Originally from Cameroon, Arnaud Ele has lived in Switzerland for more than ten years now, where he studied film and movie-making at the Geneva Film School. Arnaud became known not only for his fashion photography, but also for his documentary series in Switzerland and Cameroon, as well as his many video collaborations with artists, singers and dancers from the art scene in Switzerland. His work reaches over thousands of followers on social media where we can see him always involved in new creative projects.
So it all started with the cinema?
My love for cinema comes from my childhood. Cinema has had one of the biggest influences on me. When I was a kid, I liked everything that was visual. I spent more time in front of the TV than any other kid around me.
When did you start shootings? And why?
I already had camera as child’s play. You remember, those cameras that got twelve scenes… you click, look through it and you see a photograph. I was fascinated by this object. Maybe I became familiar with the tool at that age. During my film-making studies in Geneva, we had a photography course. The camera came back in my hands and I naturally started to take pictures everyday.
What is the photography style you enjoy to shoot the most?
I don’t have photography style I enjoy the most. I believe in situations and therefore depict the emotions that those situations brings to me. The photography style comes out of the context.
What’s your opinion about being a photographer nowadays? Would you like to do it in another decade?
We are in a visual decade. Pictures are part of our everyday life. Scrolling became an habit and images a medium which is everywhere around us. Globalization got an effect on creation. I think that the biggest challenge that we are facing nowadays – and every creative – is the social media influence interfering with the creative process and photographer’s identity. It is important to keep distance with the trends. Consuming this huge data with your fingers can sometimes take the photographer DNA away.
I am happy with my decade! I am a product of my time and if I wouldn’t have my path, I will be another person and I wouldn’t do what I do.
Many of your photos have a strong movement, it reminds a sense of abstract art. Is there anything specific you try to transmit?
Every shoot is an encounter, an action on a specific moment, a scene. I aim to disrupt the poses of the person in front of me, from the natural to the unreal. I push the model to its boundaries to create a move or a series of movement to capture. It is like a geography of the body; let the body create its inner sculpture.
Last but not least, could you recommend us your 5 favorite Instagram accounts?
My partner in life and creation, the designer and art director Laura Knoops — @knoops
The stylists with whom I collaborate:
Roxane Mercerat — @roxanemercerat
Rudolf Packevics — @packevics
Friend and talented sound wizard, Iya ko — @iya__ko
Musician I admire with a 70’s rock and retro feel, Tess Parks — @iamtessparks