Young photographer focuses on the bush

10 Aug, 2018 04:00 AM
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Perenjori young gun Ellie Morris is forging a career as a rural photographer with a passion to capture a different perspective of WA's bush.
Perenjori young gun Ellie Morris is forging a career as a rural photographer with a passion to capture a different perspective of WA's bush.

BEING able to capture special moments with a creative flair is no easy task, as many have found and surely you have found yourself saying “it looks so much better in person”.

There’s a lot of thought that goes on behind the lens to make photos come out with a professional look and for Ellie Morris, most of her craft has been self-taught or is down to raw talent.

Simply by scrolling her Instagram profile ‘elliemorrisau’ it quickly becomes clear that the 17-year-old is a gun behind the camera and drone controls.

Ellie’s work manages to capture the essence of the bush beautifully with her images depicting the diversity of life in rural WA.

Growing up on her family’s broadacre property at Perenjori, where she still lives with her parents John and Lynette, siblings Bert and Josie and grandmother Elaine, Ellie has always had a love for the outdoors.

Ellie and her siblings were home-schooled by Elaine who is still teaching Josie, who is in year five.

“I liked the freedom of being able to explore the bush and learning things at a much younger age that most people wouldn’t has made me quite independent,” Ellie said.

As her dad stopped farming to do contracting work when she was young, Ellie said her interest in agriculture strengthened when the farm was leased by their neighbour three years ago.

“I’ve always liked farming but was too young to really be involved with it, then when our neighbour started cropping on our property I got a lot more interested in it,” she said.

“For seeding this year I worked for them by driving one of the tractors.”

Although her interest in farming blossomed rather late for the usual country kid, her passion for photography was sown much earlier when she was given a point-and-shoot camera at the age of six.

This was upgraded to a DSLR camera for her 11th birthday and Ellie soon realised she had a knack for the art and set her sights on being a photographer.

Now she mainly shoots with a Canon 5D Mark II with multiple lenses and sometimes uses her previous Canon 600D, as well as a GoPro Hero 4 Silver, DJI Osmo and two drones – a DJI Phantom 4 and a DJI Inspire.

To get some of her aerial shots, Ellie regularly joins her dad in their aeroplane to capture some stunning images from the air.

John has had his licence since he was 16-years-old and used to do aerial mustering.

“I like photographing things that are kind of ordinary and that most people wouldn’t think to photograph and then turn it into something beautiful,” Ellie said.

With a passion for the country and a talent for capturing the moment, it seems natural that Ellie is making a career out of rural photography.

When she first started experimenting with photography Ellie said the rural world around her was the only thing she could shoot.

Rather than feeling limited with no city skyline, beaches, crowds of people and even much of an influence of pop culture, Ellie saw the diversity of the bush and farm life which she has expressed through her work.

“In the beginning rural photography was all I could do because there’s not much else out here, but I like being able to show people what rural life is like,” she said.

“I want to be able to show a different side and perspective to agriculture and rural WA.”

Ellie draws much of her inspiration from social media with some of her favourite photographers being Edwina Robertson, Salty Wings and Vicki Miller and Katie Mendl (Calico Pony).

Over the past year she has been working hard to build her photography business from the ground up and has sold nine pieces including prints, canvases, photographs on aluminium and digital images.

When asked if she had a favourite Ellie was torn but did say she was drawn to images with windmills, perhaps because it’s a farm and rural icon.

With her pieces featuring picturesque sunsets and wide landscapes, native and farm animals and pets, seeding, harvest and jobs around the farm and crops and beautiful natural vegetation Ellie has already demonstrated her photography abilities and creativity, well above her 17 years.

She is already critiquing her work, saying she can notice improvements with her work in the finer details, getting different angles to make the shots more interesting and showing various colours and compositions.

Ellie has also dabbled in videography by producing short films of seeding and harvest on her property (neighbour’s program) for the past two years and recently completed her video of this year’s seeding which took about three hours to shoot and three to four weeks of editing.

Her editing software of choice is Adobe Lightroom for photography and Adobe Premiere for videos.

Ellie’s films can be found by searching ‘Ellie Morris Photography’ on YouTube.

Determined to grow her photography business, Ellie has been focussed on promoting her name and is in the process of setting up a website.

Over the past year her business has been growing organically through Instagram, Facebook and word-of-mouth.

Ellie said that the Mid West’s tourist season was starting with the wildflowers beginning to bloom and she hoped to gain further traction with the influx of tourists to the area.

She has even been commissioned to produce a photo essay for an agricultural women’s magazine.

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