Saturday, 9 July 2011

Interview with Elise Toide


Bonjour Elise, souhaitez-vous vous présenter à mes lecteurs? Mes lecteurs sont des idiots pour ne pas avoir entendu parler de vous! [Question sponsored by Google translator]

Hi, I am Elise, I am French, and I was born in the South of France, now live in Paris, after my last 4 years in Brooklyn, New York, where I decided to take photography a little more seriously, so as to do something out of my photos.

Can you describe a typical day in the life of you? [I hope baguette and cheese feature in your day every day, I really do!!]
I wake up, and then go right back to bed with a coffee or two. After I check my emails and check out the news, I wonder about the World while having my breakfast… (With baguette of course!)
I guess my day really starts from there…

So Elise, you were born in the South of France in 1978, but moved to Paris at the age of 23, you lived there for a while and then hopped on a plane to New York in 2006 to study Photography. But now you are back in Paris and if my maths is correct you should now be 33 years old? Is this all factually correct, and have you made the wonderful city of Paris your home?
NO!!! I am still 32! But yes, I’ll turn 33 in October.
Oh, apologies. Lady's and their ages!
It’s true, I’ve been moving a lot these past years so it might be time for me to settle down a bit… But I know I do like change, the indescribable excitement of the idea of finding oneself as a total stranger, among the unknown… London might be the next destination!

I’d like you to tell me when you recall deciding you wanted to pursue photography [the very moment!] and why you feel you were inspired to make this decision?
Yes, I do recall… I was having that kind of conversation with my aunt, 5 or 6 years ago and I was still living in Paris by that time. Had many things on my mind, needed to seek a way to express them, and I had the feeling that Photography was the right medium for me. I always liked taking pictures, but since that day it became a whole different thing for me.

When you relocated to Brooklyn, New York you studied Documentary Photography at the International Center of Photography with Mark LaRocca! It all sounds very grand, so how was the experience, both studying with Mark LaRocca and living in Brooklyn?

Living in Brooklyn was bliss. To me, it was an abundant source of inspiration. I love Brooklyn. The lights, the people, the atmosphere... I had some very interesting connections with the Brooklynites. There was so much positive energy there. People are struggling like everywhere else, but seemed so motivated and passionate.
Studying with Mark LaRocca was a great experience indeed, so enthusiastic and inspiring.

And is New York a city you could see yourself living in again one day?
I’m not sure… I really loved it that first time I went to live there but I’m not sure I’d have the same impression if I go there again. I somehow want to keep that feeling intact. Also life wise, these few years in New York were very important (started photography, met so many interesting people, got married and got pregnant!) Thinking of Brooklyn makes me emotional and nostalgic, and I guess I need more of that kind of emotional energy to translate into my photos. Brooklyn will stay a wonderful parenthesis.

I have to say some of my favourite photographs by Elise Toïdé are your photos of Brooklyn! They have such a throwback feel to them which really appeals to me. But I also love your b + w portraits! For me b + w is such a great medium that often adds more depth to a shoot than colour possibly could, it really tells a story. I always think the same when watching an old Hollywood movie which exudes character so effortlessly over its more modern counterparts. So what do you prefer in your photos, colour or the absence of it?
Thank you! I love both. It depends on what I want to tell and what mood I am in and if color doesn't add anything to a scene, I take it out.
Can you name some of the publications you have worked with for any of my readers who aren’t familiar with your work, and are there any magazines you are just dying to work with but haven’t yet?
I have worked for METAL magazine, ENCENS magazine, SILVER magazine, SOME/THINGS magazine, the blog, R mag...

Absolutely adore your shoot for METAL magazine above!
I would love to work with the team who do THE GENTLEWOMAN, FANTASTIC MAN magazines, ACNE PAPER, they have a great sensibility. I love DOUBLE Magazine and DAPPER DAN too.

Where do you find inspiration from on a day-to-day basis?
In my dreams, in the talented people that surround me, in my walks, in the Cinema of Jim Jarmusch or Wim Wenders...
How do you like to spend your days when you are not working?
Going to exhibitions, reading, I used to draw with charcoal, I am trying to find the time to do it again, being with my family, taking care of my 9 months daughter, Anna... and playing on my DS!

Which photographers working today [or no longer with us] are you particularly fond of and why?
Anton Corbijn, Hedi Slimane, Daido Moriyama, Michael Ackerman, Arnaud Pvyka, Alessandra Sanguinetti, Bernard Plossu... they don't give all the keys in their photographs and let YOU interpret them.
If your life were a film it would be?
La Science des Reves de Michel Gondry
A perfect life it seems.
A guilty pleasure you can’t seem to quit?

If I was to gift you a one way ticket to anywhere in the world but you weren’t allowed to return. Where would you choose and why?
Los Angeles; I went there twice when I was living in NY and loved it, I could not see me living there now but later, why not, there are beautiful lights, beach, weather, a lot of things happening but with a slower pace.... so, please hold onto your ticket!

Your ticket will be stored in a safe place, don't you worry. Thanks for the words and the beautiful photography.


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