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Courtney Eldridge

Featured Artist: Cecilia Majzoub

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Name: Cecilia Majzoub

Age: 19

Hometown: San Francisco, California
Current town: San Francisco, California

Film and/or Digital:
It truly depends on the task at hand. The reliability and instantaneous product of digital is very comforting. On a more personal level, I have such a love for film. It comes off very honest. Creating light leaks is something I love to do as well. Even though the looks of film can be recreated in photoshop, it is just not the same, it does not feel as pure.

First camera:
When I reached senior year in high school, I bought myself a Diana Mini. That was probably one of the best decisions I made. I learned how I wanted to frame photos before I did anything on the technical side, since Diana’s are essentially point and shoot film cameras. Using film also taught me to be more choosy in what I decided to photograph.

Current camera:
I have quite a few, but I certainly favor some over others! For digital I use my Canon 500D, with my favored 50mm f/1.8 lens. Depending on what I’m shooting when using film, I use either my Yashica Electro 35 or my Canon AE-1. I only use the AE-1 when I shoot color, because the light leaks are so perfect, they’re something I strive for in a lot of my work. The Yashica I actually picked up at a Goodwill store here in San Francisco; I bought it for only $13. I use it only when I shoot black and white; I especially love Ilford HP5 film. Also, I just invested in a Canon Elan 7, which I’m excited to start using!

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How long have you been taking photographs?
I only started taking photography more seriously my senior year in high school, so about 2009. I was set on heading into the fashion industry or illustration, but I decided otherwise and I could not have chosen a better path.

Thoughts about first images ever taken, describe them?
The first shots I took with the Diana Mini are some of my favorites. There is such an innocence to those photographs. I didn’t have too much of a thought process, I just shot what I saw because I liked what was in front of me, and for no other reason. I do not feel as though you need an emotional rationale for capturing an image. Just shoot what you want to shoot because you want to shoot it. Shoot for yourself and no one else.

What do you see when you look at your work now?
For one, I see how much I’ve grown. I feel as though you do not truly understand or appreciate an image until you understand what goes into creating it. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it’s interesting to think about. Previous to becoming more knowledgeable about the field of photography, I was much more likely to see any image and think it was great. Now that I have familiarity with photography, I’ve become a lot more particular on what images I enjoy, and what I do not necessarily enjoy on the same level.

What do you hope others will see, if anything? Their experience?
I hope that others just enjoy the visual pieces I create. What they want to take from the experience is their decision.

What do you look for in an image? What makes a great photograph for you?
I feel that there is a line between enjoying a photograph and appreciating a photograph. For a image to catch my attention and have me call it “great,” I have to not only appreciate it for what it is, but enjoy it on a personal level as well. When I see an image and it feels as if there was much care and thought put into it, I instantaneously feel as though it is a “great” image.

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Favorite artists?
Ryan McGinley is beyond brilliant. He was the first photographer who justified my urge to become a photographer myself. Jack Toohey was also a huge influence on me. I discovered his work along with Rory Cole and Maxwell Tomlinson’s through Flickr, all of which pushed my curiosity in creating images for myself. More recently, Leif Podhajsky’s work motivated me to start creating symmetrical imagery, which triggered my desire to start producing collages. Neil Krug has of late become one of my favorites as well. His images are flawless, there is no other way to describe his work.

Favorite places online?
Tumblr is a constant source of inspiration. It’s a great place to see tons of images very quickly. Flickr is also another respectable site because you can find fantastic young talent. The Berrics has recently become one of my very favorites though. The Berrics is a skateboard haven created by pro skaters Eric Koston and Steve Berra. The site provides not only video clips of skateboarding in the park itself, but it also focuses on the community and the people who work behind the scenes. Particularly, the segment Shoot All Skaters shows photographers and filmers who have worked in the skateboard community. The videos give the viewer perfect insight into how the industry works, and you also learn more about the artists on a more personal level.

Favorite photographs:
Untitled by Margaret Durow; 057_19A by Patrice Jackson; Untitled by Ben Mauze; Marcel (Hidden Reflection) by Ryan McGinley; Freddie C. by Rory Cole; Child With Toy Hand Grenade In Central Park by Diane Arbus; THE HORRORS by Neil Krug.

Young photographers who most inspire you now?
I really have been enjoying Margaret Durow’s work. Her images come across very personal and emotional, almost as if they’re her diary. The lighting is always spot-on and sets the perfect mood. Neil Krug inspires me even more so. His recent images of and for the band The Horrors are absolutely breathtaking to say the least. The rest of his work is wonderful as well, but if it weren’t for him working with The Horrors, I might not have discovered his work and become so infatuated with his style.

Artist’s Playlist: 25 tracks from The Vaccines, Wild Beasts, Foals, The Horrors, The Cure, Foster The People, The Beatles, Panda Bear, The Drums, The Vaccines, The Black Keys, Jay Jay Pistolet, The Maccabees, Arcade Fire, The Zombies, Violens, Two Steps, Foals, Two Door Cinema Club and The Strokes, here: Featured Artist: Cecilia Majzoub

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Talk about the relationship between your photography and collage?
I take photographs because I want to create beautiful images that others can appreciate; I do not go out and think, “Okay, I’m going to go home after this and create a collage out of these images,” or, “What can I take a photo of to help create a collage?” Rather, when I go out and bring along my camera, I shoot what pleases me visually, simply to my eye, or what I find to be an interesting concept. Later, when I want to create a collage, I go through all of my images that I’ve collected and created, and see what I can put together. Not intentionally, but maybe instinctively at this point, I have somewhat trained my eye to not only create beautiful images, but to create beautiful images that can help me in the future with such collages.

Where do you want to take your artwork, or vice versa?
I feel as though I am made to photograph and create. That might sound cocky, but it is truly how I feel. I need to produce and constantly output imagery. Whether that be through pure photographs, collages, or something else, it’s what I need to do. Music is a huge part of my life, so documenting bands and musicians, behind the scenes as well as capturing them while they are performing, is one of my ultimate dreams. If it weren’t for music becoming such a part of my life, I wouldn’t have considered taking photography as my profession. Until the day I am able to work with some of my favorite musicians with my photography, I will have a constant burden on my shoulders. It is all I want to do. I crave the creation of images by means of a camera.

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Artist’s links: Website, Tumblr, Etsy, Flickr, Facebook and Last.fm

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