Amazing News Coming Soon

Thursday, September 12th, 2013|About Elexu, Elexu Team Posts|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments


 

It’s a little bit that you don’t hear from us… we know, and we want to apologize for it.

But we are working on several amazing projects and we will update you soon on the latest exciting news we have at Elexu…

Some anticipations? Inspirational guest bloggers’ posts, new collaborations, the latest episodes from the Elexu Live Lounge with talented young artists, new products, …ooops, we cannot say more!!!

 

Continue follow Elexu! Looking forward to sharing our news with you!

 

Elexu Team

Story of an Entrepreneur & Wedding Photographer – LJ

Thursday, August 15th, 2013|Advice, Guest posts|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

 

Intro

It’s amazing how a single question turned out to be one of the best pieces of advice that anyone ever gave me;

“Does everyone you know, know what you do?”

Question

Starting your own business sounds like a dream. You imagine being your own boss, making lots of money, working your own hours, taking holidays whenever you want, not to mention the ability to work at home wrapped up in a fluffy blanket (so far I’ve got the fluffy blanket part down to a tee). However, the reality is somewhat different when you actually take that leap of faith.

Know what you do

I remember setting myself up as a photographer. Throughout university whilst studying Photography for Fashion & Advertising, I did the odd bit of freelance here and there, collaborated with fashion designers, models, make up artists and managed to get bits and pieces of my editorial work published in Buzz, a local South Wales magazine, and a few others. Looking back on it now I think I was a bit naive and imagined that work would magically fall into place after I got my degree and that I’d be a world renowned fashion photographer, mingling with the likes of Kate Moss, John Galliano and Rankin.

6015637

Then I met a boy…

Met a boy

We fell in love (all, don’t throw up at once), decided to get married and then life got really busy. I was in my third year of university trying to write a dissertation, plan my final year exhibition and organise a wedding that would take place in Northern Ireland whilst I was in Wales. That year was a blur of flights, phone calls, emails, meetings, deadlines, an empty purse, photographs, prints, and excitement mingled with stress! I’m not sure I knew the difference between those emotions by the end. The thoughts of setting up my own business took a backseat as I looked forward to finishing my degree, become someone’s wife (which made me feel extremely old, even though I was only 22) and building a home together.

Building home

Life eventually began to settle down in the months that followed. I was working part time and just enjoying this new stage of life. In essence, I was the epitome of what it means to be “chilled out.” Eventually though, I needed to get a full time job to build up my photography kit and to simply pay the bills. I began working as a Marketing Executive for a Digital Marketing Company. Through this role I realised the importance of effective social media strategies and really enjoyed learning more and more about Marketing. It gave me the motivation and drive that I needed to setting up my photography business properly this time.

Social Media

I attended courses on Marketing, started teaching myself SEO, Google Analytics, and being pro active on social media and blogging more frequently. This is when that piece of advice I mentioned at the beginning came into play.

Advice

I began to talk more about my photography as if it actually was a business and not just an idea or a concept or something that I do in my spare time. I made sure that everyone I knew, knew what I did. When I decided that I was a professional photographer, other people saw me as that as well. In a period of two months, I had designed and built my website, received three wedding bookings and two charity events! My latest client is Karen Paullada, the actress who plays Nadine in Stella – Ruth Jones’ hit comedy on Sky 1! Each of these jobs came to me through word of mouth and, at times, a line of referrals. Whilst I still work full time as a Marketing Executive, photography is picking up quite quickly and although I’m nowhere near the stage of becoming self employed just yet, it’s looking a lot more realistic now. There are countless other hints and tips that I could go into, but for now, let’s start with that single question…

Does everyone

“Does everyone you know, know what you do?”

395571_310024912366009_1913307247_n

Author: Lisa-Jane Meates

Creative Director at LJM Photography

Website: www.ljm-photography.co.uk

Tweet me: @ljmeates

Live Lounge with Abbey Bowden is here…

Thursday, August 8th, 2013|About Elexu, Elexu Live Lounge, Interviews|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

Like promised, Elexu presents Nate Maingard’s first time as a host at Elexu Live Lounge with his good friend and musician, Abbey Bowden.

Lets listen to how Abbey seriously pursues music, full time, after taking up music lessons in Uni despite playing various instruments before that, the reason behind her music being termed as ‘dark’, on what she basis her song writing, her admiration, inspiration, life in London in 1 ½ yrs and the unexpected kind of support and encouragement London gave her…

Abbey talks about what goes into her mind in front of a live audience on stage, her biggest lesson in life, music being a self-indulgent career, what she strongly believes in and how Abbey’s father is her strength in her music life.  The video also presents some questions from the audience to Abbey.

