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I think my style of work is unique. I tend to plan everything to a T. Wanted shots, Poses, Lighting ideas, Reflector use, Locations, Timings, etc. I also will talk to my model a lot before the shoot to inspire them and explain what I want to achieve from the shoot - atmosphere and style. My inspirations are also rather unique and modern as well as barrier breaking.
Emily, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
My passion in life is helping others to feel more confident in themselves and see the beauty in the world and the adventures that you can have! The past three years I have been in and out of hospitals with anorexia, depression, anxiety and paranoia. I am well into my recovery and restored my weight and intend to keep healthy and keep growing - this is what has inspired my Learning To Love project. So far it has improved over 20 people's self-confidence, and they all adored the images which are a huge step for them and one that I am glad to have been a part of. Keep positive and spreading this positivity and beauty is my passion and I feel able to do this through my images. I started photography in GCSE, and I was hooked from day one. I wasn't meant to take photography at. First, I was meant to take engineering but because my friends went to photography I went and followed the crowd. Although I despise following the crowd nowadays - I am so happy I did decide to change because photography gives me a confidence that I don't usually have. It's helped me through so many situations in my life and helped me to go out and be much more sociable. I continued photography up until the present day - I take my camera everywhere and love to plan shoots with people as often as I can!
Who is your inspiration in life Emily? How do you keep inspired?
Gosh - my inspiration in life has to be Annie Leibovitz. Her ability to break social barriers, capture stunningly unique images and make all her clients look so natural and comfortable in front of the camera. Her style is so distinct - I admire this so much - the ability to be able to point out her images even when they are mixed with many other artist's works. Also, as a person, she was so bubbly and unique, a very strong personality. She was never anyone else - always herself.
We all make mistakes Emily; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I tend to be a very pedantic photographer, and I strive for perfection. I also like to plan everything out perfectly and get confirmation from my models as soon as possible. I have in the past gotten quite uptight with my models because they have not reconfirmed or been late before. This is not an effective way of dealing with things - it can make them feel uncomfortable and sometimes even untrusting towards you. Trust and comfort are two key aspects to achieve during a photographer-model relationship.
Emily, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritising your clients’ needs?
I prioritise my clients through benefit. If two people collided dates/times, then I would prioritise whoever I feel would personally benefit from it the most. As well as this I do look into factors such as their next available time - whether it is easy for them to reschedule. But mainly I prioritise through the beneficial element of the shoot.
Please tell us, Emily, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
Through college work, I have had to arrange and run an exhibition on my current project. I got six weeks to achieve this including taking the images, mounting up images, selecting, finding a space, finding guests, etc. This has had to be thought out very much in depth. I've had to plan multiple shoots in one day to fit everyone in who wanted to be involved as well as fit in meetings with the hall owners and take a lot of time refining and selecting my final images. It has taken a lot of planning and a lot of to-do lists!!
Emily, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
I once worked with a model who was very fixed on her opinion of contrasting colours being most effective through photographs. Once I heard how stubborn she was and how strongly she felt towards it, I instantly wanted to show her how gorgeous complimentary colours can be. I have worked a lot with neutral colours through my current project, and I have adored working with them, and I wanted to show her that they work amazingly well. So I did a shoot with her at a location that I work a lot at and am very confident with - after the shoot and seeing the images she also fell in love with complimentary colours. The consistency and effectiveness it holds are incredible.
Emily, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest moment was a particular shoot I had with someone I had met through my time in the hospital going through anorexia - she likewise had anorexia, and she is now discharged and weight restored. I have recently done a shoot with her, and her body confidence and love aren't great - so this shoot was the one I wanted to get right to represent and reflect her strength and beauty to her. My proudest moment was looking through the photos after the shoot and watching her face light up, watching her smile growing bigger and bigger and her eyes begin to well up. She loved them and felt so beautiful and special. She hasn't felt this way about herself in ages, and this was such a strong waypoint for her recovery. The day she loved herself. And I couldn't be more proud to have given her access to do this and be a part of this massive step forward.
Emily, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
My favourite creative shoot was a shoot where I met my model at park street Bristol, and she bought two bags full of various clothes as well as makeup and accessories. We walked all around Bristol, discovering new locations, working with lighting and her styles that she bought with her. It was challenging to work with so many unknown/changeable aspects and to fit it all in in one day, but it was a challenge I was willing to accept, and it ended up being an amazing and fun shoot where I discovered lighting ideas, brilliant locations as well as styles that I never thought to work with before.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
As a fashion photographer, the best piece of advice I got was to move your model. Be a perfectionist. Don't be afraid to say exactly what you want as well as go up and physically touch and move your model (with their permission). With photography in general - be individual. Don't copy people's styles and images. By all means, be inspired by them but don't copy. Be yourself and be original.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I would love a collaboration with a magazine - I love Dazed magazine, I-D magazine and Love magazine as well as brands such as Lazy Oaf, Unif, GFD, in in, BLOCH. I love unique and modern brands/magazines and would love any opportunity to be involved within them
Photography: Emily Parker @dr.fter