Meet the Artist: Ellie Caroline

Get a glimpse behind the photography created by our first Artist in our Art Pop-Up Series! Ellie Caroline (also my sister!) studied photography in college and has since gone on to pursue her passion for photography as her career. One of her pieces (available in our pop-up, here) was most recently recognized as “Best in Show” at the Young Contemporaries exhibition at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art. Get to know her in our Q&A below!

M: What inspired your still life series:

E: I started the series both out of necessity and as another series came to a close. I got to a point in my work where no one was telling me what to do in the form of assignments or  commissions and I wasn’t certain where to turn. After some very wise words from a former professor, Michelle VanParys, I dove into researching artists work like Irving Penn, Laura Letinsky, and Jamie Beck. I think having some specific parameters narrowed my focus enough so I could make brand new work in a field I’d never explored or ever wanted to.  
My MO is to make images that make the viewer do a double take and then see something new every time they walk by. I always use objects that are mundane or even nostalgic to find some magic in the monotony. Some sort of tension, like an apple on the edge of the table, helps drive that odd paradox between the mundane and magical. 

M: What advice would you give someone just starting out a photography hobby (or career path!)?

E: Wow! Ask me in 10 years? I hope I always feel like I’m just starting out.
One thing I learned very quickly is to photograph the subject matter that I wasn’t interested in. Luckily, I had peers and professors that forced me to make those pictures no matter how bad they were going to be. That discomfort of showing work I didn’t want to make led to some of my favorite pieces! 

M: Are you working on a new series? 

E: Yes! I’m in the brainstorming and research phase but I think I'll continue making still lifes – they might just be a touch different. 

M: What are your favorite Lettermade linen styles?

E: Easy, but it’s a toss up between a 6x9 cocktail nap with the “Ellie” monogram (duh!), RBG, or BOOM BAM POW!

M: You live in such a fun city! What are your top 3 favorite places to eat in Charleston for anyone traveling there soon?

E: Butcher and Bee for interesting Mediterranean food, Leon's for casual southern fare, and Purlieu for all of the things, hands down. You really can’t go wrong here though, just get ready to wear joggers on the latter half of your trip!

M: Favorite show to binge on Netflix:

E: As Grace always has a satisfyingly starched collar and Frankie is who I want to be when I grow up, Grace & Frankie is my go-to!

M: Having friends over...what's your go-to party appetizer?

E: Lately, the excellent charcuterie board you made for New Year’s Eve! It has inspired many a trip to Goat. Sheep. Cow. here in Charleston.

M: Dinner party music...give us your Spotify playlist go-to artists.

E: Honestly, I’ll play one of the dinner party playlists on Spotify BUT I’m a huge fan of Maggie Rogers, Susto, and LÉON right now so they’re always queued.