Saturday, February 12, 2011

Feature Interview - Imagination Land: Ingrid Endel

Next interview up is with the amazing and imaginative Ingrid, check it out...
1. Fill me in on your background, where are you from and how did you get in to photography?

I live in Brisbane, Australia. I developed a fascination for photography a couple of years ago during a difficult time. I had just started taking dance classes again when after a few weeks I re-dislocated my knee and was told to just stop altogether until I got a knee reconstruction. I was left feeling depressed and without a creative outlet until I found Flickr and Rosie Hardy’s work. I don’t even remember how I stumbled upon the place, but I was instantly intrigued and amazed; I was clueless as to how she made such beautiful images. So I decided to pick up photography as merely a hobby. Over one year later, and it has become so much more.

2. Who has influenced you the most in terms of photography?

I’ve had so many influences over the years so it’s difficult to pick just one. In terms of other photographers, it would have to be Brooke Shaden. Her work is otherworldy, dark and unlike anything I’ve seen before. Every pixel of her photos has a meaning and she has pushed the boundaries of the art form like no other. I’m also influenced by dance and movement in general – from the choreography to its execution. I particularly love Dana Metz and Dee Caspary’s work, and the way Ida Saki connects to music.

the great escape
3. What is your favourite style of photography (Self portraiture? Fashion? Documentary)?

I like almost all styles of photography. At the moment my main interest lies with self-portraiture since it is what I do, and I love seeing how others use themselves to bring concepts alive. Usually anything with people will catch my eye as each photographer can capture a different quality in a person and in particular, documentary and street photography for they are raw and uncontrived. Landscapes are another favourite as I love nature and its untouched beauty.

in darkness

4. What is your process when taking photo's, from getting ideas to editing?

It varies. Sometimes I’d build a concept around a prop I found at home, or one that is either cheap or easily accessible. Other times I would scout for a location and go from there. Inspiration would come at the strangest times, and when it does, I can visualize the exact image I want to produce, and then progress onto making minor tweaks. I used to not sketch out ideas, but after forgetting quite a few, I’ve started to put them on paper. Then it’s onto 1-2 hours of shooting followed by a good couple of hours of editing, depending on the image.

5. What are your tools of the trade?

I use a Canon 450D, 50mm f/1.8, natural lighting, Photoshop CS3, a step ladder, a freshly broken tripod and on rare occasions I’d whip out the 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens. Oh and most importantly, insect repellent! Everywhere I go is swarming with mosquitoes and all other kinds of insects; I don't know what I'd do without it.


6. Where do you hope to go with your photography?

I just hope to keep going with photography in general while exploring different styles, and gain as much knowledge and experience as possible. There are so many aspects that I am yet to delve into, and at times I feel like I am missing out on so much.

7. Why do you think people are drawn to fashion photography?

It’s glamorous and idealistic, from the clothes to the models. I think we’re naturally drawn to pretty things, and sometimes, in our day-to-day lives, the idea of something that is close to perfection can be a welcomed escape.

mobile oxygen

8. What draws you to a particular model? What do you look for in a model?

Besides taking simple portraits of friends, I’ve never worked with a model for any of my conceptual photos. If I was to shoot with a model (and I hope to in the future), I would look for one who has a solid dance background and can therefore still manipulate their body. They would also have to be someone that is easy to work with.

last remnants
9. Who are some other photographers you admire?

In no particular order: Kirsty Mitchell, Leah Johnston, Rosie Hardy, Helen Warner (airgarten) , Brooke Shaden, Rodney Smith, Sally Mann, Benoit Paille, L.J., and so many more.

If I lay here

10. What is your best tip to taking a striking photo?

Make sure you have a solid concept or meaning behind your photo before you set out to shoot. Be prepared to explain its meaning to strangers and do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.

11. Your photos seem to incorporate your surroundings and the elements, is this a big part of your style?

Very much so. I’m intrigued by the relationship humans have with nature, from the basic reliance and the struggle to the similarities between the life cycles. There’s that, and the fact that I do not have access to indoor spaces that are large enough with adequate lighting.

resilience II

12. What is your favourite photo taken by another photographer?

расскажи мне сказку....

To me, the photo represents yin and yang, and I often find myself revisiting it. Put simply, it has everything I look for in a photo.

13. What is your favourite photo you have taken?


A difficult question, but right now it would have to be this one. Looking back, I’d say it was my ‘breakthrough’ towards producing the kinds of photos I am at the moment.