Abbey performs ‘Comfort’ to her audience at Elexu

And ‘Still’…

Feel free to post your comments, suggestions & feedback… And if want to be a part of Live Lounge, please get in touch with Meng, our Event Manager, at meng.qin@elexu.org with the subject line as “Live Lounge”.

Watch this space for more details on the future Elexu Live Lounges and who our next guest is!

Live Lounge with Abbey Bowden – coming soon!

Monday, July 22nd, 2013|About Elexu, Elexu Live Lounge, Elexu Team Posts|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

 

Abbey at Live Lounge

Earlier this month, some of Elexu’s supporters walked into Elexu office to witness Live Lounge with Abbey Bowden – songwriter & singer with a heart-melting voice. The session was enthralling with the office filled with Abbey’s voice – singing & talking to us about how she made it to where she is now. The session was hosted by a very popular musician and Elexu supporter, Nathan Maingard!

Watch this space for the video of Abbey’s Live Lounge, which will be uploaded shortly so in the meanwhile check out the snapshots of the session with Abbey and our previous Live Lounges!

 

In conversation with Larry H. – Part II

Thursday, July 4th, 2013|Advice, Interviews, Uncategorized|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

In continuance to conversation with Larry H. – Part I

Born in England in 1977, Larry Hallegua is an award-winning street photographer based in London. Larry strives at capturing candid moments of everyday life, trying to incorporate elements of art, fun and surrealism in his photos. His subject(s)’ are generally unaware of him capturing their emotions, Larry states, ‘’If emotion is on the street it must be poured onto the page of the photo, for all to learn and benefit from.’’

MB: Elexu Senior Associate, Meng Bean
LH: Photographer, Larry Hallegua

A good street photo

MB: Have you ever asked yourself the question – ‘’Am I shooting to please just me or to please my audience?’’

LH: I always shoot for me in the first instance. When I edit I try to think whether it’s a good shot, by how difficult it was to take, what it’s trying to show, as well as how interesting it is for the viewer. A great photo in my opinion, is one that you can look at and enjoy for more than a minute or two, that makes you want to come back to it for repeat viewings.

So many factors make a photo aesthetically pleasing and interesting to view – the composition, colours, subjects, etc… I think street photos are unique in that they are not necessarily reportage or documentary, although I think there is sometimes a crossover, they can purely be showing a quirky or fun scene. I do enjoy reportage and documentary shots too but I’m usually drawn to quirky or funny situations.

shooting to please

Funny, quirky and surreal

MB: Except for fun and quirky I notice that you define your work also as surreal, so what is surrealism to you?

LH: I guess in its widest definition it’s when something ordinary becomes extraordinary and reality is being played with through the exploitation of chance effects or unexpected juxtapositions. A good example would be “Light Being” which was hanging in Urban Picnic’s gallery in the UK, during May this year, I was one of 30 finalists in Urban Picnic’s International Street Photography Competition.

Light

Artist or anthropologist?

MB: You said that “if emotion is on the street it must be poured onto the page of the photo, for all to learn and benefit from.” Do you think of yourself more like an artist or an anthropologist?

LH: Maybe both at times. But I don’t study my subjects, the art comes first definitely.

artist or anthropologist

Photographer’s perspective

LH: I often think my photos say more about me than my subjects. People see your perspective on things, the world through your eyes. It is open for all to see, you cannot hide it.

MB: Do you feel insecure about it?

LH: No, not insecure. I am lucky as I enjoy the method, the hunt as it were, as well as the obvious satisfaction of having taken something that people find interesting and engaging to look at.

photographer's perspective

All rights reserved

MB: I notice that you don’t normally put watermark on your photos, do you mind if somebody uses your work for other purposes without giving you the credit? Have you ever struggled with protecting your own intellectual property?

LH: I don’t like watermarks. When I started doing this, particularly on Flickr I was using an attribution licence. My images were used for various things but they always credited me. With the Internet and website like Flickr, it is even harder to protect my work. I guess I am too busy shooting to care, but I should be getting serious about that.

all rights reserved

Advice(s) to young people if they want to be a street photographer

1. Get a camera
2. Look at some good examples of street to get you going (Henri Cartier Bresson, Martin Parr, Garry Winogrand, Bruce Gilden, Lee Friedlander, Vivian Maier, Alex Webb, Jun Abe, etc… as well as lots of amazing street photographers on flickr)
3. Do not wait to be inspired, go out there and start shooting
4. Shoot, shoot and then shoot some more
5. Be confident and don’t be afraid. I shoot normally within a few metres of my subject or even closer. The more you do it, the more it will start to become very natural.

