Famous for her exquisite underwater photography, Ilse Moore enthralls audiences from all over. She is fascinated by the underwater environment since it allows her to explore a world where she can toy around and manipulate imagery. Currently working out of the Vaal Triangle, her fashion as well as art photography has appeared in British Vogue and has been featured in international sites like Fashion Gone Rogue.
Moore obtained her Visual Arts degree from the University of South Africa in 2009 and her work encompasses fashion and conceptual photography, commercial and bridal work, with most of it shot underwater. Being the opposite of flying, the concept of shooting under water lured Moore to explore this environment. Water stands for many of the concepts Moore has been working on such as life, change and transformation.
“While my underwater photography often involves commercial shoots, my conceptual work speaks of a subconscious denial of reality. I have always been attracted to surreal imagery. I believe that photography as a medium lends a kind of realism to these ‘fantasies’, allowing it to exist in closer relationship to the viewer. I like that it suggests the possibility of an indiscernible truth. Shooting underwater seemed like the logical next step in finding a balance between the surreal world and my own reality,” said Moore.
The difficult conditions Moore chooses to work under need absolute focus but there is a thrill to be found in the unpredictable and precarious. Moore added, “Regardless of who or what I’m shooting, there remains very little control under water. I can always expect something magical to happen, not only due to the weightlessness and freedom, but it feels like being in another world where I have my own creative playground.”
She works with a small team that includes Elsa Bleda who is a regular coworker and art director in Moore’s fashion pictorial. Bleda also doubles-up as the model in practically all of the images. Sean, Moore’s hubby helps to create the lighting rigs she uses when she is not shooting with natural light.
Check out our interview with Ilse to know more about her creative process.