14. What are some of your favourite films, books and musicians?

Films: Memoirs of a Geisha, The Shawshank Redemption, Fight Club, The Freedom Writers, the LOTR trilogy, Band of Brothers..

Books: the Harry Potter series, Wild Swans, Cat’s Cradle, Never Let Me Go, Fight Club…

Musicians, James Vincent McMorrow, Ray LaMontagne, Cat Power, Michael Jackson, Adele, Band of Horses, Corinne Bailey Rae, Bon Iver, Lykke Li…

15. What has been your biggest achievement so far with your photography?

When people tell me that I have inspired them in some way; it’s one of the greatest compliments to receive (IMO).

16. Do you think it’s hard to be original in photography? How do you keep your ideas original and fresh?

It’s downright impossible to be 100% original with anything these days. But in saying that, we take aspects from millions of sources; everything we are exposed to gets ingrained and processed in our brains, and somehow, all those snippets of information are rearranged to form into something ‘new’. I just do what feels right and I think the combination of self-portraiture, dance and nature is somewhat unique. I’m a visual/kinesthetic person, so I see everything in moving images. Sometimes I feel my head getting ‘clogged’ with these so I just try to get them out whenever I have the opportunity. I try not to deliberately base my photos on others, but rather, wait for the images to come to me.

17. Which photographer do you think I should interview next and why?

She sleeps until the snow falls...

Helen Warner. Her photos are fantasies with a dark twist, and just downright magical.

18. Do you often change a lot of the original photo in Photoshop?

A lot of the time, yes.

ring the alarm

19. Do you think you have an original style that is you own?

I feel like I might be getting there, now that I’m applying dance to self-portraits. Then again, I’m still in the exploration phase so I’m not overly concerned about attaining a unique style. That’s usually the last thing on my mind.

20. Do you prefer studio or location?

I can’t pick as I have not used a studio before. However, I can see the pros and cons of both. Right now, I much prefer outdoor locations.

21. Tell us about the 52 week project?

It’s similar to the 365 project, but more achievable in the sense that it is only one photo a week for a year.

22. Give us the skinny, what's the next big project you've got coming up?

I have plans on creating a short film that will basically bring to life one of my future photos. It will be a combination of dance, nature and fantasy, and depict a struggle. It's so vivid in my mind so it's now just a matter of saving up money to hire the equipment and finding the time to do it.

23. Which actor would play you in the film of your life?

Ummm, Ellen Page?

24. What did you want to grow up to be when you were a kid?

I’ve always wanted to be a ballerina but as I grew older I realised I did not have the correct body type. From there I would go through phases: one day I wanted to be a hair stylist (when I figured out how to do my own hair), another it would be a teacher, and at the peak of her career I wanted to be a performer like Britney Spears (hahaha). There are more and honestly, far too many to list. I was a dreamer, and still am.I’ve had so many influences over the years so it’s difficult to pick just one. In terms of other photographers, it would have to be Brooke Shaden. Her work is otherworldy, dark and unlike anything I’ve seen before. Every pixel of her photos has a meaning and she has pushed the boundaries of the art form like no other. I’m also influenced by dance and movement in general – from the choreography to its execution. I particularly love Dana Metz and Dee Caspary’s work, and the way Ida Saki connects to music.

last breath

Thank you Ingrid :)

See more of Ingrid's work here



  1. Loved this! A quick read but full of interesting insight and populated with gorgeous imagery! I'd not heard of Ingrid before so thanks for bringing her to my attention. Just the other day I came across Miss Aniela's book on self-portraiture in Waterstones and, on a dangerous whim because I'd just been made redundant, I bought it.

    I'm the biggest sceptic, atheist, non-believer in mystical and magical things going, but even I'm beginning to suspect someone is telling me self-portraiture is something I need to explore.

  2. Great post Alex. I love checking out your interviews! Inspirational stuff!

  3. I don't get what's so special about these photos. Many young girls are doing these sort of self portraits all over Flickr and these photos are not original and look just like everyone else's... including mine! - Even though I started way before everyone else! I suggest you take a look at my portfolio and then you can see what proper self-portraits really look like.
    IMO these photos arn't actually that good, considerding there's not much going on in her photos nor is the editing good - she does it way over the top!
    Yes, she certainly does have an interesting background of being a ex-ballet-dancer but doesn't mean her photography should be that appreciated because of this.
    Maybe I should break my own knee, quit photography and start making films, and see what a great reaction I'll get. :/