Aileen Estrada is a student photographer living in Montreal, Canada. She blogs here, tweets here and you can check out her mad style here! We don’t wanna give too much away so read our interview with her below.
How did you get into photography?
I’ve been taking pictures for as long as I can remember, and when I graduated high school I asked for my very own SLR camera. It just kind of grew from there. I started taking photos to document my fashion inspirations and was posting them on my blog and on Lookbook. Then I decided to expand my knowledge and took both darkroom photography and digital photography in college.
How would you describe your own work?
I tend to get angry when I try to express myself with other forms of art like painting or making music or something because I’m not really that good at it and can’t get my feelings across properly. But with my photography and self portraits, I can successfully release things that would have otherwise been kept inside, by creating a scene or bringing to life images I held in my mind. Therefore, my work really varies, as it reflects the way I’m feeling at that moment. I’d say they also mirror my interests, like cluttered atmospheres and soft dreamy auras.
What/who would you cite as major artistic influences on your work?
I enjoy the work of Petra Collins, because her stuff has such a wistful feminine charm, and she is also my age so it allows me to relate to the issues and concepts she portrays in her photographs. I also like Nan Goldin, for the raw intimacy her images display. I think it’s also her form of photographing her subjects that I admire, how she simply photographs as she experiences, and the camera is her eye. It really reflects in the honesty of her work.
Do you set down any rules for your work? Or do you just “go with the flow”?
Not at all. I believe as long as you have somewhat of an “eye” for photography and good composition, then you should just photograph whatever you like. I usually photograph something after looking at it and thinking “that would look lovely frozen.”
You also write stories. Do you find that there is some overlap between your writing and your photography?
Not with my stories in particular, but I do think up narratives to my photos pretty often. If, for example, I visited the places where my fictional works took place, then I’m pretty sure I’d go camera happy, snapping away. Montreal is also a great city, though. But sadly I don’t live in the heart of it, and my town is a bit drab. Sorry, now I’ve strayed from the question.
What kind of narratives do you try to create in your photographs?
I always try and give my photographs some sort of mood or atmosphere. I think photos should tell stories. At least, that’s what I try to accomplish with mine. I always photograph whenever I’m inspired by something, whether it be a movie, a song, or I’m just feeling particularly creative because something recently happened to me. I think that shows through my photographs.
Interview conducted by Kay Walker, images (c) Aileen Estrada