A flamboyant flair of vivid colours and truly brilliant photography
Colour underpins, rules and frames Elise Michely’s photography. With fond, cherished and precious memories of playing dress-up from a young age; Elise continues to bring this spirit of play into her fashion portraiture. As life can often throw bleak hurdles, Elise always tries to cut through the storms with vibrancy and energy.
Born in France but, growing up in the city of Cayenne, of French Guiana in South America. It’s easy to see where Elise’s eye for colour began and now radiates through her photography. Growing up, in arguably the most colourful continent in our world, where for about two months of the year, every Sunday, a Carnival gathers the community together and drapes their streets in colour. In a place of creative flamboyance, it is also a place which unites, Elise tells us, “it is a place where many cultures have settled and merged into one. I grew up in a very mixed family where no one looked the same nor had the same skin colour”. Ever since taking up photography, Elise has always prioritised portraying inclusivity in a playful manner. At 9 years old, her parents’ divorce moved her back to France with her mother, however, Elise spent every summer with her father back in Cayenne. Whilst in France, Elise lived in three different cities before being accepted to study BA Fine Art at École Supérieure in Marseille. She studied there for a year, before making a big leap to move to Montreal in Canada where she studied BFA Photography at Concordia University, before making the brave decision to drop out. She intuitively felt that going her own way was her path – to teach and challenge herself by taking learning into her own hands. Elise currently lives in London but, it is fair to say she is no stranger to new places.
Elise’s innate talent and literacy for colour, truly is a wonder. As a teenager, Elise could not resist her calling, as she reveals, “I would borrow my mom’s camera without asking and photograph my friends as well as strangers on the streets”. A clear story which excites, emerges from Elise’s photography, as she draws out the character and nature of whoever she captures.
Elise tells us about a recent project she’s been working on for almost a year, which explores the colour combination of red and green: “My love for these colours started growing a few years ago when I noticed that they were the only two colours I saw with eyes closed”. Looking to the future, Elise hopes to capture a series which includes the people and places of every country or city she has lived in. If her current work is a taster of what’s to come, you will be guaranteed no shortage of beautiful storytelling through colour and style – we can’t wait to see this come to life.