Tuesday, 11 July 2017

The Braw and The Brave Meets....Roma Elizabeth Photography

You know when you meet a person for the first time and you instantly know you're going to really like them?! I first met Roma when she hired my dance troupe to perform at a surprise party she'd organised for husband's 30th birthday. She was delightfully warm and welcoming that evening  and so when I plucked up the courage to contact her about being interviewed for the blog, (I always feel weird about asking someone who doesn't really know me), I was thrilled she kindly agreed!  

Roma's photography is the stuff of dreams, capturing breathtakingly beautiful imagery in the most stunning (and at times, remote) locations with the emphasis on the 'adventurous and romantic'.When it comes to weddings and babies, Roma looks to paint the day perfectly, documenting every special moment and paying close attention to detail. With her styled shoots, it's all about producing exquisite, striking, fairytale-like shots. Roma's portfolio is a work of art, finding you spoilt for choice to pick a favourite image. From ethereal beauties draped in lace featured in the likes of Vogue Italia, to the most magical moments such as a Groom catching that first a glimpse of his Bride documented beautifully. Each photograph entices you in and has you intrigued and bowled over by sheer perfection. 

Featured in Vogue Italia

 Roma's journey from studying a fashion degree to modelling, working in the Bridal industry and to where she is now as a freelance photographer is fascinating.  Starting out as a young model in her teens, Roma admits that she never quite felt at home in from of the camera. "I didn't enjoy modelling. I was so self conscious but I did love being on location, working in some amazing spaces". Befriending photographers along the way and becoming more interested in the behind-the-scenes element of fashion photography, her transition to working within the Bridal industry with Opus Couture saw her start to style and photograph shoots for the wedding dress company. "I just really enjoyed it. I think anything you do you should do it for the love of it and not money!" Initially a hobby, soon Roma's distinct photography style attracted some attention and she was approached by a make-up artist to photograph her wedding before she had even set a date. With much encouragement from her colleagues and her husband Scott, Roma began to set up styled shoots to create a portfolio of work, inspired by places she had visited and adored. As daunting as it seemed, Roma pushed herself to put her work out there. Starting out as a freelance artist in a potentially competitive industry was scarily reminiscent of her time spent as a model. "I've always remembered that feeling of being in a room full of people and not knowing anyone. I now always make an effort to go up to people on their own at photography events and take them under my wing". 

Roma is extremely passionate about her work and being a real people person, she thrives on getting to know her clients prior to their wedding day to ensure she can capture the essence of who they are as a couple through her photography. As enjoyable as this work is, Roma's heart lies with her styled shoots where she has complete creative control and can let her imagination run free. "I sometimes have to explain to Brides who have seen my more adventurous shoots that it isn't practical to have them knee-deep in pond water surrounded by fireflies on their wedding day".  Inspired by old fairy-tales (and the occasional nod to Disney too) she aims to conjure up the fantastical. "I like creating things that don't exist. When I see something in my head I just need to make it happen!". Known to be up a mountain in the snow with a model and a sledge full of accessories, it's all about bringing the dream to life with her inquisitive nature at play and her adventurous side at the helm. Getting 'that' shot can be, at times, on the dangerous side and for the more extreme locations, Roma is happy to step in front of the camera momentarily to bring the vision to life. With her good friends Cara and Katie always in tow to assist with make-up, hair and the logistics of photographing in all weathers on all matter of terrain, Roma teams up with a variety of suppliers and new models, considering herself very lucky to be supported by so many. Her photography is so well known and respected now that suppliers and fellow Creatives are ever so keen to have her photograph their pieces.

 She admires the work of renowned photographers Annie Leibovitz and Tim Walker but ultimately has a personal style which she stays true to. It's one thing to create something but it is then another to put it out in to the world for others to judge but as Roma explains it's not always our counterparts' opinions we should fear. "I'm really critical of my work. I'm just so passionate about photography but I've learned not to compare my work to anyone else's. It's about just doing your own thing". 

Road blocks are inevitable when working creatively and although Roma rarely struggles to come up with new ideas, it can be the logistical side of photography that proves the most challenging. "My first wedding shoot I arrived early only to discover the church all chained up. A very sweaty 15 minute car ride ensued once I tracked down the correct postcode for the actual venue!". Learning from experience is par of the course and it's something Roma is happy to embrace. The uncertainty of self-employment can be difficult to manage mentally but her positivity pushes through. "You just have to keep going and believe that it will all be okay!"Working solo can be a lonely existence at times and no one knows this more than a photographer welded to their computer screen in the middle of an editing spree. It has always been important to Roma to surround herself with like-minded people and she has found solace in a close-knit group of female photographer friends who all have each others back when it comes to supporting and promoting their work. "When I had just given birth to my daughter Robyn, one of the girls stepped in last minute to cover a wedding I was booked to do. We all help and encourage each other, sharing hints and tips. We also go on shoot trips together...the last one being in Paris". 

To say Roma likes to be busy would be a bit of an understatement. In a juggling act of being a new mum, a wife and a photographer (and up until recently, also holding down a full-time job), it's a role she is most comfortable undertaking. Keen to add more strings to her bow, she is now considering studying for a Masters degree. "I've always seen my photography as something I'll do alongside something else. I never would have imagined 5 or 6 years ago that this would turn in to a career! Ultimately I just want to keep going-ideally I'd like more time to do style shoots and travel more". Her get up and go attitude is what drives her to continue to work furiously and seek out the next adventure, quite often with baby alongside her. A trip to Thailand, when Robyn was only 5 months old, to photograph her brother's wedding on the beach was tackled with the same vigour as she approaches everything she endeavours to make possible. Embracing opportunities has led her to what she considers the finer things in life.  "My photography has allowed me to meet fun, fantastic people and visit new places". It's evident that whatever Roma decides to do next in her photography work you can be assured it will be executed with passion and a sense of escapism and celebration for all that is naturally beautiful. Best to follow her...she is bound to take you on the most magical of journeys. 

Roma and Robyn in Thailand

Get to know Roma more.....

First ever album you bought?
"The Craft soundtrack"

Who would you like to be stuck in a lift with?
"My husband-he's my best friend! We'd just chat away!"

If you could give your teenage self some advice what would it be?
"Dress better and study more! I had this idea if it was meant to be I'd pass!"

Pet peeve?
"People who kick pigeons! I also don't like negativity and jealously"

Contact Roma

All images owned by Roma Elizabeth Photography 

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