Four things we adore about Elle-May Leckenby:

1)    Her clothes. Big brim hats. Plaid. Choppy Bangs. Red Lips. Okay, that’s more than one thing.

2)   Her photos. Dark and eerily pretty. Real photography.

3) Her insanely long legs. R U KIDDING?

4)    Her beautiful mind.

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Elle-May Leckenby is not your average fashion blogger, she’s an artist. This young fashionista is stirring waves internationally via her site Stylishells.blogspot.com — starting from the sandy shores of Australia (where she grew up). Her blog is built on the premise of photography, which is one of the many reasons we dig her. Her stuff looks different than all the cookie-cutter bloggers with beautiful lives these days. With all the glamor aside, Elle-May constantly posts inspirational content to remind her readers why they should be thankful for what they have and to always revel in the beauty of nature. We say, PREACH. — CARISSA GAN

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 “It’s not hard at all for me to be inspired. I’ve always had a main objective to enjoy life and just always do things that bring me joy — I think this is the key.”

SHK: HI ELLE! WHY BLOGGING?

ELLE-MAY LECKENBY: I was around 16 years old and fashion blogging stemmed from my love for photography.

WHAT WAS THE IDEA BEHIND STYLISHELLS? 

So I had a Flickr account that was going well and I started using lookbook.nu and people on there would ask me all the time if I had my own blog, so I just decided to make one.

THAT’S HOW WE FOUND YOU. YOUR PICS STAND OUT FROM ALL OF THE OTHER BLOGGERS. YOU ARE SUCH AN AMAZING PHOTOGRAPHER. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN PHOTOGRAPHY? 

I started when I was around 14 but I was taking really bad images on a normal digital camera. At the time, they were so cool to me and I would constantly update and change my Myspace page with new images and different layouts. I fell in love with the cyber world and how we could use images to portray different parts of us online and show people what we love. From then on, I became heavily into different Flickr photographers and would try and replicate shots they did and I have just done it as a hobby for my entire teenage life I guess. And now I’ve finally hit 20 and I’m still as passionate as ever about it. I don’t think I could or would ever stop.

WE WANNA KNOW THE SECRET. HOW DO BLOGGERS TAKE THE PERFECT SELFIE?

Thank you! I take a lot myself on timer, and the other more tricky ones to shoot are either taken by a family member or a close friend who is with me at the time.

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SO, TELL US WHAT WAS IT LIKE GROWING UP NEAR THE BEACH? THAT’S PRETTY MUCH EVERYONE’S IDEAL LIFESTYLE AND TOTALLY FOREIGN TO NEW YORKERS.

Yes! It is amazing. It’s really only been the last five years of my life that I’ve lived so close to the ocean front. And it’s seriously the best thing ever. I love open spaces — I think I’ll always need it to inspire my thoughts and keep me sane! I lived on my own in a seaside town of a bigger city for the last two years while I studied photography and graphic design. It was actually a really cool growing point for me because it was so lonely but so nice at the same time. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do it like that again, but I am so grateful it happened. Now I am back at home with my family. I’ll have to move out sometime soon but I know it will be near the beach again. [Laughs]

HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE?

Neutral, free, flow-y, elegant and innovative.

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ANY FASHION ROLE MODELS?

Of course — Alexa Chung! (Like every other girl) She just has a coolness about her.  I also really love a blogger called FrouFrouu — she also has an effortless tomboy-like coolness. I admire a lot of bloggers that wear things that I would never feel comfortable wearing. I guess it helps stretch my mind!

HOW DID YOU DEVELOP YOUR OWN SENSE OF STYLE?  

I’ve never been caught up in brand names and status in the fashion world — actually it’s quite sad how little I know. I guess I am a sucker for a good mood. If I see an editorial or music video or even a TV series that embodies a vibe, feeling or emotion that I can relate to and gives me this dreamy or inspiring mindset, I want to go out and experiment with the attire. I’m not sure if that make sense. [Laughs] I get attached to eras and styles of filming that capture differed periods of fashion, and then I will take my own modern spin on that and create an outfit I feel comfortable in.

IT MAKES TOTAL SENSE! FILMS PROVIDE SOME OF THE BEST FASHION CUES. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST PET PEEVE? 

Hmm, I guess everyone has them… I try not to dwell on things that annoy me [laughs], but I do need my own space and quite often too… Or else I get very angsty.

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I’D ALSO LIKE TO ADD THAT YOUR BLOG IS SO INSPIRING. APART FROM BEING A FASHION ROLE MODEL, YOU ALSO INSPIRE WITH YOUR WRITING, WHICH READS REALLY HONEST AND BEAUTIFUL. IT SPEAKS VOLUMES ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU REMIND YOUR READERS TO BE THANKFUL FOR WHAT THEY HAVE. HOW DO YOU STAY SO INSPIRED YOURSELF? 

It’s not hard at all for me to be inspired. I’ve always had a main objective to enjoy life and just always do things that bring me joy — I think this is the key. I was also brought up in a Christian home and taught that I am blessed beyond anything. Every person starts out with absolutely nothing so even having a home or a bed a job or things to eat is a bonus and we really have to be grateful for everything good in our lives because we miss so much neglecting that and striving for more all the time. I always fall into that trap. And then I have to remind myself of the beauty in nature and things that don’t require other people’s approval and it just inspires me!

DITTO! I CAN’T AGREE MORE. AS A FASHION BLOGGER, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE CHALLENGES YOU HAD TO FACE AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THEM? 

To be completely honest, I have had a pretty good run. Everyone around me has pretty much always supported what I do. There are always people who will ask, “Why do you always take pictures of yourself?” and talk to you like you are vain or self-consumed. But I never really let anything bother me because I know this is what I love and my ambition always will outweigh any negativity.

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SLICE OF ADVICE?

Just make sure you always do it because you love it, and do it without expectations in return. Having goals is good but I’ve found that if you love it, you will do it regardless and everything else good that happens is just a bonus, therefore you appreciate it so much more!

Also always be persistent in what you love! I was working full time last year and sometimes I would get home and only have like 15 minutes left of sunlight to photograph an outfit and I remember driving home and thinking to myself, “I really can’t be bothered!” but then in the back of my mind I knew there was no way I was not doing it. Because I love it, I couldn’t help myself. I would race upstairs, grab and outfit and just do it! And sometimes those spontaneous images turn out the best.

WHOA, LOOKING AT THOSE AWESOME IMAGES, NOBODY WOULD’VE GUESSED THAT SOME THE OUTFITS WERE ONLY PUT TOGETHER IN A FEW MINUTES! WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WOULDN’T BE CAUGHT DEAD IN?

Hmm, I’m not sure. I am too scared to say it may come back to bite me. I can be very experimental at times.

PLEASE DO SHARE YOUR SECRET TO HAVING FLAWLESS SKIN.

[Laughs] Try and swim in the salty ocean as much as possible and exfoliate with soft sand.

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SINCE THIS MAGAZINE IS CALLED SEEN HEARD KNOWN, PLEASE TELL US SOMETHING WE SHOULD SEE, HEAR AND KNOW. FEEL FREE TO GET RANDOM! 

SEE: A large troop of kangaroos hopping all together, early morning in a misty field! It’s amazing!

HEAR: A live opera.

KNOW: Your character is the most important thing to work on.

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