Elyse Bouvier

Elyse Bouvier

When did you get started in photography?

I started in photography, with my first camera, when I was about 8 years old. My father is a photographer so I blame him for my young start! For the longest time I didn't think I want to BE a photographer. I wanted to keep the passion in it and I was afraid if it became my job I would lose that. That didn't last long and after I finished high school I continued to shoot film and fall more in love with photography. Now I wouldn't want to do any other "job."

How do you think your eye has developed over time and how?

My style and eye has changed so much over time, and yet, I think I've always aimed to be true to who I am as a photographer. When I was younger, it was important to explore and push the boundaries of composition and editing. I think I needed to try everything in order to land on what I do now which is much simpler, particularly in editing.

Although, at no time has my style evolved more than in the last year. Being in school again and focussing my time on one longer project, along with the support of my teachers and peers, I feel more confident and sure of my style than ever. I know more about the kind of photographer I want to be. I can't speak highly enough about how influential is has been connecting with other artists and photographers whose work I admire.

You mention that you "know more about the kind of photographer I want to be” — what kind is that? Or what general things does that encompass?

Hm, that’s harder to describe than it is to know. I guess I would say I want to be an honest photographer. I want to be a photographer that shares moments otherwise unseen. I want to be a photographer inspired by the work of others but conscious of what makes me unique — even if that is a bit hard to put my finger on every day. (I feel like you’re going to ask me now, ‘what makes you unique?’ and I would have to say that I am on a constant journey to figure that one out.)

In what way does your environment influence your personal style?

Environment and place has an enormous effect on my personal style. I am far too sentimental to not be influenced by how I feel about a place and the seasons. Being a photographer is all about a conversation with the environment around you. The way I photograph in London is different than the way I photograph in rural Alberta and different than how I photograph where I am now, Toronto, because each of these places speaks to me differently. In my work this summer, I was in small rural towns. Shooting documentary there is different because you stick out more, while in the city you can be a lot more obvious with your camera and still not be noticed. Additionally, I personally have a different relationship with each place I go to that changes how I photograph there.

Favorite time of day:

Coffee time!

Best place to eat in Toronto:

I can't pick one favorite but the last place I ate was an incredible Middle Eastern restaurant on College called The Pomegranate. And my favorite cafe (see previous answer!) is a tossup between Capital Espresso and Boxcar Social. (Sorry if this answer is too long!)

Last song you played:

"John My Beloved" by Sufjan Stevens.

Interview by Jack Sommer

Kevin De Los Santos