From candid behind-the-scenes images of artists and their crews to the powerful gif-style portraits, it’s only a matter of time before Eli Prasit offers his artistic production to the creative landscape. Originally born and raised in Houston, Eli is a self-taught photographer and videographer that injects a multitude of artistic flair into his work which has led to him shooting for several lifestyle and music heavyweights. Now, based in Los Angeles, the 23-year-old continues to progress not only in terms of stepping out of his own boundaries but working with more familiar faces as well.
Placing his subjects in a whimsical setting, Eli Prasit is as much a photographer as he is a digital creator, narrating a vivid story with eye-grabbing details in each photo. YG, Tyga, Dipset, Jeff Hamilton, and Tori Ross are amongst the many to step in front of his lens, further cementing his knack for working with creatives across every avenue. Not to mention, Prasit occasionally steps in front of the lens sometimes as an actor and model. He’s a multifaced creative and highlighting the many different sides of his work has been the calling card to Eli Prasit’s growing success
For Behind The Lens, Eli Prasit chops it up about inspiration these days, working with Dipset, and advice for self-taught photographers to name a few topics! Read below.
You’re originally from Houston, but I know you had moved to Los Angeles some years ago—how would you describe the differences in culture and how did you adjust?
It’s been two years since I moved to LA and I still feel as if I have a lot to experience and see. Moving to an entirely new state was a thrill and a gamble at the same time. LA is a city where I feel that life moves at a faster pace than it does back home in Houston. As far as the culture in Houston, I believe the nightlife, local streetwear brands, and car shows are what bring life to the city. Though there are a lot more people and new things to see in LA, Houston will always be home.
What inspired you?
Back in school, I was never the biggest football player on the field, I didn’t have to coolest sneakers, and the fear of being in college debt is what drove me to really think about truly made me happy and different from everyone else. If anything, photography has taught me that it’s not about how expensive your equipment is or the amount of gear that you have that matters, it’s honestly what you can do with what you do have at your disposal. That’s when others can see what you can really do.
What does your working process look like? Do you just go straight for it and start shooting?
Before taking any chances behind the lens of my camera, I was mostly dedicated to editing behind the screen and out of sight. This shifted the way I shoot content because I not only piece together the shots I take in my head beforehand but I now shoot in a way that correlates with how I’m going to edit it afterward so it makes my job easier.
You’ve developed a pretty distinctive style considering most of your pictures are candid—do you find that you’re still experimenting with your technique and approach?
I definitely take any chance I get to experiment when it comes to shooting and editing photos or videos. Picking a camera has always been an outlet to express myself more than it’s been for anybody else. With that being said, regardless of whether someone dislikes my work, I take pride in knowing that I’ve gone a route that most won’t.
Big names such as OhGeesy, Tyga, and YG are just a few to step in front of your lens, what’s been your most exciting memory in the field that you can remember?
My most exciting memory would have to be when I was able to be on stage with the iconic “Dipset” group which includes Jim, Jones, Juelz Santana, and Cam’ron. That moment when I saw that every flashlight that was turned on was pointed at us was when I felt like I might be doing something right my career. I truly felt like this is only the beginning.
Do you believe that formal training is necessary to thrive as a photographer? Any advice for those on the self-taught route?
Everyone has a different story and opinion when it comes to being a photography and the path you have to take. Personally, I never really liked putting boundaries on myself and that thought process drove me to learn on my own. Being self-taught has allowed me to have fun and forget the logical side of my field. The times that I do feel like I’ve failed or messed up a shot I only have myself to blame for and I believe that’s what builds confidence and discipline in the long run.
With this year in the rearview, what do you have coming up in 2022?
Don’t get me wrong, as much as I would want to capture every moment of my life through a lens I someday would like to pass the torch to a young and inspired individual. I got into photography to get my foot in the door in the industry and I now would like to pursue many of my other aspirations such as acting, modeling, and even starting my own brand. In two years of living in LA, I was able to work with some of my favorite people and I can’t wait to see what year three brings if I decide to stay.
If you enjoyed our interview with Eli Prasit, check out our chat with Toronto photographer Felice Trinidad.