An Interview With… Elizabeth Lim

// Say hello to Elizabeth Lim. She’s a budding photographer and one of the most genuine, quirky, creative, people you’ll ever meet. Last year we crossed paths through our local church and I’ve absolutely adored getting to know her ever since. So much so, that I want you to meet her too! Enjoy this interview with…

DSC_5418AYou’re 17 years young and have already had your work featured in magazines, exhibitions and more. Can you tell us a little about your background and how you became involved in photography?

From a really young age, I’ve always been very creative. When I was about 8 or 9 years old I won a small digital camera at a lucky draw. As I got a bit older and went on school camps, I would take that camera with me and started to enjoy taking photos of the scenery and friends.

Eventually when I was 12 or 13 my parents brought home a DSLR. I thought it was kind of cool but didn’t really think too much about it. I made myself a Flickr account and started posting photos online for my family overseas to see. Things changed a little when I saw the Flickr Explore page (a place where all the best public content of Flickr is displayed). I suddenly realised I could create things with photography and that it could be a real creative outlet. I continued learning different ways of editing, composing, and kept taking photos.

A little later I asked a girl at school if we could do a photo shoot just for fun – we had an awesome time! I posted them on Facebook and people saw, liked and commented on it. I knew from that shoot that this was the kind of direction I wanted to go in. It’s been a couple of years since then and I’ve changed a lot, but I have continued posting things online, submitting photos to magazines, entering competitions, asking people for constructive criticism, trying out new things and learning a lot. I don’t use Flickr much anymore, but it really was where I first discovered how great photography is, along with chatting to people like my Dad, who is also a photographer.

What’s been your favourite image to capture so far and why?

DSC_3598I love this photo that I took of my friend Corinne – it was very spontaneous! I pointed my camera at her and she jokingly curtseyed. I didn’t realise I liked it this much until I got home and looked at it on my computer. I like it because I think it was the first time I had photographed someone as they were. I felt like this image really showed her personality as it was a little candid, and it was something I’d never really done before (intentionally). It also got on to the Flickr Explore page which made me so excited at the time, and her parents asked to have it printed on to a big canvas for their home.

Creativity oozes out of you in your style, Instagram snaps, work, & who you are. What constantly inspires you?

First of all, thank you! I am inspired by a lot of things – in films I’ve watched (Moonrise Kingdom, Into The Wild & Spirited Away are a few of my favourites) and music I listen too.

I love looking at other photographers’ work and getting inspired by things they’ve done. A photographer I’ve recently been inspired by is Annie Leibovitz. I had seen a few of her photos, but didn’t like her that much until my class at school studied her. My Dad actually gave me the book ‘Annie Lebovitz At Work’ and it’s really good! I haven’t finished reading it yet, but I love it already. I love the way she works, and I absolutely love the Rolling Stone cover photo she took of Yoko Ono and John Lennon together. I also really love a photographer called Nirrimi. Her blog is an absolute treat to look at and read.

Outside of photography and study, what else do you love to do?

I like to send snaps to my friends of videos of really mundane things captioned ‘performance art’ on Snapchat, along with really obscure close-ups of random things (Snapchat counts as a hobby, right? Haha). Aside from that I like to draw a lot and always have a sketch book lying around. I like to read blogs and websites. One that I really like is Rookie Mag - they always post really great, clever and relevant content for teen girls. I also enjoy vegetating on the couch while watching a good TV show like Daria or Community (but only sometimes!).

Oh, one thing about me is that I’m not a morning person… So sometimes to wake myself up for a day of school I have what I call a ‘mini dance party’ in my room where I dance ridiculously for about 10 minutes to upbeat music while getting ready. I’m not sure if it works, but it sure is a lot of fun!!

For those who are passionate about photography and interested in pursuing it professionally, what gems of wisdom or encouragement would you give them?

Take lots and lots of photos and don’t be afraid to ask for constructive feedback. Learn from what others tell you about them. Also, don’t be afraid to post your work online! This is a great way to be a part of a community of people who share the same passion as you and to get tips and advice off other creative people.

Another great thing to do is to immerse yourself in a lot of good stuff. By ‘good stuff’ I mean things that you like – movies, music, photos, books, paintings, etc. Figure out what you like about these things and try to apply it to your own work. Doing this has helped me to figure what kind of style I want to develop and what direction I want to go in with my work.



Describe your style in 3 words: candid, emotive and atmospheric

Can’t stop listening too: John Mayer, Chet Faker, Youth Lagoon, Alt-J, Coldplay, Tame Impala, Pond, Last Dinosaurs, Snakadaktal, Taylor Swift’s album Red and Radiohead’s album Kid A.

Favourite Instagram account to follow: @kevinruss – Always lovely photos!

Connect with Elizabeth on: Instagram @elzbthlim | Facebook | Tumblr

All images provided by Elizabeth Lim