Our next interview is with Ellie Bobbie. Born in Paraguay, but now based on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Ellie specialises in both photography and videography mediums. We were lucky enough to ask her a few questions about her travels, what she's currently shooting with and plenty more. Enjoy.
Hey Ellie! Thanks for agreeing to this little interview with us, stoked to have you onboard. Let’s get into it shall we – where abouts are you originally from, where are you based now, and how was your passion for photography/videography born?
Haha the tricky question always. I was born in Paraguay which is located in the heart of South America. I spent most of my life there. My mum is spanish, so I also lived in Spain as a child and then later on as an adult. I am now based on the Northern Beaches of Sydney and have been here for 7 years. I always liked photography as a child. My dad is a doctor and he used to travel a lot for work and take tons of pictures that I would excitedly wait to see. But I think the fire passion started back in 2010 when I left home. While travelling I wanted my family and friends to see the world through my eyes and what I was up to, so I started taking tons of pictures. That’s when I realised that what I wanted to do as a career was photography. Videography is a fairly new passion that started a couple years ago, but to be honest I am liking it even more and more each day. I think it started while watching surf movies/short films and then going out to take photos in the ocean, swimming under waves and wanting to really capture those moments in motion.
We note you are very well travelled, do you have a favourite place you’ve visited and why?
Yes I have so many favourites I couldn’t even fit them all in here. Indonesia, Morocco, Curaçao, Peru, Sri Lanka, Galápagos are some of them based on the people, food, waves, landscapes and wildlife. Those are all beach destinations but I also love the mountains! Baqueira in Spain and the French Alps are some of my favourites. I lived in the French Alps for 9 months in my early 20’s while working at a ski chalet and instantly fell in love with the place. There is just something so humbling and special about mountain life, I think many would agree.
Have you got any favourite female surfers, photographers or videographers that you draw inspiration from?
Yes. I have a few: Amber Mozo, Maria Fernanda, Sarah Lee, Amber Jones, Brooke Berry. But Miss Cait aka Cait Miers is one of my all time favourite female creators in the industry. I love that she’s all about encouraging and empowering women to chase their dreams. I was lucky enough to meet her and learn from her last year at the Creative Flow workshop at Tallala Wellness Retreat in Sri Lanka. Needless to mention I had a long list of questions for her that she patiently answered :D Favourite female surfers? Leah Dawson, Belinda Baggs and Stephanie Gilmore I love what they stand for and they are also so stylish it’s fun watching them surf. Another favourite is Bethany Hamilton. Talk about determination and never giving up Bethany is a clear example of that and a great role model for the younger generation.
What are you shooting with at the moment? Do you have a preference between shooting photo or video?
I shoot with Canon and Sony. Canon 6D with 50 mm 1.4 and 70-200 2.8 for on land, in the water I shoot with Sony a6500 + 19 mm f2.8 + 35 mm f2.8 + 16 mm f2.8 and fisheye adapter. I use Salty Surf Housings + 8 inch dome port or flat port depending on lens and type of shoot. Mavic Air for aerial.
Hmmm. They are similar but very different. And although my background is photography mostly, I have been enjoying making videos more lately.
I feel videography requires a lot more detailed planning and preparation compared to photography. When you start a new project, how does this process differ and do you get a say in most briefs, or do you stick strictly to what the client is asking?
Yes I think so too. Videography requires a lot more planning and it can take quite some time. Pre-production is vital so that everyone involved in the shoot is on the same page and also to ensure a smooth and successful outcome with a clear message to the viewer.
I treat my personal projects different to my work. And when it comes to work it always depends on the client. Although many clients are very strict with what they want, there are also some who give you creative freedom and are open to your suggestions. But in the end it’s all about keeping the client happy and satisfied with the outcome.
What do you like doing in your spare time when you’re not shooting?
If I am not working on my personal projects, you'll find me surfing perfect peeling right-handers on my longboard with my girl friends (I wish.. it's more like forever searching for them here in Sydney :P ) and snorkelling. I love to just go out and swim and watch the marine life.
What’s a career highlight for you so far?
I got to live in Indonesia for a year recently. I originally moved there for a job which came up at the perfect time in my life, when I needed a break from the hustle and bustle of Sydney life. Also got to do photography/video work for a surf camp in Java and a womens retreat in Egypt later in the year. To be able to combine both my passions, photography and travel, is something I consider a highlight in itself as it can easily be taken for granted. I feel very grateful to have been able to do that for work last year and I will continue to thrive for this in the future.
What advice would you give to women starting out in the photography or videography industry?
Try it all out until you find what you like and then focus on that. Both photography and videography are a never ending learning process and that can sometimes feel overwhelming but don’t give up! This industry can have so many up and downs but it’s normal and you are not alone :) Don’t be scared to reach out to whoever you look up to. Yes it is a very competitive industry but there are also a lot of people out there who are willing to help out :)
Plans for 2020?
Well haha. I feel like my plans have changed now same as everyone elses. 2020 is a year that’s hard to plan at this stage. I am just taking it day by day and trying to keep positive while building and improving my skills in the meantime. I would eventually like to go back to Indo at some point in the year.