EPONINE MEETS > ELEANOR HOWARTH
Following our latest shoot, we caught up with photographer and member of the Eponine family Eleanor Howarth to find out more about her work with Eponine and beyond . . .
We love your latest shots of the Eponine London ready-to-wear collection. Which was your favourite dress of the ones featured?
This is always so hard because every time one of the models puts a dress on it comes alive and I have a new favourite, or I catch a glimpse of the hem and it raises the bar. I particularly loved Gemma in the turquoise dress, the colours in it are so fantastic and I loved the way it caught the light. It also looked particularly striking against the backdrop of the streets we were shooting in.
How did you get into photography?
Photography always seemed like such a treat that it didn’t occur to me to do it professionally until I was a bit older, but I’ve always loved cameras and taking pictures since I was really young and that never really went away.
Once I set my mind on doing it seriously I went right back to the basics to learn how to get exactly what I wanted from an image, and then worked as an assistant in a few different areas of photography to work out which one I was really passionate about.
Everything really clicked in to place for me when I started working for a TV Stills Photographer who had such a brilliant approach to people and projects that it has shaped all the jobs I’ve done since. After learning all of that I had to throw myself off the ledge and go my own way, and luckily one of the people I fell on was Jet Shenkman!
Are there any artists or photographers whose style has influenced your own?
So many. If I really think about it then painters have probably influenced my use of colour and photographers have more influence on how I try to capture a scene.
I am particularly drawn to the colour palettes of the Belle Epoch and Art Deco periods, so Manet, Berthe Morisot, Toulouse-Lautrec, Tamara de Lempicka, Matisse, Gustav Klimt (maybe that’s why I love the African dresses so much. They’re like a Klimt painting!).
With photographers it’s so hard… I’m a big fan of Martin Parr for his sense of humour, William Eggleston for colour, Richard Avedon and Irving Penn for shape and Sarah Moon for everything. I can’t really see any of them in my own work unfortunately, but they are all why I like pictures so much, so they’ve definitely influenced what I’m trying to achieve.
Your work spans several genres, from fashion editorials to headshots and wedding photography. Which do you find the most creatively challenging to shoot?
I find them all quite challenging in different ways. With all of these subjects my approach is to try and capture what’s going on rather than have things going on for me to capture. I’d rather not have to ask people to try and repeat a natural movement they made, so it’s mainly having an idea and a frame in mind so I don’t miss anything.
Even though the Eponine shoots are organised in theory, it’s a very fluid set up and we just sort of run with whatever’s happening so the challenge there is trying to be one step ahead of the madness that usually unfolds.
What would be your dream location for an Eponine London shoot?
I wish we could go to New York and do something in the style of the 1962 David Bailey and Jean Shrimpton shots for Vogue. I keep putting them on our reference board so with any luck Jet might get the hint and take us there for the next one!
But other than that, London can be a bit of a dream if the weather plays ball.