so many factors

Additional information about Larry Hallegua

Prize:
2012, Runner-up of Practical Photography & Digital Photo Magazines’ 2012 Photographer of the Year, Round 6 - photo
2013, 2nd prize in Chicago Photographic Society’s Annual Street Photography Competition - here
2013, Finalist in Urban Picnic’s 2013 International Street Photography Competition - here

Featured:
2012, Eschon Street Photography website - The role of SPNC in street photography
2012, Professional Photographer, Photo of the Day 19/12/12
2012, Alex Coghe’s blog – “gallery of the month” for Dec 2012 - “Noodles”
2013, Alex Coghe’s blog – “gallery of the month” for Jan 2013 - “Profile of a Woman”
2013, Urban Picnic’s Street Photography website, Featured Photo of the Day (Best of Feb) - here
2013, Urban Picnic’s Street Photography website, Featured Photo of the Day (Best of Feb) - here

Exhibition:
2013, March, Chicago Photographic Society’s Annual Street Photography Competition in the gallery section of Calumet Photographic in Goose Island, Chicago - photo
2013, April 12th – May 2nd, Urban Picnic’s Street Photography Exhibition, showcasing the 30 finalists from their International Street Photography Competition - exhibition details
2013, May, “Useless Useless” Exhibition in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photos selected from over 17,000 international contributions, organised by You Are Not A Dinosaur - photo

Published:
2012, 2012 Photographer of the Year, Digital Photo & Practical Photography Magazines, Nov Issue

This month’s Elexu Live Lounge is with…

Thursday, June 27th, 2013|Elexu Live Lounge, Interviews|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

The Salvati brothers!

Colourshop-Elexu Live Lounge 1

Elexu Live Lounge is an opportunity for all musical artists to help them present their masterpiece(s). Artists come to our office for an interview, perform live which is recorded (and live streamed online!) and even receive a quality video of their performance!

Watch one of our previous Elexu Live Lounge to get a better idea.

This month’s Live Lounge is with the Salvati brothers – Alfredo and Diego! Watch them talk about their band Colourshop, childhood, their love for song writing & taste for folk music and pop; in spite of having enjoyed heavy metal when they were younger (with long hair!)

Their nervousness & honest feeling during live performances, having a support system like a brother around, and advice for beginners:

Their live performance at Elexu office: Cold White Pieces

Another song by them: Coming back to you

If you need more info on The Salvati Brothers, find them in Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.

For artists out there, we welcome artists of all genres and from all over the world, as long as you can make it to our Soho office! Filming and editing is taken care by Elexu; all we need you to do is perform. We also help promote artists by sharing their performance(s) on our social media channels.

If you like what we do and want us to help you, please get in touch with Meng, our Event Manager, at meng.qin@elexu.org with the subject line as “Live Lounge”. Shoot us an e-mail right now and we will take care of the rest!

Watch this space for more details on the future Elexu Live Lounges and who our next guest is!

In conversation with Larry H. – Part I

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013|Advice, Interviews, Uncategorized|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

Larry Hallegua

Larry H

Born in England in 1977, Larry Hallegua is an award-winning street photographer based in London. Larry strives at capturing candid moments of everyday life, trying to incorporate elements of art, fun and surrealism in his photos. His subject(s)’ are generally unaware of him capturing their emotions, Larry states, ‘’If emotion is on the street it must be poured onto the page of the photo, for all to learn and benefit from.’’

Larry Hallegua’s pictures have been exhibited across the UK and US. You could also check out Larry’s collection:

Webpage: http://larryhallegua.wix.com/photography

Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hipnshoot/

500px: http://500px.com/LarryHallegua

Intro

Currently teaching English in Tokyo, Larry spends the rest of his time capturing the city through his Fuji X100 (current camera of choice) or Leica M2.

Before we started the interview online, he just got back from his shooting in Harajuku – a fashionable district in Tokyo. So, our conversation started from there.

MB: Elexu Senior Associate, Meng Bean
LH: Photographer, Larry Hallegua

Confrontation with the subject

MB: Is there any difference between shooting British People and Japanese? I heard that Japanese can be shy and less open to strangers.

LH: Well, the reaction is generally better, and less confrontational. British people are becoming more and more defensive over having their photo taken in public, I think this is due to a number of reasons but is definitely affected by the popularity of social networking sites like facebook and how quickly and widespread information can be shared nowadays. Japanese people can appear much more forgiving or less wanting to engage in a confrontation, which makes my job easier. I have also experienced a much more positive attitude towards street photographers from the Japanese compared to the British public.

