Photographer Of The Month: Emma-Jane Lewis
Tell us a little about yourself:
My name is Emma and I am a 28 year old fashion, Celebrity and Wedding photographer based in London. I relocated to London just over 3 years ago to push the business in a more fashion direction, which was one of the best decisions I made. I am based in West London and I live with my man and my ginger cat called Dexter.
What drew you into Photography?
I started to do a small amount of modelling, but was never satisfied with the final concept, always wanting to have more of my own opinion in things. Getting on the other side of the camera allowed me the creative freedom and my own control that I wanted in the concepts. I could change and create anything I wanted. I adore creating dream-like and fairy-tale imagery.
What do you want to say/show with you photographs and how do you portray this within your work?
Often a different type of world, some of my personal projects are very dream-like. I like to create different concepts. Often the celebrity work is pitching ideas that they have not shot before, or showing them in a different way. I then want to inject that fashion style in my wedding work. Working with couples who get this as an idea and want their wedding captured In this way.
What’s the most enjoyable part of your job? And what is least enjoyable part?
I adore being on set, working with a great team and the creative ideas.
Often there are unrealistic aims, which can be stressful and not an enjoyable part of the job to navigate. As well as strict deadlines, and clients not adhering to them. I have set the deadlines for a reason.. not just for fun!
Who inspires you?
I adore the work of Tim Walker, Lara Jade and Emily Soto.
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started?
To push, HARD. This industry is not easy and it is not forgiving. You will need to knock down many doors and it is fine to be firm.. just do it in a likeable way! Not everyone is going to like you or see things your way.. and that’s ok! Just as long as you stay true to why you are doing what you are.
What motivates you to continue taking photographs?
The process, creating the images and seeing the final pieces in use. There is no better feeling.
What’s your proudest moment so far in your career?
Creating billboard and large format campaigns for Hawes and Curtis store fronts, as well as the new billboard campaigns for Hyatt hotel. Also shooting celebrities such as Billie Piper, Vogue Williams, Sinitta, Zara Holland, Liam Fox and Angie Best.
What’s your experience being a woman in the photographic business? Are there any obstacles that you wouldn’t face if you were a man? or are opportunities all pretty equal and unbiased towards gender?
I find being a woman can be tricky, but mainly looking and being quite young. Only yesterday, I was at a job that was actually around inclusion and diversity… I asked the AV member about increasing the lighting on the stage. His response was “Oh, most photographers are ok with this light, but I can change it.. when does the photographer get here?” I then proceed to wave my hand in his face saying I’m here already. Queue awkward silence form the organiser of the event… probably doing a mental face palm as her own colleague just did the very assumption that their event is actually looking to raise awareness around. Often the stereotypes and assumptions have lead me to being addressed as almost anything other than the photographer when I turn up on set. Often pushing through this stereotype, even sometimes before I get he job, can be hard.
If there was one thing you could change about your industry, what would it be?
That things were not quite so ‘cliquey’. Sometimes it can be quite hard to work with a brand or magazine if they have their key suppliers. Things need spacing up, I think we can all benefit from working with different people over time. Also changing the attitudes of some people, please don’t just send me two words replies on email.. what happened to common courtesy?
What’s next for you?
I am travelling a lot for work this year. Malta and Atlanta as well as shooting some high brand work which is great.
I’m currently looking for homes for Zara Holland, Sinitta and Vogue William images..so if you want pushing these… pop me an email!