I know we all go on and on about the way the internet makes us boring, unable to communicate properly face to face, lazy and unsociable, but there are some great things about the interweb as well, such as being exposed to certain peoples work that you would have otherwise never seen. Artists being able to share their work online has opened up our awareness of talent and aesthetics more than ever. We are exposed to everything and everything is at our disposal, anytime of the day. The freedom of expression and the ability to share online is, yes, a new and overly saturated idea, but i still think if you use the internet as you should for your own cause, it really can be an inspirational, available platform to work from.
Freelance photographer Elise Toïdé is one of these people I have come across and loved their work on the internet. She lives and works in Paris, a place I have only visited a handful of times, where I assume thousands of talented people are living and working from. Had I been on the look out for certain people and works that resonated with me from the streets of Paris, I would have no doubt of missed Elise’s work, but on the trusty ol’ Facebook, I have been introduced to her beautiful, painterly photographs.
Through her images, you can get an idea of what kind of person Elise might be; considered, intuitive and intelligent. But I wanted to know more. Below is my interview with photographer Elise Toïdé exclusively for AnyOne,Girl. Enjoy!
-Who are you and what do you do?
I am Elise, I am a free-lance photographer.
-Where did you grow up? Do you think this influences you and your work today?
I grew up in the south of France, in a little village in the middle of the countryside. It does influence my work a lot, I am more and more attracted to landscapes, they allow me to breathe. I also think this is one of the reasons why I am attracted to emptiness, to slower path, to suspended time even in cities, crowds or in the craziness of the fashion week.
-Where are you based now? Why do you choose to live here? What is the best thing about this place?
I am now in Paris, I have been living here for 2 years after 4 years in Brooklyn and 2 years in Paris before that. Paris is a beautiful city full of opportunities and motivated people. I have always wanted to move to Paris, as a little girl, this is where things were happening to me, I moved here at the end of my studies. Paris is so rich, it’s a mix of different atmospheres, moods, people, neighborhoods, everything at walking distances.
-What is your biggest inspiration for your work?
Cinema inspires me a lot, certain filmmakers and their worlds as Jim Jarmusch, Jean-Luc Godard, Wim Wenders or Lynch.
-Tell us about your working/creative processes?
My work is very intuitive. When I shoot portraits or a story around a person. I love to walk around with them, get to know them, and shoot them naturally in a place that I feel right for them. I like not to plan too much and let things come to me.
-A typical day’s work?
There is no typical day. There are typical mornings, they always start with several coffees in my bed checking emails, then, computer works, researches, photos editing. And the afternoons are different depending on what I feel like or what I have to do.
-Any other forms that you are interested in?
I love drawing, I used to draw with charcoal a lot, this is something very present in my photographic work, I love graphic shapes, black and white, contrast, grain.
-tell us about Paris Fashion Week and your involvement in that this year?
I have been involved with Fashion week for ten years in one way or another, I love the creative energy, the excitement. I have shot Damir Doma show this season, Le Moine Tricote lookbook, S’yte campaign, a new Yohji Yamamoto online clothing line… A season full of meetings with very talented people and the beginning of new collaborations. A great one !
-What moves you to take photos?
Photography allows me to dream and create my own interpretation of reality. It’s a way to take possession of something and look at it in a deeper way. It’s an important part of me, something that I need, that makes me feel alive.
-What has been your favorite project to be involved in so far?
Each project is an opportunity to discover a new world and I love this part of the job, to get somewhere and make it my own. There are many that I enjoyed, I loved to go to Mallorca for Metal Magazine to shoot Camper house. The portraits of comedians for Metal also was very interesting and I love shooting fashion show behind the scenes too.
I am working on an ongoing project in my hometown in the South of France, I shoot when I have the opportunity to go there and I like to let my eyes talk and discover what they have to say. Through the years, different things come up from the same place and it’s interesting to see for me.
-Digital or film?
Film, I love the grain, the accidents, its rhythm. It’s closer to me. For commissioned works, I use a digital camera in addition for safety but I end up keeping the film photographs most of the time.
-What cameras do you like to use?
I have an old canon film camera, that I always bring with me. And a Nikon digital. I used to shoot a lot with an Holga but not anymore, I prefer the 24×36 format now.
-Thoughts on the internet and what is does for artists like yourself?
Internet is an amazing help for sharing works and get contacts. It creates a proximity.
-What other artists inspire you? and why?
Painters as Elizabeth Peyton or Gerhard Richter for their portraits, Caspar David Friedrich and his landscapes.
Favourite magazine and why?
I love Acne Paper, everything about it, aesthetic, articles, photography, format.
-Favourite online blog and why?
Yours ! Love its look and I feel it very close to my sensibility and very inspiring.
I am lucky to work at the club Le Silencio in Paris. I have been shooting intimate concerts once a week for about a year. That makes me discover many rising bands, recently, I really enjoyed Wild Belle, Yan Wagner or Isaac Delusion.
-Future plans for you work, anything coming up that you are excited about?
Yes, I have a solo exhibition coming up, as part of Le Mois de la Photo-OFF in Paris, Fire Walk With Me, opening, November 3rd at Galerie 154 !
You can find more of Elise Toide’s photos here :