If they notice, I usually make some kind gesture of thank you or point out what it was that I found beautiful and shot. Today, when I was shooting in Harajuku I used ‘kirei’ (beautiful in Japanese) quite a bit after photographing people, mainly to avoid any uncomfortable moments. No one here has asked me to delete anything, in fact some encouraged me to take more once they realised what I was up to.

Brit and Japanese

Capturing the moment

MB: Do you carry a camera everyday or go out and shoot for a particular topic or area as you did in Harajuku today?

LH: I try to carry my camera all the time, very rarely do I leave home without it. I even take it to the University here when I am teaching.

Do you carry camera

MB: Has there been a time that you took out your camera too late and missed a moment that you regretted?

LH: Oh yes, that happens. I try not to regret things as there are always more moments. I will go insane if I am hard on myself all the time for missing shots. But sometimes I hit the air with my fist in irritation that I missed something.

I think the key is to keep your eyes open. Since starting this over a year ago, I have definitely developed my eye even more and now I am much instinctive and also getting better at editing down the good shots from the bad. Sometimes it’s hard not to fall in love with some photos, even the bad ones.

MB: So you care more about the moment than the person’s life story? Unlike Humans of New York, I feel they are trying to peek into normal people’s life from that one fragment of time.

LH: I do sometimes focus for a few minutes on a subject that I find very interesting but I am not trying to carry out a social study. If that comes out of some of my photos then great, but it is not my initial intention. When I shoot it is usually very impulsive and I like to shoot candid, not posed.

unlike humans of new york

To be continued…

Visit to ‘The Other Art Fair’

Thursday, May 16th, 2013|Elexu Team Posts, Event, Uncategorized|by ElexuCommunity|1 Comment

Over the weekend of the 25th-28th of April 2013, The Other Art Fair took place at London. The Other Art Fair serves as a platform for undiscovered artists to independently showcase their work to gallerists, curators, critics and collectors. The four days provided artists not just to sell their work, but also to evaluate the reaction of the public to their pieces and build contacts for future collaborations.

The Other Art Fair not only helps artists during the four day fair but throughout the year. They support artists through free seminars and workshops, provide opportunity to sell online and connect individuals with companies and associations. Through the connection with The Other Art Fair, artists have been able to gain work with galleries in London, Paris, New York and Berlin.

One of the greatest advantages of visiting The Other Art Fair was the interaction with various artists. One gets to discuss the art pieces with the artists like finding the meaning behind them or understanding the different techniques used in the creation processes.

When visiting The Other Art Fair, I found a number of talented artists showing all different forms of art that were on display, making it an interesting environment. All of the artists were more than happy to talk about their pieces and what their inspirations were. I enjoyed the personal conversation about the artists and their background. Their conversations gave me a greater appreciation for their work. Also, I thought it was nice that they had an area where children were able to go and create different crafts.

theartfair

The top 5 artists that I found are:

1) Rachel Ann Stevenson who had amazing statues that were a combination of realistic yet abstract characteristics. The pieces had a sense of darkness yet were beautiful at the same time, which is what really drew my interest. My favorite piece of work that was displayed was a man who was wearing a top hat with bunny ears. To me the piece had a very elegant appearance and reminded me of a ballet dancer.

2) Cat Soubbotnik with amazing photographs. They were many normal objects that she was able to add a distinct and interesting twist  to.

3) Nigel Moores with beautiful paintings. His work was very deep and made me look at all aspects of the painting. His work was more abstract than some of the other artists, which made him unique and hence his art stood out from others.

4) Urbantag with beautiful and artistic photographs. His pictures were very moving and made you think deeper into what was actually being photographed. I liked his use of different flags shown in the photographs.

5) The Family Business had very talented artists doing live tattooing. This was interesting because the artist must be able to create an image that someone else is imagining. The work shown at this station was all very neat and clean. Some of the tattoos that were on display looked very realistic and looked more like a painting than a typical tattoo.

Elexu Creative Live Fan Challenge winner is…..

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013|Elexu Live Events|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

 

Vincent Cui!!!

Congratulations!

For all those who are wondering what we are talking about, here it is!

Vincent receiving his award

Creative Live 3 finished with a bang on the 23rd of February 2013 at The Social, Oxford Circus. Check out the teaser video of our event of that night – http://blog.elexu.com/creative-live-promo-video/ To make the event more peppy and competitive, we decided to conduct a challenge for our artists, who were performing on that day. Participants who were set for the challenge were band Mercia, singer Alba, boy band The Ignition Boys, photographers Vincent Cui, Thomas Sergeant and Shure Yu!

