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Emilie Layla Lovaine interview - We talk to ePz member Emilie Layla Lovaine.
Did you always want to be a photographer?
"When I was at school I was really into music and I wanted to be a band photographer. I thought going to shows and photographing musicians would be a really exciting lifestyle so I decided to do a basic photography course. The course covered all types of photography and introduced me to fashion photography which I had never considered before. I remember my first studio shoot with a model, it all came so naturally to me and I was automatically hooked and later applied to study fashion photography at university. I got an unconditional offer for my first choice of Photography for Fashion and Advertising at the university of Wales, Newport which really was amazing!"
Is it something you've trained to do?
"I've always had a passion for photography, anything creative really. From a young age I remember getting my brothers to model for me. It was always funny to watch them arguing about who was getting their picture taken! I was quite lucky because it was very easy to go straight into eduction and get the necessary training."
Do you find the industry a challenge?
"The fact I'm only a second year student, I think it really affects how people see me as a photographer and my ability. I would love it if I was just judged by my work.
In my first term last year my tutor was John Wyatt Clarke who owns one of the top photographic agencies in London. He gave me the confidence to pursue photography. He was the first person to really have faith in me and my work. If I’m honest I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for his guidance. It’s amazing what you can do when someone believes in you.
After John left the university I started going up to London and assisting on photo shoots with professional photographers from his agency. I met and worked with some great inspirational people, the experience really showed me what I needed to achieve in order to work within the industry.
But it wasn’t until around 2 months ago I even thought about submitting my work into magazines. I emailed a handful just enquiring to see if they were looking for contributing photographers and I honestly was not expecting to hear anything back but to my surprise around a month after my first email my work was published in 4 different magazines and is due to appear in 7 more over the next month."
How do you decide on a topic to photograph? What type of photographer do you see yourself as and why?
"I know I want to be a fashion photographer. I'm a really creative person, so my mind is always running off, coming up with ideas for shoots. I'm heavily influenced by music, one of my latest editorials titled Cold Morning Colours which appeared in this months issue of LA Magazine Cliche was influenced by some lyrics from one of my favourite songs - Watching The Lines Blur By Beloved."
Do you have a style? Or do you just adapt to the situations you find yourself in?
"Yes. I think I have a style because I have an input in everything within the image (hair, make-up, styling etc.) rather than leaving it up to the creative team."
Do you have a plan when you go out or do you just take photographs as you go along, work 'in the moment' and pick the best at the end?
"I normally have a really specific idea when I go out to shoot. I'm really into fashion and styling so I love pre-organising everything before-hand. I look at styling, hair, make-up and create charts to show all my creative team so my vision is clear so when I go to shoot everyone knows what we are trying to create."
What equipment do you use? Is this a personal preference or one that makes your professional role easier?
"I actually don't own any of my own equipment, not even a camera! I've been borrowing equipment off friends etc. they really are life savers! As I am a student money is such an issue and we all know how expensive equipment is. It's just a shame as in some cases like this month I got offered four different magazine editorials to shoot but as I don't have my own equipment it really limits what I can do and when!"
Are you a fan of post-production?
"I think for photographers who have been brought up with Photoshop and post-production like myself I guess I could say I am a fan of it but for me it's just been a way of life - especially with college and university where we are taught it but I'm sure if I was born at the time when Photoshop was unheard of I may have a very different opinion on it."
What's the best thing anyone's ever said to you about your work?
"I could list so many things, even if it's someone just saying 'good job' I really appreciate anyone that takes the time to look at my work and express their opinion be it a positive or negative one! As I've not even finished my second year of university I have so much to learn and the more feedback I get I can take their comments and apply it to how I work and improve and enhance my skills and imagery. But I think the nicest thing is when I get emails from people saying how my work has made them want to do photography and be photographers. The fact that my work is influencing people in a positive way I really couldn't ask for anything better, it makes me feel the hard work is paying off and it makes me really grateful. Recently I've been reviewed by fashion bloggers and a few designers and they seem to be titling me as 'the next big thing' 'someone the likes of Lady Ga Ga will be looking to work with very soon' and this is really something I just can't get my head around!"
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