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Meet Ellis Au

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ellis Au.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
My medium wasn’t always photography. I started my creative ventures in audio. First, as a DJ, and eventually a sound engineer. I completed a degree in radio-television from San Francisco State University in 2005 but was unable to find the right career path. So, I wandered around different jobs for a while. I did AV for hotels, fixed coffee machines, managed national inventory for a major brand, and worked at a gym.

In 2008, I was given a tour of a major retailer’s in-house photography studio. The organized chaos reminded me of what I loved about production. So, I started from the bottom, learning everything I could from assisting on any photo shoot that would hire me. However, it was the recession with limited jobs and opportunities. Fortunately, my naiveness thought it was all part me being green and I kept going.

It wasn’t until 2013 that I started intentionally developing my fashion and portraiture aesthetic. I didn’t go to school for photography, so I never had the student environment or resources to utilize and experiment with. I was terrified I would fail miserably even before I started. Through much trials and challenges, I inched forward with every experiment, connection, and resources I gained with each project.

February 2017, I relocated into Los Angeles for a bigger pond to grow in. I’m excited about the energy, the talent, and the resources offered by the town.

Nothing just “happened” or was “lucky” for me. It’s been a culmination of being prepared and inching forward. Every opportunity, person, and network you come across requires work, experience, and hustle for it to fit at the time it’s presented.

Please tell us about your art.
My primary genre is fashion, portraiture, and fine art photography. I use a combination of digital, film, natural, and studio lighting depending on the look and story I’m trying to achieve.

Women are my current subject of interest. I’m fascinated with their beauty, complexity, and range of expressions they’re able to produce. This allows me to collaborate with my subjects to create characters and draw out a breadth of expression that I capture in imagery.

The ultimate goal for my photography is to create something where the viewer is enticed to look more than once. I believe this is an incredible feat in the era of fleeting social media and short attention spans.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
I define success simply as having the means to support the things you love.

Furthermore, I believe success within art is defining your point of view and being recognized for it.

Qualities I feel are essential to success as an artist are:
– Perseverance and patience: Because you’ll want to quit, especially when things don’t happen soon enough.
– Flexibility: In order to adapt to change, and to be open to things outside of your normal realm.
– Integrity: Because you should do the right thing, always.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Current work can be seen on my website and Instagram.

People can support my work by simply connecting or following! I’m always looking for talent and creatives to artistically collaborate with. I’m also available for commissions for cool brands and interesting causes.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Profile photo by Ken Brown, Berit Birkeland of Wilhelmina LA, Madeline Houk, Felicia McPhee, Amanda Pacheco of Stars Management, Sydnie Miller of Scout Model Agency, Muirina Fae, Lauren Fanella, Jayna McGeHee

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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