The competition started a few weeks before our Creative Live Event and it was simple. All our artists had to do was bring in their supporters to the event and whoever brought in the largest number, bags an exciting prize! Now, isn’t that fun?!

It was a close competition considering the fan following our artists have but we can have just one winner! And our winner, Vincent Cui, walked away with an ‘’artsy’’ prize. Vincent is now a proud owner of a National Art Pass for a year! What more? He gets good discounts at major exhibitions, free entry to over 200 museums, galleries and historic houses and become a member of the Art Fund, who help museums and galleries all over the UK to buy great art! Now that’s what we call, being a ‘responsible artist’! Great going, Vincent!

Brief on our visual artist, Vincent Cui.

Born October 31, 1980 in Beijing, China, Vincent currently lives and works in London.

From a young age Vincent Cui has been interested in a variety of art forms. His first inspirations came from the deep rooted traditions of Chinese culture found in his home town of Beijing. In his early teens he learned to play guitar and in high school built his own rock band. Whilst exploring different media throughout his teens he has learnt sound engineering, mastered recording technology and joined this together with a passion for photography.

Gaining industry experience within the documentary department of BTV strengthened his knowledge and skills within Journalism, Directing and Editorial positions.

In 2006 he created his own photography business, opening his own studio and worked commercially for major magazines and brands. In 2009 he came to London to study MA Fashion Photography at London College of Fashion. After graduating, he started up Vincent Cui Studio in East London and has since showcased a proven ability to deliver outstanding photographic projects.

Vincent’s work showcased during Creative Live was the Green Smoke collection and a short film named ‘Sleepwalking’.

Ask and You Shall Receive

Monday, April 15th, 2013|Advice, Elexu Team Posts, Uncategorized|by ElexuCommunity|No Comments

As a student coming from small town America (De Pere, Wisconsin to be exact), I was excited to receive the opportunity to study abroad in London and intern at Elexu. “Excited” being the understatement of the year. Never before was I able to receive an opportunity as such.

The process for me to study abroad was simple. All I had to do was set up an appointment with a study abroad advisor at my college. In a period of three months I filled out a stack of paperwork, applied for a UK Visa, and before I knew it, I was on a jet to London. Little did I know that this first step of asking about studying abroad would lead to a chain reaction of asking and receiving more opportunities.

As someone with literally no sense of orientation in combination of having no GPS on my phone, it has been a necessity for me to ask strangers in London for directions. After the first week of successfully making my way around the massive city through asking, I learned that strangers can be wonderful and it is not so scary to approach someone with a question. More often than not, people are been willing to give a helping hand.

Please continue reading, because this blog post has more substance than about teaching you how to ask for directions. I understand that most people will be able to do so, especially when lost in a large city. This example is merely a template to be applied in other situations in life.

I have received several unforgettable opportunities using this template. At London Fashion Week I was able to receive access to a fashion show by asking a security guard for permission, although I had no credibility to have access into the show. I was also able to receive a chance to shadow a journalist at Sky by asking a tour guide, I made it into the Brit awards for free by asking two people who had just left for their tickets, and I got to go back stage at a show at Ministry of Sound to meet chart topping DJ, Kaskade. These experiences were unforgettable in themselves, but I will also not forget that it was just the enthusiasm and initiative of asking that allowed me to enjoy them.

I think as most of us go through life, we tend to get in a habit of playing too much by the rules. Get in the queue, do not slurp your tea, and most of all, do not talk to people on the tube! But why not break these social norms sometimes? It is a natural human tendency to avoid awkward or uncomfortable situations. Although it may be difficult, it is better to sacrifice that few seconds of embarrassment than to lose out on an opportunity all because you may have been too scared to just ask.

I am not saying that asking will get you anything you want, but it may work out a few times for the situations in which you did. And is it not better to ask and know than to not ask and never know if something would have worked out? You may remember that cheesy, but true quote by Wayne Gretzky, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots that you don’t take.” On this track, I should also recommend Paul Arden’s book, It’s not how good you are, it’s how good you want to be, which illustrates that sometimes people appreciate the initiative to ask more than anything. These simple and common sense theories shouldbe enforced within us at all times!

Although I have already leaned a lot from my classes in London, the lesson that I have learned about the initiate of asking is something that I value more than any textbook knowledge. I hope that this blog post inspires and challenges you to learn the same lesson that I have through my experience in London so far. So the next time you see an opportunity, do not be scared to take advantage of it!

-Lindsey DePasse

Elexu Intern

Paul Arden's Best Selling Book - It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want to Be