All of the photos produced by 18 year old Michigan state photographer Elijah Majeski are nothing short of remarkable in their truly innocent and uncontrived appearance. The scenes he manages to capture are light, delicate, beautiful, and completely honest. When looking at his photos we can’t help but go back and think of our fondest childhood memories; staging an endless amount of plays about faeries and pioneers, making clubhouses, pretending to be witches and vampires and lions. These photos hint at adventures to be had, day-dreams to be dreamt, and childhood imaginings to be made reality.
Describe your work in three words.
Strange, Quiet, Vibrant.
Where do you get inspiration for the props that you make?
I have always loved stories of any kind, especially those that were descriptive and wild and imaginary; things like Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, Where the Wild Things Are, and the old west inspired a lot of props from the last year like masks, war paint and crude jewelry. On the same thread, I like the idea of children heroes or young royalty, and so I make a lot of crowns and headdresses out of grass and other things I find in our yard waste bin. These ideas also stem from a lot of video games and cartoons. I also make a lot of odd creatures out of either paper, paper mache or cardboard and it’s like I’m playing real life Pokemon. I am just such a little kid when it comes down to it I guess.
How do you select your subjects?
Most of my pictures are of my little sisters, I’ve always been really close to my family and a bit of a recluse so they were always around when I decided to start taking photographs. They were my first subjects (along with my friends’ younger sisters) and I just connect with them best; they are so artistic and have such an enchanting presence about them.
Your photos bring us back to our childhood. Is this the reaction you hope to get from your audience?
YES. I love youth and innocence and the idea of growing up and learning about the world, how scary it is, how beautiful it is. I myself still act like a kid in a lot of ways and my pictures as of late have been a way for me to become a Peter Pan of sorts.
Your favorite childhood memory?
Such a tough one: We used to camp a lot when I was younger (in Canada actually, I don’t remember where though) and I loved all the camp fires and most importantly I loved, loved, loved exploring the sand dunes in the park near the beach. It felt like a different world – all the strange things we would find; the bird nests in the holes of the sand, looking out to the beach, so close yet so high above it, watching the sunset, there were so many good imaginative scenes during those camping trips.I don’t know if my brother and sisters were as enthusiastic about these trips as I was, but they sure were always a highlight for me.
How long does it take for you to plan your photos?
It varies. I spend a lot of time thinking and gathering references and creating the ideas. It can take anywhere from an hour to a month, and then I usually start making props and organizing costumes as soon as the gathering is done. Then I just wait till it feels right and I shoot. Some shoots are completely spontaneous, I feel bored so I take pictures within that day. I guess it varies dramatically when it comes down to it, planning shoots is always intuitive to me.