Working With What You Have

Elana Edwards (@lana.shoots) has been pursuing photography for over 18 months. Her shoots reveal photos from her travels to Cuba, Washington, D.C., Egypt and Mexico. Additionally, Edwards shoots for clothing brands, artists and models. In an interview with SiKK Magazine, Edwards spoke about the importance of collaboration, trial and error, branding and utilizing resources. Read her interview below:

What is your current creative pursuit?

“Right now, I am focused on branding herself and coming up with my own style. I want people to look at my work and say ‘oh thats her work’ and not confuse it with anyone else’s work.”

What inspires you to be creative?

“To me, creativity is not a choice. Even was I was little I used to draw, pretend to take pictures and do nails. My older brother makes music, so sometimes we make music together, too.”

What is your favorite aspect about being creative?

“Probably to be able to make money from doing things that I enjoy. You would probably make more money having 9-5 job, but its nice to have people appreciate what you do creatively and pay you for it. It's cool to have people acknowledge the work that you put in.”

What do you want people to see when they view your work?

“With my photography, I want people to be able to see the things that I see. Not everyone has the same perspective, which sometimes can be difficult, but with photography you’re able to look through others perspectives. It’s like looking through other people's eyes to find beauty.”

How would you like to see your photography expand?

“I would love to get into videography. I really want to work on my photography for a little bit longer to find my style, and then see what kinds of things I would want to capture on video…Making videos for others you want it to represent them. But, sometimes this makes me nervous. I wonder how I would take someone else ideas and translate it into my creativity, to put it all together to suit theirpurpose.”

Have you faced any obstacles while creating your brand?

“If you want to be creative you are not going to let stuff stop you from what you love to do. Sometimes you be broke, like I have had the same camera since I started. I got my camera off of Craigslist. And I would love to get new lenses but lenses are thousands. Am I about to put a thousand dollars toward a lease or something else more important? It's about working with what you have and not trying to copy what other people do who probably have more to work with. .. take it step by step and learn to work with what you’ve got.”

What advice would you give to younger generations pursuing the same field?

“Branch out and work with other creative people. Sometimes there are tricks that you can do with your camera, and talking to people who have experience in what you are doing can show you that. The best way to grow as an artist is to try things out, ask questions and don’t be afraid to fail.”

View original photos from Elena Edwards below: