Photographer Spotlight: Meet Ellenfinds

Photographer Spotlight: Meet Ellenfinds

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you got started in product photography?

My name is Elena Aleksandraviciute, CEO of Ellenfinds Creative Media Inc. I am Lithuanian, and I studied IT in the Czech Republic, before moving to Canada 9 years ago. When I first moved to Vancouver, Canada. I always was more of a creative person, and I loved taking photos of still life.

After moving to Canada, I initially worked in IT while serving at a restaurant on weekends. It wasn't long before I noticed the potential to enhance the restaurant's social media presence. 

Despite having no prior experience, I shared my vision with the manager and emphasized my knack for food photography. They took a chance on me, and I quickly discovered my talent in this area. This restaurant became my first client, and they remain a client to this day. This experience boosted my confidence and validated my abilities.

Encouraged by this success, I began reaching out to small local businesses in Vancouver, leading to numerous collaborations. As I received more inquiries for product photography, it became clear that this could become a full-time career. Consequently, I founded Ellenfinds Creative Media Inc., where I specialize in product photography, social media content creation, and management.

How do you approach a new product shoot? Can you walk us through your process from concept to final image?

I love this part of the job! Receiving a product and coming up with a concept for the shoot is incredibly creative and exciting. The process usually starts with a conversation with the client about their vision. Understanding their product and getting to know the person behind the brand helps me determine whether we should aim for a modern, classic, or fun and vibrant look. I draw inspiration from the brand's colors for the props and backdrops I use. When I'm not using purchased backdrops, I create my own, often using custom paint that matches the product packaging. The same goes for the props.

I always focus on highlighting the product's functionality and making the images stand out. My goal is to consistently come up with something creative and unique for each shoot.

What are some common challenges you face in product photography, and how do you overcome them?

Staying original is crucial in my work. While I do seek inspiration from social media, it's important to balance that with my own creativity. I find it most rewarding when an idea naturally comes to me upon seeing the product. I strive to maintain originality in all my projects.

For instance, whenever I feel stuck or the setup in the studio isn’t working, I take a break. I might go for a drive or a walk, or take the product outside to photograph it in natural light and environments. This approach has saved me many times, helping me to reset and come back with fresh, creative ideas.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in product photography?

Are there any techniques or tricks that you think every product photographer should know?

Finding your own style is essential. Browse Pinterest for ideas and TikTok for tips and tricks. Collect plenty of props and backdrops, as these are great sources of inspiration. Every time I get a new backdrop, it feels like I could take a million photos!

Don’t worry if the photo doesn’t look perfect while shooting; post-processing is a crucial part of product photography. Experiment with crazy angles! It's amazing how sometimes a simple change in angle can make a photo look so much cooler.

Have you noticed any recent trends in product photography that you find interesting or inspiring?

How do you stay updated with the latest trends and technologies in photography?

I feel like nowadays, most of my clients prefer a more natural, lifestyle-oriented look for their product images. They want the product to be portrayed in real environments, offering a genuine feel rather than a polished studio look.

Stop motion, GIFs, and short clips have become increasingly popular, often replacing traditional product photos. I love creating stop motion animations because they add a fun, dynamic element to the product, bringing it to life and showcasing its functionality in ways that still images cannot.

I also receive many requests for levitation shots or images of a person holding the product.

To stay current, I follow several podcasts and YouTube channels. I find creators on Instagram or TikTok whose work I admire and then follow them on YouTube to keep up with their latest content and techniques.

Where do you find inspiration for your shoots? Are there particular photographers, artists, or sources you look to?

How do you keep your creativity flowing, especially during busy periods?

I find a lot of inspiration on TikTok and Instagram Reels. These platforms are great for discovering trends, before-and-after photos, and behind-the-scenes content. I also enjoy going old school by browsing through magazines.

Balancing a busy business with creativity can be challenging. One way I keep my creativity flowing is by browsing local stores and thrift shops for props. I often pick up fabrics for backdrops or items that I can repaint and repurpose. This hands-on approach sparks new ideas and keeps me inspired.

Stepping outside and drawing inspiration from the world around you is another great way to stay creative.

Could you highlight a few of your favorite projects from your portfolio and explain what made them special?

Are there any upcoming projects you're particularly excited about and can give us a sneak peek?

My absolute favorite project was a product shoot for a Super Mario bath bomb! The idea struck me immediately when I saw the bath bomb. I built an entire set to create a stop-motion animation using over a hundred still images. I incorporated origami and extra pieces from the Super Mario Bros' world, crafting the entire scene from colored paper. It took two full days of shooting and even more time to edit, but it remains my most fun project to date!

The client probably didn't expect anything like that when they asked for a simple product photo for their bath bombs! I had so much fun.

What's your favorite type of product to photograph and why?

Outside of photography, do you have any hobbies or interests that influence your work?

I have a passion for shooting food items, especially those where I can bring ingredients into the shoot or incorporate the product into a dish before capturing it. This comes from my love for cooking and my appreciation for beautifully presented food.

Aside from photography, music is another big part of my life. I'm actively involved in the music producers community and co-host The Beatcast. It's an interactive beat-making sample challenge where we listen to beats, share creative ideas, and have a great time together! 

We'd love to hear your thoughts on how you utilized and enjoyed using Cubie Props and Backdrops. Do you have any ideas for what we should launch next?

I've been using Cubie Props and backdrops, and I'm absolutely impressed by the quality. They've not only sparked new ideas but also made my photos look uniquely cool!

Recently, I used their white and red checkered backdrop to create a retro aesthetic for a shot featuring a healthy cookie brand I collaborate with. The combination of the backdrop with a red telephone, a record, and other red props worked perfectly, and the client loved the photos. It was a lot of fun!

If I could make a recommendation, I'd suggest trying out weird-shaped props. They add an unpredictable element to shoots and can lead to unexpected bursts of creativity while you're experimenting with them.

clear acrylic cube square props

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