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Creative Journeys vol. 4: Elle May Watson


Elle Watson is a photographer (@ellemaewatson) whose gorgeous photography has a nostalgic, cinematic quality that transports you to another place and time.  Elle's photos feel like poetry -- the way she captures details quite simply pierce your heart.  Elle recently became a mother and she took some time to chat with us about photography, life off-the-grid, and the juggling act of motherhood.

Where are you at the moment?

On the Sunshine Coast of Australia - actually staying in an Airbnb while our home walls get built!

Your photography is absolutely breathtaking – so alive, poetic, and cinematic – can you take us on your photography journey?  Was it something you went to school for or learned later?

I always wanted to study it; however, I was talked into graphic design when I interviewed at college as it was more “universal”.  But I am actually glad I did study graphic design – it taught me a lot about how to see things just as much as photography! I did start a diploma in photography after studying visual communication, but I ended up dropping out.

Do you have a preferred camera/equipment you like to work with? Do you prefer film or digital?

I prefer digital for convenience, film for the romance and to remain present while shooting -- but I do mostly shoot digital. I mainly use a Nikon D800 or Zfc with 24 or 35 mm lenses. 

Do you have any favorite subjects or moments you love to photograph?

Portraits for sure! Or interactions of all kinds between people -- I really love observing relationships with people and their surroundings…

You have such a beautiful aesthetic – what are some of the things that inspire you the most? Have you always loved old things?

Thank you so much! I have always been interested in history -- it ignites a lot of inspiration.  I'm interested in the human spirit, lineage/how we are all here doing what we do. Spiritual growth is what inspires me the most!!

You and your husband work together through your brand & studio – what is it like collaborating & working together? What’s the best thing and the hardest?

Yes! The best thing is being able to share a creative bond like nothing else – and we always share a sense of accomplishment creatively. The hardest thing would be turning off!!

You recently became a mother – congratulations! How has this new role influenced your work? Any tips on balancing motherhood while finding time to do creative work?

Yes! My biggest blessing & accomplishment is my son, Alaska.  A tip would be to try and find the inner peace to be creative with your children while balancing feelings of responsibility -- I am trying to slow my brain down so I can include him more in my creative process. Sometimes it's hard because I feel like all my attention should just be on him 24/7 and it's easy to feel guilty doing anything else -- but as time goes on I am realizing that's irrational.  Creativity in many ways is something I want to include him in, as he is a part of me and creativity is who I am!

What's coming up for you this year? Where can we find more of your beautiful work?

My photography work is here (some work is there but so much more to add!) And this year I am hoping to teach and share a little more about photography/living off-the-grid/growing your own food --  which is what we are currently doing! 

Follow along Elle’s journey on IG @ellemaewatson

Elle wears the Mirabelle Dress in Dark Floral Mist and Lennox Dress in Wheat