Exclusive interview… Luthien Elve

Last year I wrote a short article about an amazing portrait photographer – Luthien Elve. The post and some samples of her work can be found HERE.
Because I’m her huge fan, you can probably imagine how happy I was when she agreed to tell me her story… and now we all can get to know one of these amazing photographic talents a little bit more!
Alright, shall we begin?
Tell me, what is the biggest obstacle on a photographer’s path to achieving this perfect image?
Perfect image… not quite sure, but I know that the biggest obstacle in my profession is time or rather lack of it. There is a huge abyss between the second when the idea is born and the moment the photograph is finished. Stylization ideas that pop into my head seem to be so straightforward at first, but in fact, they require a lot of work. And matching all that with the suitable type of a model’s beauty and then transforming the photograph into a moody image can sometimes take a couple of weeks.
I see you like photographing people, their faces, characters – what is so fascinating about them?
I’m not quite sure whether people are the factor that makes me want to be a photographer. I’m more fascinated by a detail, shape, costume, colour, light and the moment of changing my model into a different person – into a character taken from an ‘unreal reality’. Sometimes I think that this transformation is the most fascinating thing in the entire process.
You’ve  just answered my next question, but I’ll ask anyway… What is the coolest and the most difficult thing for you as far as photographing people is concerned?
Well, the best thing is that from time to time I meet someone really ineteresting, with an original soul and character, someone whose presence (even if it’s only a couple of hours spent together during a photo shoot) can bring so much positive energy into my life. The most difficult thing though is relaxation. Sometimes I have to visualise the picture before I press the shutter button… and at this point I find it hard to explain to the model what I want to achieve by using a certain pose. In such moments I’m trying to distract her thoughts, find this eye-to-eye contact, let her be surprised for a while and then, if I’m lucky, take THIS picture. And after that I have to chill again and find another picture in my head simultaneously pretending that I’m still taking pictures. If I get one really good photograph after the photo shoot, I’m satisfied.
By looking at your pictures I can say that you’ve mastered that skill already!
But how did it all happen? Why did you become a photographer? Who or what inspired you?
Difficult question… I’ve always wanted to be a painter. Fascinated by paintings from different periods, I would spend hours only looking at works of art. I would study their technique, admire colours and details… While spending so much time studying them, I discovered one rule that connects all sorts of art: light – light is present everywhere and it doesn’t matter whether this is a painting, graphics, sculpture or a project of a chair – light makes everything else meaningful… gives shape, makes us travel to a different reality, and, most importantly, light is a source of life for any colour. Photography was one of my subjects at uni. Working in a darkroom helped me discover light in a completely different, tangible way. I’ll never forget that excitement of waiting for this surprising image and it slowly appears on a completely white sheet of paper…
My answer to a second part of your question is: I think I was inspired by my love to art… to every sort of art as I’ve always been fascinated in legends, myths and fairy tales and I’m trying to achieve a similar mood in my works. But the most difficult thing is to do it in that simple way…
Thank you Luthien Elve!
Marta May Photography

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