Today we want to introduce you to Ellie Smith and her ‘LARP’ project:
“I am intrigued by people whose lives are different to my own so I use my camera as a means of exploration, to pry into the lives of those that under normal circumstances I would have no contact with. I love the odd relationships that occur during the process of picture making- my method involves spending time with individuals that I photograph rather than simply snatching a picture from them.
“This project is about Live Action Role-Play (or ‘LARP’), a form of fantasy role-play gaming where you are required to perform as a character of your own creation, constructing and progressing a second life within a Tolkien style setting. Whilst creating these images I met a lot of interesting people, some of whom had lived with the same character for more than a decade, and it is this immersion in not only another life but another world that interests me. LARP is a truly escapist practice, and players live out their weekends in a fantastical land that is completely removed from reality. They assign certain traits to their characters such as the strength and valour of a hero or even the depravity of a villain that may be unavailable to them in the ‘real world’- LARP allows them to become an idealised version of themselves.
“The visual element of the game was obviously a huge pull for me when I was considering starting this project and I was constantly amazed by the effort that went into creating this facade (the first part of the day is generally dedicated to helping each other get dressed and put make up on, and outfits range from expensive chain mail to items that are pieced together from charity shops). Most players like to use weapons whilst some have magical powers, but either way it seems that this is simply another form of empowerment.
“I’ve decided to make more of the people that are around me- I tend to find myself researching into groups of people who are quite removed from my life and forgetting that I am surrounded by family and friends who I’d also really love to photograph.”
Interested in more?! Visit elliesmithphotography.co.uk