Test Shoot: Eliza of Aesthetic Distance

On a regular basis I come in contact with creatives on social media. I love using social media because honestly i can sit still and interact with people around the world while simultaneously eating breakfast. I came in contact with Eliza one day going through my explore page on instagram, i saw a teen vogue esque image and instantly fell in love with the work. Now at the time i was searching for a wardrobe stylist and this is how I met Megan Larkin, and in turn was turned on to Eliza of Aesthetic Distance. I have yet to work with Megan, my fault completely it's one of those things where she's part of Eliza's team so Im on the hunt to search for my own teammate. Seems weird right? Well I feel like creatives will understand where i am coming from. Eliza chose to sit down with me in the hot seat and talk about her photography career and a little about her brand ambassadorship and charity involvement.

 

Syranno: from the outside looking in, If you were a consumer referring yourself to another consumer how would you describe yourself?

Eliza: I would describe Aesthetic Distance as a photographer/creative agency with a focus on girl power, pop culture and fashion.

 

S:  Quite often photographers go with there first and last name and photography or photos following, you chose Aesthetic Distance. Why? Whats the significance?

E: I didn't want to use my own name because I knew I wanted to do more than photography. Aesthetic Distance is about finding beauty in the mundane everyday things.


S: What was your first model experience and how did it change your perspective on your craft?

Maura McNamara of Q Models LA

Maura McNamara of Q Models LA

E: I really had to think about that one because it was a while ago! I think my first model experience was with Sarah Bean. Prior to that, I was shooting friends and family members. After working with Sarah, I realized what an ENORMOUS impact models have on your shoot and your finished photos. She already knew her angles and how to emote on camera. I still directed her the way I directed my previous subjects but she was better able to give me what I was looking for.


S: Your go to stylist is Megan Larkin how did you guys connect? How important is she to your brand aesthetic (no pun intended lol)?

E: My go-to makeup artist, Courtney McCormick, hooked me up with Megan, who is fantastic. Our first shoot together was for my blog editorial, "How to dress for music festivals without looking like a hippie raver disaster." I loved her style and vision and after speaking to her, her ethos was in-line with my brand.

S: "Ethos" Although not a new term is a coined term by youand your brand, how important is this term to you?

E: Very. I won't shoot for or with anyone whose ethos isn't in line with mine. The Aesthetic Distance ethos is all about multi-ethnicity, feminism and social justice through fashion, art and beauty.


S: What is your go to lens for your shoots? Why that lens?

Olivia Miraglia for Red Models NYC

Olivia Miraglia for Red Models NYC

E: The Canon 85 1.2. I rarely open it up to 1.2 and usually keep it around 1.8 for close-ups and 3.5 to 5.6 for full body shots. The 85 is slimming and flattering and it doesn't compress the background the way a wide-angle lens does. I like a lot of separation between my subjects and the background, especially since I do a lot of on-location shoots. That said, if I'm doing headshots or portraits in my studio, I'll use my 35 or my 24-70.
 

S: What was the first camera you picked up and the first thing you ever photographed?

E: My mom taught me to shoot with film on a 35mm Olympus back when I was in elementary school. She taught me about different kinds of film stock depending on the look I wanted. She was quite the shutterbug and I learned about lighting and composition from her. I also had a Polaroid camera as a kid and would take snapshots of my family and our dog with it. I found a box of photos I took back in the day and discovered a ton of photos of myself. I guess I was always into selfies, even as a kid!

 

Felicia Flaherty of CIMA Talent

Felicia Flaherty of CIMA Talent

S: I see you've worked with brands such as Asos, Express, Nasty Gal and Brightside Boutique. How do you come to get commissioned by these brands to create campaigns and for emerging artists what's a piece of advice you'd give when approaching both larger and smaller brands to work with them?

E: Social media is the new resume! I shop at Nasty Gal, Brightside Boutique and Asos a lot and when I first started doing personal outfit posts and styled shoots, I would pull from my own closet and tag the brands on Instagram. As my profile started to grow, the brands started to take notice and since they liked my vibe, they reached out. With Express, I shot for them because they were collaborating with another blogger I know. So it was actually her that got me that particular gig.

S: From what I get from just your bio alone is that you uplift women through your art and you advocate for children through constant support of "We Need Diverse Books" How did the relationship with WNDB come to pass and how deeply does the support go?

E: I have three kids of my own and seeing themselves represented in the books they read is extremely important to me. I found WNDB on Facebook and loved that there was an organization dedicated to teaching children the importance of reading and showing children, especially children in marginalized communities that they are represented. it's something that I didn't have growing up. Every book I read featured white protagonists and it became normal for me to feel excluded. That's not right and I didn't want it for my kids.

 For every paid shoot that I do, I donate a portion of the money to their organization. I've applied to volunteer but they weren't/aren't accepting new people. 


S: You and I had a brief conversation via Instagram about Galore Girl and your position as brand ambassador. I want to ask what direction do you feel Galore Girl can take your brand?

E: We can only wait and see. I'm really excited to see where it goes!


S: Where can people find you to commission you for future work?

E: Everywhere. You can go to my website and email me or you can reach out on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. Tumblr, Snapchat (aesthdistance), Pinterest and YouTube.

Delaney Coyle for Red Models NYC

Delaney Coyle for Red Models NYC