Swopes

Hello everyone 🙂 Todays interview will be featuring the amazing Swopes. Funny story on how I was introduced to Swopes. Over a year ago when I first moved to Chicago, I started getting into taking pictures and editing them due to seeing all these beautiful views. I took this picture at Lincoln Park Zoo and finished editing it and sent it to my friend Sabina who was into photography. When she finally looked at it, she said it reminded her of a Swopes picture. From there I found out who she was and I have been a huge fan ever since. Anyways, Swopes is one of the greats coming out of Chicago when it comes to her picture taking skills. Check out the interview below, give her a following on social media and admire her beautiful artwork.


Introduce yourself

  • Hello, my name is Elise Swopes! *To anyone wondering where the name Swopes came from*
When did you first start getting into photography?
  • I first started getting into photography around 2011 when I started instagram. I started shooting with my iPhone and learned from there.
Were there any photographers that inspired you to start taking pictures?
  • Yes, Trashhand.
Do you like the term photographer? Or do you prefer being called an Artist?
  • It’s hard for me to call myself a photographer because there are people who do much more in depth photography. They travel to unknown places and capture emotion and things people have never seen. I don’t have the guts for that. I consider myself an artist overall. I tend to edit my photos beyond what they naturally are.
Your photography skills are amazing, is it true you mainly shoot with your iPhone? What other cameras do you shoot with?
  • Yes, it’s true to an extent. I have been shooting more with my Canon 6d because I have to learn it to further my career. I unfortunately can’t shoot big events with my iPhone haha.
What’s your favorite part about capturing a moment?
  • I’d have to say, adding on to my portfolio, and also hoping to making some money off of it lol.
Do you have a specific style to shoot?
  • For me, I enjoy shooting Landscape and Concert Photography.
Where is your favorite spot to shoot in Chicago?
  • Hmm… I’d have to probably say either The Hancock Observatory or The Willis Tower.
What are your favorite editing Apps or programs? Do you prefer editing on your phone or do you use lightroom or photoshop, or a mixture of both?
  • My favorites are VscoCam, Filterstorm, Mextures, Snapseed, Artstudio, SKRWT, Circular, PicFX, and Reflection. I like a mixture of both, I have found the Hue change in Lightroom is way better than on the phone.
You once stated, “No photo is a bad photo” what did you exactly mean by that?
  • What I meant was, due to all of the editing you can due to a picture, you truly can make it look good. haha
A lot of people consider you one of the best photographers at this moment, how does that feel? How cool is it that people love and appreciate the things you create?
  • Sometimes it’s hard to consider myself a photographer because of all the editing I do to my photo. Most of them aren’t real, but when they are “real” like candids for example. While I was in Japan, I guess I could consider those decent. I mean, for real though, there are people risking their lives for photos. I am not one of them, THOSE are the best photographers.
You have a huge following on Instagram, take us back to when you first started coming up, do you remember that first picture(post) that really took off and went viral?
  • When I first started Instagram, all of my posts were of my cat and food. But as time went on I noticed all of the possibilities with all the types of apps that were coming out. I have been creating virtual art ever since I can remember. It’s just something that has always been natural to me, so for the convenience of creating on my phone and posting immediately became somewhat of an addiction. Instagram caught on to my obsession and put me on the suggested user list. I woke up one morning with thousands of followers, but I can’t seem to remember exactly what caused it. I just know I worked my ass of for months, every single day, all day editing on my phone and posting.
Since that post there has clearly been no slowing down, you’ve been able to travel all over the world. Tell us about those experiences.
  • You really can’t slow down, it’s unfortunate actually, and this is something I talk about often because I do, too, feel the pressure every single day to post something new. But it’s normal to take your time on your work. I have an issue with the internet because of this fast paced reveal of new art. I wish I could just keep it chill. But one comment always comes up for me, “You haven’t posted in in two days, where are you?” i’m living my life haha.
Throughout the years, what has Art or photography taught you? 
  • I’ve learned to not be afraid to try new things. People love something they have never seen before. A lot of people tend to copy someone who inspires them, but copying isn’t flattering to me. It’s just sad because I want people to be the best them possible.
What’s next for you swopes? Any big events or new spots you’ll be traveling to?
  • Aw man, yeah Istanbul, Turkey is next for me. But I am in college at the moment trying to get these straight A’s and it’s impossible to do so when i’m traveling a lot.
Do you have any advice for any young artists out there trying to come up?
  • BE YOURSELF. Do what you love every single f*in day and literally envision how you expect your life to be. It’ll all work itself out.
Here are some pictures she has taken!
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As you can see from the pictures above her skills are incredible. Stay updated everyday with the new pictures she uploads. Follow her on her social media accounts
Twitter: @Swopes
Instagram: @Swopes
Website: Swop.es
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