Canon60D, these have been in my possession since GCSE & A-Levels (old right?!) but I am looking into upgrading them both soon!
I have a large selection of vintage cameras that I collect (mostly from charity shops!) and have accumulated from elderly family friends who know that they’ll go to a loving home! To list them all off to you would take me all day but my favorite has to be my vintage Polaroid! There’s just something about Polaroid cameras for me, I think it’s the fact that you receive a physical photograph after taking the shot and you get to treasure it, there’s no digital-ness involved!
B - You cannot beat instant film cameras, just the feel and aesthetic is timelessly cool. So, If you had to describe your shooting style, how would you describe it? How do you insert a bit of you into your work?
E - This is a good question!
It took me a long hard minute to figure out my niche and style as a Photographer. I started by wanting to just photograph everything, took interests in most genres of photography and tried them all out which I guess is a good thing and also one step forward to narrowing myself down to knowing what I wanted to photograph as a career. It was only last year when I officially started up Buxton Photography when I found my favorite style of shooting and editing!
I would describe my Photography style as Natural, Organic & Documentary. I like to make use of as much natural lighting as I possibly can, capture all the candid moments and keep my editing style as organically natural as possible, with minimal amounts of harsh editing. The only time you’ll ever see me shooting inside would be occasionally at a wedding where the venue/reception are based indoors.
I tend to ‘insert a bit of me into my work’ by making use of foliage to create a blurred frame around my subjects or just by photographing my clients in, on, or around a beach of some sort… I am absolutely beach and ocean obsessed (with a little sea glass collecting thrown in there as well) so if I have a client that wants a beach shoot or their wedding photos on the coastline I am one happy snapper!
B - So you say yo like to keep editing to a minimum, what is your editing process? Do you have any odd ways of working? Mine is I really never jived with Lightroom, I am a Photoshop guy. So clunky and inefficient but it’s just how I work!
E - Lightroom!
It was only very recently that I actually transferred across to Lightroom from Photoshop! I was exactly the same as you and used solely Photoshop for my work but when you’re shooting weddings and large amounts of photos in one event… I realised that Photoshop really did drag me down when it came to time management! I was lucky enough that my friend Grace actually took the time to walk me through how to use Lightroom along with lots of late nights watching endless tutorials on YouTube as well! I can’t get over how much more efficient my editing has become and presets…. Well that’s a whole new exciting kettle of fish there that I’ve discovered on Lightroom!
The only ‘odd way of working’ that I can think of is during couple shoots/wedding day couple photos where I direct the couple to walk around as though they’re drunk, banging into one another… this sounds strange but it really works! It makes them laugh, creating lovely natural candid photos which is super popular these days.
B - Haha I love that! What’s your current album of the moment?
E - Out all of the questions this is by far the hardest one for me to answer! I’m into pretty much all types of music… just not screamo! It very much depends on what mood I’m in and what I’m doing but I reach towards my ‘VanLife & Surfing’ playlist that I’ve created on Spotify which contains a mixture of indie, reggae, ska and acoustic music!
B - If you could give one piece of advice to any other budding photographers out there, what would it be?
E - I have 3 pieces of advice because everything comes in threes!
But I guess the first and biggest piece of advice I would give is to just ‘be yourself’ which I know is super cliché but when it comes to photography, people aren’t just hiring you for your services, but they’re selecting you as a person as well! They are trusting in you to capture their treasurable moments and paying your for it…so they have to be comfortable with the person behind the lens!
‘Trust in the process’ would be the second piece of advice I give because I spent far too long becoming impatient in not getting to where I want to be in the Photographic community, I was forever starting and stopping when it came to building a business and but it will all come in good time! The third and final piece of advice ties in with the second in the fact… ‘you get out what you put in’! The hard work really will pay off in the long run!
B - Thats great, thanks Ella!
If you want to get to know Ella a bit better, here are her links. Go show him some love.
Ella has the Cloverlily Double Harness in Antique Brown
If you want to reach out and do a The People Behind the Lens, just drop me a line.
This interview was written up whilst listening to Asphalt Medows, a new album from American indie giants Death Cab for Cutie.