Eleanor Doughty

This is Eleanor Doughty, a lovely lady with an ability to capture the best side of just about anyone in her photographs.

Eleanor is pretty easy to spot: she’s the one who always has a pencil behind her ear. She wants to speak French ‘with a bit of style’ (don’t we all…), and her dream is to be Editor of Vogue. ‘I have massive drive and ambition,’ she says, ‘and I’m working really hard to get to Vogue, it would be my life dream to work there!’ She would also rather like to own a green 1960’s racing Jag – hop in and read more about her below.

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m going to study English Literature in London in September- I’m very excited about this!  I’m left handed (and proud of it) and almost all of the time I have a pencil behind my ear; I feel lost without it.  I use particular pens for shoot planning, they help my flow I think!  I’m a bit superstitious too; I never put new shoes on tables or cross on the stairs, and I’m still scared of the dark!  I have a big love for shoes, men’s and women’s and I think that I notice shoes first on people the first time I meet them!  I have a really lovely collection of cameras; they’re all used for different projects and ideas but sometimes I like to mix and match!  My favourite is my Hasselblad, it makes the most satisfying sound when I take a photograph.

What are your inspirations?

Lots of photographers in my field and position give similar answers to these questions, stating their inspirations to be the same again and again.  Of course, I am inspired by the beautiful work of David Hamilton and Sally Mann due to the natural beauty that shines through every image, but I am more inspired by words and phrases as I am also a writer.  Sometimes when I’ve got my team booked for a shoot and I’ve got beautiful models but no theme yet, I look through poetry books and put my favourite music on- this inspires me more than looking at someone else’s work.  I like to think about a key phrase or lyric if I’ve been inspired by a song, and stretch it out until I’ve got a really beautiful idea in mind.  Even walking home sometimes I see things that inspire me, I’ll see a skip on the street and think, ‘there’s so much I could do with that’, but often I don’t shoot every idea that comes to mind.

A shot from Eleanor's favourite photo shoot to-date

What is your favourite piece of work you have produced?

At the end of most shoots when I am choosing images to publish or send away for publication, I think that this shoot was my favourite, and then there will be a favourite image within the collection.  My favourite shoot yet, I think, was on 30th December 2010- I was feeling deathly ill and it was freezing and super foggy, but the light and colours of the model’s hair and clothes she’d brought with her were wonderful.  Everything about it is what I imagined it would be, so I think that’s probably my favourite!    The other image I have enclosed is from my second favourite shoot I think – although the day itself was a nightmare, I love the finished product so much that it made it all worth it!

Who is your favourite ‘creative’ in your chosen field?

Just paw-fect...

I don’t have a favourite photographer anymore as my inspirations come from lots of different things so it would be hard to pinpoint one.  That said, I could look through a Cecil Beaton book everyday and still love every shot, so maybe Cecil Beaton is my favourite photographer.  Books are my favourite things, I love Oscar Wilde’s work and I’ll always love Jane Austen and Nancy Mitford.  I like reading about society and people – people are very interesting and I think that is why I am a photographer; I just like photographing people and their particular quirks!

Visit Eleanor’s website, and look at her Slightly Underdressed blog. Tweet her: @BrushingBoots.

All images © Eleanor Doughty. To view the images in clearer detail, click on them.

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