Beyond The Wanderlust » Inspirational Photography Blog for Storytellers Worldwide

The Narrative Society: Educator Interview with Ellen Covey

Most artists have a point in their life where they knew this was meant for them. Do you have that moment?

It was probably when I switched from shooting very posed sessions to shooting documentary type sessions. I always liked photography and knew I was good at it, but when I started shooting what made my heart happy, I realized that photography was what I was meant to do.

documentary photography, the narrative society

Documenting our children’s lives is so important. What is your secret to not getting bored with your daily life?

Well my children are constantly changing and learning and growing, and so is my life because of that. 

documentary photography, the narrative society

If there was only one moment you could photograph for the rest of your days, what would it be?

Cuddling with my children and husband, and grandchildren and maybe even great grandchildren one day.

documentary photography, the narrative society

Personally I find more inspiration from things outside of photography. Where do you find inspiration most?

I’m inspired most when I don’t have my camera in my hand. I love looking at light, shadows, pops of color, framing, and negative space in the world around me. I think I’m mostly inspired by whatever falls into beautiful light. 

documentary photography, the narrative society

We all go through periods of mental blocks. How do you push past times of not finding inspiration?

When I am lacking inspiration I take a break from actually shooting with a camera and take time to notice the life around me. Sometimes having a camera in my hand is a distraction and putting it down for some time helps me become more aware of the beauty that is in my day to day. 

documentary photography, the narrative society

Who in your life inspires your art the most?

My family and the connection we have with each other.

the-narrative-society, ellen covey

What inspires you more - light or movement?

Light

documentary photography, the narrative society

Documentary and lifestyle photography are different to some. How would you define them?

I think of lifestyle as a more candid stylized session, where the activities are all picked out, everyone is dressed perfect and coordinating, the lighting is perfect, and the clients are told where to sit/stand during the session for best light and so everyone is in the frame, but no real posing is done. Usually it’s in a home so it’s a very personal portrait session. Documentary is not usually planned out, the clients aren’t told what to wear or not wear, maybe there are activities, but the photographer doesn’t do any prompting or posing or arranging of the furniture or changing of the lighting. 

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather continue with your life or restart it?

Definitely continue it.

Would you rather reverse one decision you make every day or be able to stop time for 10 seconds every day?

Reverse one decision.

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather never be able to speak again or always have to say everything that is on your mind?

I guess say everything on my mind. Maybe it would help me be more aware of my thoughts and remind me to think only of things that are worth being heard. 

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather have no internet or no cell phone?

No cell phone. 

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather lose the ability to use GPS for the rest of your life or lose the ability to use a debit or credit card?

I would hate to be without a GPS. I don’t like getting lost.

Would you rather have eyes that can film everything or ears that can record everything?

Eyes that can film everything.

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather have unlimited storage space on your iPhone or unlimited storage space in real-life?

Unlimited storage space on my phone.

Would you rather walk the Great Wall of China or Amazon River?

I think it would be super cool to walk The Great Wall of China. 

documentary photography, the narrative society

Would you rather win an Academy Award or an Olympic Gold Medal?

Academy Award

Would you rather be fabulously famous and poor or unknown and rich?

Is there a happy medium?? Unknown sounds lonely, but as long as my family and close friends knew me then I guess unknown and rich.

documentary photography, the narrative society

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Ellen Covey of Ellen Elizabeth Photography
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