Eleanor Leonne Bennett is a 16-year-old internationally award-winning artist who has won first places with National Geographic, The World Photography Organisation, Nature’s Best Photography and Postal Heritage. Her photography has been published in the Telegraph, The Guardian, BBC News web site and on the cover of books and magazines in the United States and Canada. She was also the only person from the UK to have her work displayed in the National Geographic and Airbus run “See The Bigger Picture” global exhibition tour with the United Nations International Year Of Biodiversity 2010.
1. How would you describe your art?
Unusual, abstract, honest, and direct.
2. When did you understand that you wanted to pursue photography? Tell me about this discovery.
I first picked up a camera to photograph wildlife for a journal on biodiversity locally.
It was for a children’s competition; unfortunately I lost, but I really enjoyed taking pictures. There were photography competitions happening all over the place and I wanted to have a go so I dove straight in.
3. When it comes to illustrating stories here at SmokeLong, where does your art begin? Take me through your process.
When I turn on [my] camera, I often think, has this image been taken before? I want to create unique images or at least images other artists haven’t though of creating. The world is very big so a lot has been done before but I want to be different. When given a story I want to tie in whilst still having my creativity.
4. Who are some of your favorite photographers?
Alexander Rodchenko, Wolfgang Tillmans, Cindy Sherman, Reza Deghati, Joel Sartore and David Bailey.
5. Tell me about the wildest shoot you’ve done.
Probably the kids with guns shoot based on that Gorillaz song of the same name.
I want to emulate more songs, which could stop me listening to them over and over obsessively.
6. “Get Back, Better On” won the National Geographic Kids 2010 Kids
Competition. Tell me about the moment you took this photograph.
I’d been thinking about the picture about a week before but was worried somebody else would have taken that photo.
I went ahead with it anyway and took it. I first thought I should enter it into the Nat Geo competition after the image was chosen to be featured next to me in the Big Issue in The North Magazine on one of my first interviews.
7. If you could collaborate with any photographer, who would it be and why? Tell me about the project you two would create.
Rankin most likely or Eleanor Hardwick.
I’d want to be as weird as possible and take the opportunity of having working with those people to get models and clothes easier. I need more props!
8. Are you working on any new projects?
Front covers mainly; keep an eye on the third page of my site to see the most recent ones. I have recently been shown in Ireland, Scotland, Denmark and Argentina.