Elle Jé is the alter ego of Lesley Saunders an enigmatic, elegant and charismatic lady who worked as an IT professional as a senior manager with an International conglomerate. Lesley has travelled the world and has enjoyed and appreciated the subtle nuances of numerous cultures she has encountered in her travels. She took up photography as a hobby and a relaxing pastime as recently as 2007. It is on her visit to India in 2009 that she honed her skills under the expert tutelage of the redoubtable Anand Sharan. Lesley, inadvertently, was exposed to the richness and beauty of “the real people” of India in towns, cities and villages. She is fascinated and is in awe of the womenfolk of this country. Their resilience and fortitude has made a lasting impression on her. Lesley’s images portray the strength, the beauty, the steadfastness and the contentment of these amazing women, who stand tall with pride in a plethora of situations that we urban and materially spoilt folk would find hard to cope with. The pride of the 80 something year old lady scaling a hillock upright and briskly, the contented smile of the shy young lady in the colourful yellow sari, the pensive look of the young bride to be, the teenage gypsy girl taking on the hustle and bustle of a challenging world at a tender age, the woman in the bright red sari walking away from the vagaries of her daily routine, are all a poignant testimony to this incredible strength these women of India have. As described by a modest and unassuming admirer of her work, “Lesley sees a picture and then puts it in her camera”. Perhaps the most befitting compliment to Lesley’s passion and perceptions. Lesley also has a penchant for the abstract and surreal. There are several examples of her vision and versatility on her website.
SHAUN RANA – INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTER AND RACONTEUR