5 Minutes with a ViewPoint Member An Interview with Lynn Ellis by Madison Bragg, August 2016
Madison: You were a business owner and a dentist in the past. Can you describe how being a self starter influences your lifestyle as a photographer?
Lynn:Actually my interest in photography preceded my career in dentistry. I think my camera has been my way of expressing myself on a deep emotional level. It has been a vital outlet throughout my career and motherhood.
Madison: Being a business owner, you were a leader for the employees who worked beneath you. How do you think your leadership qualities affect the way you approach getting out there and photographing?
Lynn:I think leadership and independence go hand in hand. I my photographic practice is to go out to very isolated places … an unusual activity for anyone… and work. I have always been curious and independent and I think these both have contributed to my leadership skills.
Madison: Do you ever wonder what your life would have been like if you had always been a photographer?
Lynn:Yes, I do wonder that. I get so much enjoyment out of photography. It would have been a very different path for me. I’d have surrounded myself with other creatives and it would have brought out different parts of my personality.
Madison: Your recent work is reflective of the Maritimes?
Lynn:My photographic practice is to approach landscape (or any other subject matter) without expectation and to shoot from a subconscious place. Images present themselves to me that reflect my deep subconscious, feels and emotions that lie deep within. I allow the landscape to have a conversation with me, a conversation that continues when I download, print and view images. Landscape is only one way to do this practice. It works for me presently, the ever changing fogs, mists, water, reflections etc are an abundant source of raw material that I use in satisfying my subconscious emotionally.
Madison: Would you say that your immediate surroundings is your favourite thing to photograph?
Lynn:I found the whole world interesting. However, landscape changes constantly and yet doesn’t move. It seems to challenge me as nothing else right now and I am able to draw from it elements that reflect my deep inner self.
Madison: When you began photographing, did you have someone you looked up to in the arts? What kind of influence did you have for your work?
Lynn:I have had many influences, mentors, favourites. Eddies Soloway’s landscape work is magical, Cig Harvey’s personal photographic work is very inspirational, Howard Greenburg, not a photographer but a painter, pushed me to discover the narrative behind my work, Scott Fuller, my present mentor, pushing me to excellence. There are many more.
Madison: How has being a member of ViewPoint Gallery helped you in producing work?
Lynn:Seeing so much excellent work at ViewPoint has inspired me greatly. I love Roxanne Smith’s work and the mystery in it. Eric Boutilier-Brown’s commitment to excellence has also had a positive effect. I am extremely happy to be part of the gallery.
Madison: Do you ever photograph in the city?
Lynn:No. You know it’s an hour away, and I haven’t really done that. I haven’t done a lot of street photography – it’s just not that accessible to me.
Madison: How did you discover your love for photography?
Lynn:My father loved photography. He was supposed to have a job with the national film board but my mother refused to move to Ottawa. But he always had a camera on him. He died when I was twenty-two, but I just fell in love with it. I liked that practice of going out and shooting in the middle of nowhere.
Madison: What was your first camera?
Lynn:It was an SLR. The first really good camera was the Minolta. But I had this cheaper camera and I always had an SLR. I use to have my own dark room and would process my own stuff. I tried to process my own colour but processing colour is very hard so I mostly did colour slides. And I used to photograph at university because we had to document our own cases.
Madison: 5 quick questions…
Favourite movie?Lost in Translation Vacation destination of choice? Venice, Italy Coffee or water?Coffee!! Favourite artist? Casper David Friedrich Favourite decade?Right now.