I believe that passion isn’t something you have but something you do, actively and consciously. Curiosity, determination and a healthy acceptance of criticism all act together to help develop a growing interest into a blossoming passion. Passion grows just like anything that is nurtured properly. You wouldn’t call a seed a tree, yet it has the potential to become one. In the Mini-Interview, Aloud. focuses on people who are devoting themselves to their passion, not for money or glory, but just for themselves and are willing to talk about it as the constant work-in-progress that life really is. Ella Santoni inaugurates this feature and as Corneille said so well “Aux âmes bien nées, la valeur n’attend point le nombre des années.” Youth is on your side Ella, make the most of it.
Ella, can you introduce yourself and your background. Where does your creativity come from? how did your passion for photography begin and develop?
My name is Ella, I’m 18 years old. I finished high school last June. I then took the decision that before beginning my studies, I would give myself a year to travel and have fun.
I grew up in the countryside in France. I am proud to say that I had an exceptional childhood. Not everyone has had the chance to live between beautiful landscapes, ride their own pony in the forest and live in a warm, welcoming house. As long as I can remember, my brothers, sister and me, have been lucky enough to only be surrounded by exceptional people and places, thanks to my parents.
My mum is a very creative person and has always encouraged our creativity. She passed her gift for drawing, painting and singing to my sister but unfortunately not to me. But about two year’s ago I discovered that I did have the eye to catch beautiful colours and moments.
That’s how I discovered photography, I realized that I could create art without drawing or painting. I got my first little camera in December 2009, which I really used just to take pictures of my friends.
But little by little I got more and more interested by photography and realized I needed a reflex to start taking good pictures. The 12th of September 2010, I got my Nikon ! I took my camera everywhere and took pictures of everything ! I had to practice as much as possible . At the beginning it was hard because I knew exactly what I wanted to shoot but could never quite make it.
But months after months with a lot of work, I could see I was making progress !
At which stage of your life are you now? What place and role does your passion occupy in your life at the moment? Where do you seek and find inspiration? Can you describe your work in a few words?
I will not lie to you. At the age of eighteen you are still looking for yourself.
During this whole year I have been testing myself. This gap year has been the hardest year of my life but the best. I have discovered that I am a strong woman and that I am capable of many things.
And it shows in my pictures, my art has grown up with me. I do not see and think the same way when I walk in the street. I now try to find the picture in every face and street corner.
I am always very concentrated. To get a good picture, I imagine that my eye is a camera and enjoy what is around me.
I find a lot of my inspiration in the love that my boyfriend and friends give me. Listening to them and observing them during years has been a great source of inspiration. They are all so human and creative; and that’s how I understood that without love we can not create.
I believe photography can bring beauty out of every person.
What do you imagine in your future? What are your hopes and dreams professionally? What does it mean to you to become a strong, independent and creative woman?
I have been accepted in a journalism school in Nice which I can’t wait to start. I want to be able to succeed and I will give myself every tool to manage. I am a strong and stubborn woman and will never let go until I succeed.
I hope to be a great journalist and manage to inspire people through my art and work. I want to provoke thought.
Could you introduce the photo essay below?
The portraits were taken while I was waiting for a bus. There was a beautiful light! In Dublin, I found that the Irish had very interesting faces and they are not shy in front of the camera. I can’t really say there is a story behind the pictures. It’s just me walking around and when I see something interesting, I take it.
The picture I prefer is the one where you can not see the face but only the scarf with the snow. That picture is the only one which has a story. It was the day when it had snowed a lot in Dublin. So my boyfriend and I went in a beautiful park and had a long walk. And at that moment I found his lips, scarf the whole beautiful ! The picture is perfect to me !
© All photos belong to Ella Santoni.
To see more of Ella’s photos, visit her blog Ella’s shots.
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