The Synergy of Design and Fine Art Photography

In this week's blog I am thrilled to introduce you to another of the 'creatives' that I have had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know in the past few years. As you will find out below, Elizabeth Hesp of Elizabeth Hesp Fine Art, like many of us, is pursuing her passion after working in an unrelated career.  And we are glad she is! Enjoy the interview with Elizabeth and I know you are going to be captivated by her work. 

Have you always been a fine art photographer?

My educational background is in the sciences and while working in research at Queen’s University I held my first fine art photography exhibition “A Luminous Tribute” in August 2012. The images were a celebration of a city I called home after having immigrated from India to Kingston, in the 90’s. The response and support from the community and local media coverage made me think more seriously about what I was trained to do and what I loved doing. My exhibition had been a leap of faith but the question was, did I have the courage to continue evolving as an independent artist?

That question was finally answered in 2014 when I got my first Ontario Arts Council grant and I remember tearing up with gratitude. There was no looking back and in 2015 Elizabeth Hesp Fine Art was launched. Now after a second OAC grant, seven exhibitions later and a self-published photography book with another publication coming soon, I can say the experience has been both humbling and incredible.

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What attracted you to fine art photography?

Fine art photography is a visual language, a form of expression I use to communicate with my audience. As a self-taught photographer/visual artist I enjoy the freedom it gives me to connect ideas and concepts from my memories, experiences and observations both within and beyond the parameters of my own aesthetics and beliefs.

For me it is an introspective and meditative process that culminates in original perspectives, urging the viewer to look beyond the image and reflect within. A full circle conversation without a word spoken!

How did you make the transition to fine art photography?

Growing up with the sights and sounds of tropical India and the dramatic monsoons, my artistic sensibilities were expressed initially with a paintbrush and with the colors of India’s vibrant culture and heritage. My journey to the West and subsequent discovery of being able to paint with a camera and lens led me to discover my own language of expression.

This singular perspective and minimalist approach to looking through the viewfinder was influenced by my experiences and travels both in the East and the West.

As I started to settle in Canada and raise my own children in a vast and beautiful country far from home, I experienced the personal loss of the passing away of both my parents back in India. It made me question the accepted predictability of our lives and what it takes to step out of our comfort zones and be able to live each moment to the fullest.

Fine art photography became my evolving method of expression, mirroring my personal transformations, in a style that reflects my quiet observations and need for tranquility and vibrancy.

My affinity for both the natural and man-made environment guided me to create images of waterscapes (Reflections), tall ships (Sails Tall Ships), colour abstractions (Motion Abstract), florals (Floral Tranquil Garden and Floral Abstract), metaphorical macros (Nautilus Rhythms) and local history (Kingston First Capital of Canada).

Recently my love for architecture, dance and music has inspired me to complete my first collaborative, research driven and volunteer-based Artist Project., Visual Rhythms Architecture Dance Music. The exhibition is being held collaboratively at Queen’s University’s Isabel Bader Centre of the Performing Arts in June 2018 with a fine art publication following soon thereafter. The book will be available from our downtown Kingston’s Novel Idea in the summer.

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Tell us more about Elizabeth Hesp Fine Art. Is it just online?

Elizabeth Hesp Fine Art or EHFA is online only and has two separate sections onsite.

One is the Interior Art section which showcases my Portfolio Images and Art Services and all the displayed images are for sale.

The other section is about my Artist Projects, both collaborative and solo endeavours researching and commenting visually on contemporary topics relevant to the community. The images displayed in this section are not for individual sale but in a series keeping with the narrative, mostly as an acquisition.

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Are there skills from your previous work life that you have made use of in your fine art photography biz?

My attention to detail and innovation in the lab, carries over well when not only creating and composing my images but also when fabricating the artwork. From printing, mounting, and framing to installation, each art piece is made according to my specifications at reputed fine art printing ateliers, to produce a quality fine art product.

Having both analytical and creative skills helps in organizing and streamlining my interior art services to my prospects. It gives me a better insight and a more balanced approach in understanding their design project needs to make their art buying experience a satisfactory one.

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What are the biggest challenges of your fine art photography biz?

One of the challenges is to educate my audience about the archival printing and mounting steps in displaying fine art photography in order to preserve the value and appeal of the piece in the years to come. There are many more budget friendly options available now than 25 years ago and the key is to understand and connect what printing and display method will not only look good but retain its longevity in that environment. It is also important to inform my audience about how it will complement the design vision of the space. That completes the impression of the artwork in the space and remains an enjoyment forever.

My Art Consult service at Elizabeth Hesp Fine Art, was designed with this objective in mind. The consultation process tries to understands the client’s art requirement and then informs, educates and guides the presentation and installation of the image to enhance the space.

What gives you the greatest joy and pleasure of your fine art photography biz?

- Seeing the smile on someone’s face who has just purchased my artwork and has it installed in their space.

- Hearing from my clients, compliments they received, about the recent addition of my fine art photography frame or canvas in their home or office.

- The satisfaction of being able to create something original and meaningful and be able to share it with my audience, that is priceless!

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How/what do your photos contribute to interior décor?

My photographic work as shown on my interior art website, is created with an independent focus on only eliciting a unique response from the viewer. It is not specifically created to merge with any particular décor style. The images are thus versatile and timeless.

I believe visual art on the wall, elevates and adds to the mood and ambience of the space, provoking an engagement without judgement. In fact, art on the wall doesn’t always have to match the décor style but can sometimes stand independent of it, while still completing the interior decor vision.

Some of my waterscapes and florals set a tranquil mood and create a meditative focus in that physical space. This calming influence is nice for the home or healthcare environment. My vibrant abstracts are for spaces where a bolder and more contemporary visual impact is required for example in corporate settings.

If you would like to know more about interior art from Elizabeth Hesp Fine Art be sure to check out her website at and be sure to browse both the Artist Project and Interior Art sections.

To book an Art Consult read more here