Emma Barrow's photography is infused with a nostalgic quality that speaks to everyone. She explains that getting to know the model in front of your lens can make all the difference with regards to the final image you achieve - I really liked how she summarized 'You can't translate a personality into an image if you don't know what that personality is.' I asked her about the origins of her photography obsession...
Estilistas: What first inspired you to pick up a camera and get photographing?
Emma: It came to my attention when I had to choose my A-Levels. I was really struggling to choose any and my Dad encouraged me to do photography. I have always had a camera for as long as I can remember so I was always taking photos and documenting everything that I did, but once it came to A-Level I stepped it up straight away and found my passion for photography.
E: Who would be your dream photography subject?
EB: I've been asked this before and I still don't know! I think it would have to be someone who I've admired over the years or who has inspired me like photographers and artists. Although photographing them I would be quite nervous as I would probably be star struck most of the time! I think to be able to meet and photograph someone who has helped me be who I am would be a huge honour.
E: In your opinion, what is the hardest thing about translating a personality into an image?
EB: If your client is creative and outgoing then you can use their personality quite easily as they will be comfortable expressing themselves in that way. But if you have someone who isn't used to having their photo taken and immediately seems uninterested - it can be quite difficult to direct them and it will come across in the photo. The best way i deal with it is on the first meeting. You can tell straight away if that person is comfortable with having their photo taken or not so i get to know them, ask them all sorts of things so to get to know them as a person not as the subject you are photographing. Once they get to know you, they relax and enjoy themselves more and the more their personality will come across. I also give them as much detail as I can regarding the shoot, showing them mood boards, explaining exactly what I want from them and also showing them the images as i take them makes them feel a lot more at ease.
You can't translate a personality into an image if you don't know what their personality is.
E: What sort of photography appeals to you most (fashion, portrait, music etc.) and why?
EB: Fashion, because I can be more creative with my concepts.The clothing and the location is what drives my overall ideas and I get to use the clothing to express all kinds of emotions and tell stories using them. It's what i enjoy and most passionate about, my ideas are endless and limitless when it comes to fashion photography.
E: How do you get inspired visually?
EB: Visually i get inspired by day to day things; just being out, walking and driving i see things that could be small but to me inspired a new idea. Music inspires me the most so watching music videos brings out ideas too. Keeping up with current photographers as well as past, constantly researching and being in the loop of creatives and trends. And locations have a huge impact on my work as I can come across so many places that i immediately see something that could turn into a concept to shoot - where to others they don't even notice what’s there and the endless creativity you could have with it.
E: Describe your photographic style in one sentence:
EB: My style has a natural and classic approach with a dream-like and emotional feel.E: What's your next big photography project that you are planning?
EB: My projects are constant - fashion editorials is what I shoot mostly and I plan these to shoot every two weeks. With each idea becoming bigger and creative than the last.
You can have a look at Emma’s beautiful portraits and editorials and keep up to date with her using the links below...