Emily please tell us your talent/work rate per hour?
~$150 per hour (rate includes edit time/fees)
Emily. Tell us ABOUT yourself.
I'm a female photographer originally from Richmond, Virginia. In 2015 I received my BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), with a Photography&Film Major. After graduation, I relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Fashion photography, which is my true passion.
The majority of my time at VCU was spent honing my artistic vision, and learning photographic techniques and skills from some of the top artistic photographers of today; both as professors and guest lectures. My fine-art photography has been published in several prints and online publications as well as exhibited in various galleries across the country; including the LACDA in Los Angeles and Candela Books and Gallery in Richmond, VA.
My fashion work revolves heavily around my obsession with colour and texture. I love to play with colour while shooting images and especially in post-production work. I push the boundaries of traditional techniques because it can move the image beyond what anyone thought it could be, and creates a more unique and memorable photo. I'm always attracted to uses of mixed texture when photographing as well. It can create beautiful depth, and often lends itself well to my general use of colour. I try to always keep my artistic photographic training in mind when shooting fashion and editorial work. If I create an image that looks like it could be on the cover of a magazine and also hung on a gallery wall; I feel that I've made an image I can be proud of.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Emily. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
I have many many passions in life. Of course, I have a love for fashion and photography, and that's the path I chose professionally. But, I also am a practising musician! I love writing songs and can play several different instruments, along with being a singer.
As far as non-creative endeavours go; I am fascinated with history and often catch myself exploring the internet for hours in search of interesting historical documents and stories. I once caught myself going through every Wikipedia page (in chronological order) of the British monarchs!
Emily, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
I've always loved fashion, and would often use cloth scraps and old clothes to make new outfits for my dolls. As a grew older, I realized that it was more the photographic side of fashion that drew me. I started trying my hand at fashion photography as early as middle school but started committing to my practice 100% when I was earning my photography degree at VCU.
Who is your inspiration in life Emily? How do you keep inspired?
I don't think I could name only one person as my ultimate inspiration. But I keep myself inspired to work in fashion by always searching for new brands, blogs, photographers, models and concepts. I will scroll through Pinterest, Instagram, etc. for hours and hours searching for inspiration. I search for concepts that I could see myself creating, or brands that I would love to work with; and also ones that I wouldn't normally gravitate towards. I'm always looking to broaden my interests and style.
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.
When first starting to explore heavily into fashion photography; I scheduled a shoot with a model that I knew from years prior. I think I was nervous to try a more serious attempt in fashion, so I sped through the shoot in about 15 minutes, with hardly enough photos to work with in my editing. Looking back I wish I had known to take a deep breath and slow down. It's good to know your worth going into a shoot and to take your time to get the shots you know you can get. And that's also the magic of digital photography; you can take a MILLION photos on a shoot and choose your best from there! I learned to not edit myself before even attempting to take the photo in the first place.
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 prioritizing your clients’ needs?
Communication is key! I've found in most cases it's completely manageable to work with several people on a shoot and make them all happy; if you make sure your expectations and methods are made clear to everyone, and that you know everyone else's expectations and methods as well. The more you plan with the team, the better the process and product will be.
Please tell us, Emily, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
In my artistic photographic work, I once found myself co-curating an entire show for a local gallery, as well as being included in the show's work. Working with so many other artists to not only create a compelling artistic space- but also to make sure that we all felt equally represented within the show- was a very difficult thing at times. I had to create diagrams of the space and make sure to take into account all the artists spacial needs. I quickly divided out the available gallery space and made sure that everyone felt they were adequately represented.
Emily, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
I usually find that the best way to reason with someone, even on emotional or personally important topics; is to reason with logic. I once collaborated with another photographer and had to present final images to a critic. We created an Urban Decay editorial on spec., and once we had completed the shoot, we had to edit and pare down the final images. Both myself and the other photographer both shot images for the assignment and wanted to be equally represented in the final images. We had a great amount of difficulty editing out images that we felt strongly about. But I realized that we had an obligation to choose photos that exemplified the brand and the products that we were showcasing. In the end, we were able to agree upon which pictures to choose based off of those logical qualifications. Even if we shot a beautiful photo; if it didn't make-obvious the purpose of the photo (to sell an Urban Decay product), it had to be edited out.
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 just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest moment as a photographer would have to be the first time my artistic photography was shown in a highly-competitive gallery exhibition. 'Candela Books and Gallery' in Richmond, VA hosts a group juried exhibition each year called 'Unbound!'. I had the pleasure of having one of my photographs chosen for 'Unbound!3'. It was the first professional gallery exhibition to my photographic career that I was able to attend the opening. Seeing my photo hung along-side some extremely accomplished and compelling artists was a very proud moment.
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?
I always try to find something that I can take control of creatively within my photography. Even in the most standard portraiture; something as simple as playing with the depth of field can make the image your own. Of course, you should always make sure your creative licenses are OK'ed by your client, but if you make sure to always keep their needs in mind while you shoot, your ability to also be creative should be relatively unhindered.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
Find your voice and vision in your photographic practice. It can be hard to find a cohesiveness in your work when first starting. But the more you shoot, the more you will learn and grow. Find what makes your photography unique from others and hone those skills. And of course, don't be discouraged when your ideas don't turn out the way you want them to. Most of the time, if you're open to the images you have created, you'll find even better pictures than what you could have planned!
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes, absolutely! I would love to work with up-and-coming clothing and accessory brands, to help them bring their blossoming vision to fruition. I'm extremely attracted to brands that push boundaries with texture, colour and their overall aesthetic. My style is a mix of bohemian and anything vintage-inspired; so I'm always finding myself attracted to brands such as that. Though, I do love working with more modern and avant-garde clothing as well!
Photographer: Emily Volles @emilyvollesphotography
Model: Brittney Sharaun @brittneysharaun
Wardrobe: Danielle Rucker @danirucks
MUA: Kimya Kiarash @glambykimya
Photographer: Emily Volles @emilyvollesphotography
Model: Iris @thelifeofiris