Elizabeth Coetzee is a photographer and producer currently based in Brooklyn, NY. She graduated with her BFA in Photography from Pratt Institute in May 2019, where she completed a 3-month long photography fellowship through Made in NYC.
In early 2019, Elizabeth co-founded 10 Acre Films, a production company that creates photo and video content for independent artists and brands. She has previously worked with companies such as Birchbox, D'Angelico Guitars, The Rove Lab, Designs for Health, and Sakara Life.
How did you first get interested in photography?
One of my earliest memories is when I was 4 years old taking pictures of my mom's garden with her polaroid. I haven't really stopped since then! I got my first camera when I was 12 and would coordinate photoshoots with my friends until we graduated High School. I can't really think of a time in my life where photography wasn't prevalent.
What are some of the sources of inspiration behind your pieces?
A lot of my personal work stems from my obsessive-compulsive disorder and how I use the camera as a way to confront my fears and obsessions. Whenever I feel like my mind is spiraling from anxiety and exhaustive worrying, that is when I feel the most inspired to take pictures because it gets me out of my head. It's a very therapeutic and magical process.
How would you describe your creative process?
My creative process is pretty sporadic. I usually always have my Mamiya 645 or a 35mm camera on hand wherever I go; sometimes I'll shoot 4 rolls in an hour and sometimes I won't touch the camera. It really depends on where my head is at. With OCD, your brain is running a million miles a minute so I shoot film just because it slows me down. I'll shoot, process the film, and sometimes wait weeks or months to finally look back at my scans. I give my workspace so that when I do finally look back at the photographs, I feel like I am able to look at them with a refreshed perspective and a clearer head.
Favorite museum or creative space?
One of my favorites is the Whitney Museum of Art. The MoMA is also great; I really love attending their film screenings.
As for a creative space, anywhere in the middle of nowhere. That is probably the most inspiring place to be!
Favorite place to travel?
My heart is forever in Portugal.
Tell us about your freelance work.
I typically produce various photo and video projects with my company 10 Acre Films. I also do some retouching on the side, and... oh yeah, I also shoot a lot of product photography!
What impact (if any) does your Side Hustle have on your freelance client work?
It definitely gives me the opportunity to share the work that is very personal to me. They are my interests and emotions on display, which is something that I am not really able to explore with my freelance work.
Any advice for aspiring Side Hustlers?
A side hustle shouldn't feel like work. If you can't stop thinking about it because of how much it excites you, then you have found something really special that's worth pursuing.