Today we will be featuring the beautiful & talented (& really funny!!), Elyse Cardon, whose photographs are currently being displayed at our Hilltop North restaurant.
We’ve asked her a few questions in order to give you a behind-the-scenes look at both the art and the artist herself.
LET’S GET TO KNOW ELYSE
Originally from up north, I mostly grew up here in Virginia Beach, …the rest? Well, I guess I’m considered somewhat worldly. I am a “Jill of all trades.” I was the little girl who wanted so badly to be a ballerina. I was also the little girl who really meant it…so much that I left home at 14 years old to pursue what became my (first) professional career. I also ended up teaching ballet. Many years later I trained and became NY Certified in Pilates, then opened the highly acclaimed, Axiom-Pilates Center of Virginia. As it turns out, between teaching dance and then Pilates, I discovered that I love to coach. A lot…about everything. All this and more before marrying the love of my life, David, and starting our family, which has filled my world in ways I thought I could only dream about. What started as a spark between two old schoolmates, lit up our lives with four beautiful little sparkles. Now retired ballerina (timing, angles, & lines mean everything) & NY Pilates trainer (deep understanding of mind, body connections & can explain anything to anyone, husbands included!) Mother of 4 ( I speak every variation of children). Best wife ever (duh)… All mixed together make me the passionate photographer I am today… inspired by all the fine details of life and the people who star in it.
I love sparkles & twinkle lights… Especially natural ones that catch light in the eyes. My taste is considered eclectic…I have a need to match the unexpected. I’m detail oriented and a strict rule follower. Art has no rules… I love kid-art. I’m skilled in much & self-taught in most. I am constantly thinking about ____. (Yes, fill-in ANYthing, I’m thinking about it.) I subscribe to keepin’-it-real. Connecting the dots brings me great fulfillment. Someone mention dots? Polka dots? HEY soul-sista! I kind of really think 1990 was ten years ago. I am equally comfortable in town and country. I love fashion, fonts, and farms… After thousands of rehearsals, I recognize that life is not one of them. And as Audrey Hepburn said, “I believe in pink…”
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY
This specific series of images is the fulfillment of a somewhat romantic vision I had ever since John Wilson moved his farm to the current New Earth Farm location (1885 Indian River Rd. Virginia Beach, VA 23456). When I saw the perfectly deteriorated, copper-tin-roof house contrasted with the new education center, the green houses, the acres and acres of fields, I instantly imagined children tending the fields at sunset. In my style of photography, I use natural light and focus on the genuine nature of the children. While many choose to pose and make photography a still life, I need movement in my images so they “live out loud.”
As a more general answer & a little more about my business niche… I specialize in modern children portraiture, featuring a fresh look at kids being kids and I capture the honesty in their eyes. Photographing all ages: newborns, children, tweens and family, I choose to use natural light, which is actually quite complex, since it changes minute to minute, hour to hour and I love the challenge of it! I am known for being extremely patient and respect babies and children of all ages… they are, after-all, (sweet) PEOPLE. This year I’ve opened a new tween division… Why? Because the “tween” years (in between ages 8-13ish), are the last years our kids are truly still kids. I love boosting their confidence and building their self-esteem when I show them, through my lens, just how amazing they really are! They love my photo session experience and it is a great activity to do with a friend or in honor of a birthday! Tweens come hangout with me on Instagram @liveoutloud_sweetppl.
HOW DO YOU #LIVEYOURHEALTH?
My friends and online fans know me to be quite the healthy food advocate. I choose to live surrounded (mostly) by organic fruits and vegetables because that is what I prefer to eat. I suppose I am lucky, that I crave the good stuff. I am trying to educate my four children on the beauty of whole foods. Not a day goes by that we don’t cut a fruit or veggie open and marvel in the beauty. We eat “rainbow dinner” a lot and they even ask for green juice now. That being said, my six year old son may or may not have recently confessed that my home-made green juice was not as good as Fruitive’s (Sweetgrass) green juice.
AND YOUR CONNECTION TO FRUITIVE?
The long and the short is that Fruitive “had me at hello.” Living in Virginia Beach, we are hard pressed (no pun intended) to find casual, plant-based, health conscious cafés and restaurants. I dream of the day that our local 7-11’s become Fruitives. In all seriousness, when I realized that Fruitive and my long time friends at New Earth Farm had found each other, it felt like when your two best friends finally meet each other. Sweet People Photography at New Earth Farm adorning Fruitive’s walls just feels like the perfect fusion.