January 26, 2016

Dreamy landscapes and intimate portraits characterise the work of Swiss-based photographers, Nadia Tarra and Arnaud Ele. Their analog images capture moments in time: flecks of sunlight, soft shadows, a sidewards glance. Documenting love and friendship on the road, we caught up with the creative duo to talk about their inspirations, the first time they picked up the camera and what they’re looking forward to achieving in 2016…

UO: Can you tell us a little about your story so far?

We are two photographers who live in Switzerland. We met two years ago and we immediately merged our artistic universe and fell in love! We complement each other, yet retain our differences at the same time.We create images for friends, brands, models and other artists.

Nadia: I was born in Switzerland but my family come from Portugal. I have a degree in Illustration and Visual Communication. Today, I work in the world of fashion, but I prefer to keep an intimate and authentic style.

Arnaud: I am from Cameroon. I left my home country when I was four years old. I attended a film school in Geneva, but I left as I wanted to learn independently. Today, I work on independent films, I travel and I like to take portraits of the people I meet.

UO: When did you first pick up a camera?

Nadia: I have always enjoyed creating stories and images, even as a child. I developed my love for photography and this style when I bought my first analog camera. It became more magical than just taking pictures at a party or travel pictures with a digital camera.

Arnaud: My stepfather gave me a oneway camera when I was a child. I realized that I loved capturing the things around me! Many of my friends are photographers, so it was sharing moments with them when I realized I wanted to do this.

UO: Can you tell us about the inspiration and story behind this photo shoot?

The inspiration for this shoot was just REAL LIFE! Love, friendship and people.

UO: You recently filmed the music video, Remember This Day for Swiss band, The Company of Men. Can you tell us a little about that experience?

The band contacted Arnaud to produce a video clip. They wanted a video on the theme of love, something that brings people together… so we had the idea to link the two projects together. The filming lasted several days; some of the images from this shoot were shot during our meeting with the band. We live in the Swiss Alps and there are always beautiful images to capture.

UO: How would you describe your style in three words?

Free, Intense, Dreamer

UO: What do you love about shooting on film?

Taking photos on film is a true way to freeze time! It is more surprising and less controllable than digital photography. We belive that the images are softer and more sensitive with analog film.

UO: What inspires you both personally and professionally?

We are inspired by everything around us! People, nature, music, the universe… It encourages us to always push ourselves further and explore new things.

UO: How do you complement each other when working together?

Working creatively together helps us to explore our ideas in more depth. We understand each other very well and we know what the other wants in these images. It’s easier to work with someone who likes the same things and that you consider to be talented – we compete with each other in a positive way to achieve more.

UO: What’s your most memorable travel experience so far?

Nadia: Last year I did a road trip across the United States with some close friends. We crossed the dead valley, driving with open windows through endless forests, and met new people every day. It was a wonderful experience: a true feeling of freedom!

Arnaud: When I returned to Cameroon after nearly 20 years! I met several members of my family and I found tastes, smells, and landscapes I found I already knew. It was a lot of different sensations and memories recovered.

UO: What do you hope to accomplish in 2016?

We want to continue to create and share our love for photography. The most important thing for us, is the contact with people. We would also like to work more independently of each other, in order to feel personally alive in our art.

And finally…

Happiness is… Freedom
The most important thing in life is…Love
My favourite time of day is…
Arnaud: Sunrise, when a new day begins everything seems possible.
Nadia: Sunset, when you know that tomorrow you’re going to live a new adventure
The most breathtaking sight I have seen…. A full starry night in the mountains, with no light from the city, nobody, just infinite.
Our on-the-road soundtrack is… Many of our friends are musicians, we like to listen their music on the road: The Last Moan, The Company of Men, Maury

Watch the video for Remember this Day by The Company of Men below: