Hello, Thank you for joining us at Cxlective HQ today, What is your Name and what are your Creative Mediums?
My name is Tyra-Elise Harris, I am a Fashion/Editorial photographer, Writer and Creative director.
How are you feeling today and What moment has made you happy today?
I am feeling Great today. I have had a productive day. I am feeling accomplished. I have managed to complete a lot of backlogged editing which I’m excited to share!
When you are working with a model you haven’t met /familiar with , how do you prepare for the photoshoot?
When i am working with a model i have not worked with before, i like to ask as many questions as possible i.e
“What’s your inspiration for the photoshoot?”
“How many desired looks do you have?”
“Do you prefer subtle editing or would you like me to have creative freedom?”
“What are your outfit choices?”
I also like to make the model feel comfortable from the offset by suggesting poses that will help them get into the swing of things.Also creating good conversation, Often people say it feels like they are being interviewed, which I love because I like to find out everything I can about the person and their goals and journey.
What has been the proudest moment of your creative journey so far?
My proudest moment has to be being recognised by my work, for example people knowing i took a photograph without even checking, which i absolutely adore as i’ve worked so hard to achieve a distinctive style.
What is your Go To equipments for a photoshoot?
To be completely honest I don’t have a list of equipment, just my camera and vibes. My most favourite shoots are from the times i would just freestyle with just my camera and natural lighting on location.
You Just Finished a Amazing photoshoot, What are the post-production/Editing process like (Things you do to keep motivated or Technical steps) for you to get the desired results?
When I finish a great photoshoot I get so excited! I put my SD card straight into my laptop to see the images on a big screen, I select my favourites, put on a podcast and get started. I find it helpful having a podcast on in the background because I feel like it keeps me engaged with my laptop whilst I’m working. My editing process is so random it’s always different and what I feel in that moment. I start with retouching to get the photos as crisp as possible and then go in with the experimenting with colours, vibrancy, highlights and let the creative flow for the desired look.
When was the time you were faced with a challenging situation on a shoot and how were you able to overcome the situation?
I would say the most challenging time on a shoot would be when my model didn’t show up and i already arrived at the studio so i had to freestyle a whole self portrait on the spot, this was very difficult but in the end i was so pleased with the results, i believe everything really happens for a reason.
How do you keep your creative spark alive and motivated when you are working on a project that is long-term?
This is something I struggle with, sometimes the pressure can get on top of me but I tend to try and reflect as much as possible and remember how much past me wanted this vision to come to life and as hard as it may be I remember it is always worth it.
What was the last song played on your Phone?
The last song i played was – “Medicine” by Green tea peng.
What is your favourite part of photography?
My favourite part has got to be the journey from planning the shoot , shooting then post shoot editing and really seeing what was once an idea become a reality in the form of a photograph.
We love your self – photography series you curate, when working on those projects, how do you approach the balance of being the photographer and the model at the same time?
Thank you! For me this was how I started my photography journey by just setting up a camera and creating a look to shoot on myself as I was too anxious to approach models in the beginning. It is really challenging because you have to wear many hats, you have to be a whole team at once. I also find this quite freeing as you have 100% creative freedom to shoot whatever you like and however you like without the added pressure of expectation, the outcome could be amazing or not what you expected but at least you tried. I feel like when I hold this mindset it keeps me balanced. I just tell myself “create with no limits, nothing is expected”.
A chance to collaborate with any artist / Individual alive or dead, who would it be and why ?
I would definitely have to say Little Simz as I feel like her music has really helped me over the years and through her music we have very similar backgrounds. I love her whole energy she brings to each project she has and I just know we could create something incredible.
Among your creative mediums , what link do you see that connects and compliments each other when you are working on an idea or project?
Writing definitely helps me bring a project to life as often I have created a shoot based off a poem I have written or past journal entry I have written whilst expressing myself. Later then bringing this into a shoot and creating a concept behind it.
If you were only allowed to use one lens for the rest of your life, which one would it be and why?
It would be what I use at the moment is an 18-105mm lens as I can shoot both portraiture and fashion photography and works perfectly for me.
You released your photobook “ A Lotus That Grew In The Mud” First , what was the feeling like at the beginning of creating the book? What special moment happened in the process and how did you feel when it was completed?
When I started “A Lotus that Grew in the mud” I was completely stuck and didn’t know where to start as I had never written a book before, for me I just started to type raw emotions on a page and went from there. A special moment for me was when I took a train to Wales alone with a bag full of shoot accessories and did a shoot in the sea which then became the cover of my book. When I had finished the book I was so proud that I could finally verbalise my brain and the way I feel, although I felt extremely vulnerable putting this out as there are a lot of past traumas, challenges and feelings in there I felt like it was important to fully give people the raw me.
If you had a choice of picking between creating a perfect composition or capturing a perfect moment, which one would it be?
I would have to say catching a perfect moment, i can fix the composition later nothing beats the moment you get a perfect shot.
If you could send a message back in time ,any advice you would give to the 15 year old version of yourself ?
To my 15 year old self – “Keep pushing, it may seem dark and hard for you right now, but please believe you have purpose and you are amazingly talented and you will get recognised for that”
You have been presented with a chance to curate a photo series based on an album, which album are you selecting and how would you capture the Essence of the album visually?
Raveena’s album “ Lucid” would be my choice, i think i would create a whole distorted/dreamy edit, i would use a lot of colours within the location and outfit and have a lot of movement in posing to achieve and express the “lucidness”.
Growing up , Would you say your environment and culture has had an influence on the work you create?
I would say how I grew up. I wasn’t really exposed to my South Asian heritage so I didn’t feel comfortable accentuating that side of my identity whereas now I wholeheartedly bring my culture to light through photographs. This is a major part of my personal growth and loving my identity. It has definitely influenced a lot of my work as I try to bridge the gap between culture, history, identity and modern fashion.
If you could have a superpower to support your photography, what would it be and how would you use it?
My superpower would need to be flying or levitation of some sort so I could literally achieve any angle and height of shot that I like ahah!
Thank you for your time and any message you would like to leave our audience with?
I would like to ask the audience – What traits from your inner child display themselves into your creativity today?