What sets creative individuals apart from others is that they choose to elevate what is simply beautiful into something intriguing. Beauty is all around us and artists assemble elements in a manner that magnifies them. Fashion is as based more in attitude and innovation than its base materials. Models becomes famous for the personality they convey rather than aesthetics. A photographer has the insight to see and capture the precise vantage that aligns visual elements to manifest emotion. Photographers like Annie Liebovitz, Peter Lindberg, and Ellen von Unwerth are closely associated with publications such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Allure, and Rolling Stone, attesting to the symbiotic relationship of fashion/lifestyle publications and the talented people who prove that there’s a vast expanse between taking a great photo and creating a moment which commands your attention. Known for her work with these types of publications, photographer Ella DeGea relates, “Magazines like Vogue and Vanity Fair usually seek photographers out with pre-determined ideas and with fairly strict guidelines. Yet, they also reach out to photographers for their style, dependent on what they are looking for. In my experience, this relationship has always been pretty open and without too many constraints as long as it fits the overall look and feel of the magazine.”
DeGea is known for bringing her style to both print and online magazines in the fashion and lifestyle arena. Imagery is now ubiquitous in a way that seems previously unimaginable. From social media to emoticons, visual content means both “more” and “less” at the same time. Possessing a unique yet malleable style in creating/capturing images has made photographers like Ella sought after while simultaneously challenging them to stand out amidst the din. The pace of content which companies and publications desire moves at a much quicker pace these days. These established entities are unwilling to sacrifice and utilize anyone less than exemplary in creating this. In a shoot for Elegant magazine that took place in California’s Joshua Tree National Park, model Jaenna Wessling states, “I wanted to work with Ella for a long time. Lighting is one of her trademarks and I knew that it would be showcased well in this desert setting. You can see her positivity and energy in the final shots.” DeGea did the obligatory preproduction work, designing a western themed approach with a high fashion sensibility. Joshua Tree can be brutal in terms of weather, perhaps adding to the attractiveness of its beauty. Even though mother nature changed the lighting design by sending clouds, Elegant was ecstatic about the photos and featured them in the September 2018 issue. The photographer relates, “It’s always good to challenge yourself, even if it’s a style you have a hard time relating to and the conditions aren’t in your favor. It’s what teaches you to shoot almost anything and excel at it, no matter what. It’s these kinds of shoots that really diversify you as a photographer which I think help with obtaining work long term. I had a really good time with this shoot and loved the team.”
Digital and print publication Grumpy covers celebrities, lifestyle, and fashion. Ranging from actors like Ajiona Alexus to music group The Driver Era to fashion designers and models, Grumpy is known for its exceptional visual style. It presents a variety of editorials rather than focusing only on fashion but definitely is inclined to a modern visual appeal. For the magazine’s Summer 2018 issue (№11), Ella shot in Beverly Hills with a feminine, colorful flower theme. Producer Karen Yeh declares, “Ella was such a dream to work with! Not only is she incredibly professional; her creativity, love for her craft and downright gorgeous retouching made our experience together really special. Every time I approach her with an idea she rolls with it, no matter how unusual. I’m so happy we were able to create some magic together.”
Ella DeGea’s work with these magazines and others such as Archive and brands like Loomup Ranch Wear continues to vet her as one of the most exciting photographers whose work easily transfers to almost any subject. Print may be giving way to online publications and promotion but the need for an artist such as DeGea is more necessary now than ever.