The importance of artistic vision through the eyes of photographer - Elsa Liu

An Artist creates to express their vision to the world. This vision is how we see what is seen after one’s mind reinterprets visual information in relation to one's current state.  Through brushstrokes, pictures, or literature they can explore their philosophy of life. Irrespective of the dark corridor echoed with heckles of doubters an artist’s vision creates a beaming light at the end so clear that they can already see the finished product.

Joseph Conard Describes it as “the inward voice that decides”, it dictates our every move until the vision is a reality.  Through the creative process we become attached to the art, separation from it is nearly painful as we leave part of our soul stretched over the 2-D surface for others to see.

For a photographer vision means seeing the final shot before pressing the shutter, the real art happens during the preparation of the shoot.  During our interview with Elsa Jerliu, a photographer studying at the University of Kent she explains how her camera is “the gateway to her freedom”.

How long have you been doing photography for, who are your main clients / subjects, etc?

I've been shooting for a while now, properly for about a year and a half, I was a videographer first and foremost, and then took up photography as well. I've had a range of clients my short experience, from event companies to up and coming musicians and fashion designers, and have had the privilege to be invited to shoot at London Fashion Week for a day recently too. Definitely a tick off the bucket list, if you know me, you'll know it was potentially one of the best and biggest achievements so far.

What does vision mean to you? 

If I were to be stripped away from everything, my vision would be all I have left. It is perhaps the most important gift given to me and something that constantly keeps me going. Being a student, and having many other responsibilities, it's hard to realise my potential and what I am capable of right now. Even though I try my best to make do with what I have got at the moment, the journey can get bumpy at times, but my vision is always there to bring me right back up again. 

what do you feel drives your photographic image/branding more; fashion or art? your photos play between the two, and a lot of architectural features in them too. can you please expand on this? where do the influences come from?

Well fashion is art right? So both essentially. I try and aim to always find and bring out the beauty I actually see in everything, I wish to induce a range of feelings and emotion in people, and make them think, because I think that's what purpose of true art is. I think it would be forced for me to whittle down any influence down to one person, or one thing, because my truth is that everything I do, everything I see, anything I encounter is an influence at that moment for me.

Does your photography attempt to capture your own visions? What are these visions? 

100%. I try to express what I can to clients, and sometimes I approach clients myself with visions I've had and wish to execute. My visions just hit me anytime, any day. As for what they are, it's difficult to say. A simple answer isn't something I can give you, my visions are a whole other dimension for me in itself.

Colours and tonal themes feature a lot in your photography, how much of that is conscious? Do you plan a certain colour scheme before/ during shooting or does this occur during the editing process?

To be fair not much of it is premeditated really. However, it is something I find myself subconsciously looking out for when I shoot. I love colours, I love drawing them out and exaggerating them purely for the purpose of creating some sort of connection with the subject and the audience. I do tend to create mood boards for my clients prior to shoots, I feel these help a lot when attempting to create a story and emotion within the pictures I take. I want to mesmerise people, and inspire them with my pictures and the stories they may tell.


My camera is the gateway to my freedom. I don’t think I could ever imagine my life without my camera.
— Elsa Jerliu


When doing shoots do you feel like your part of the art or are you simply an observer capturing the moment?  And how does it feel being in this position

I do not think I have ever thought of it like that. Now you ask, I'm thinking about it and I feel as if the best answer I can give you is that I am an observer. I always observe my surroundings as I think I mentioned before, I like to connect everything together and create some sort of feeling or story out of my shoots. But I think that makes me a part of the art. Like I also said before, inducing feeling and emotion within others via what I do is the way I feel like I can speak to people. I guess it's a language I am practising, and feel like I can become fluent in. I am working on a few projects currently, and you'll see what I mean... I just want to trigger certain feelings and thoughts via any of the work I become a part of. And that's what art is.

Fine Artists often believe that they can create anything with their brush. Would you say your camera gives you this same freedom….can you create anything you envision?

I believe so. As long as I keep my vision alive, I can do anything. My camera is the gateway to my freedom. I don't think I could ever imagine my life without my camera.

Is your approach to shooting for brands slightly different from shooting individuals or passion projects or do you feel like you carry the same approach to them?

My approaches vary, but I ensure 100% enthusiasm and passion for all projects I undertake, and full communication with clients at all times.