Editorial / Éclectique
Carnival Magazine prides itself on its support of fresh creative talent from around the globe. Previously in ISSUE 02, we featured work from our pick of the UKs 2014 university graduates, showcasing their creativity alongside insightful interviews about their learning experience and career ambitions. This issue, we have had the pleasure of working with University of Huddersfield Photography student Emily Green on a fantastic editorial commission, titled Éclectique. Being briefed to centralise the photography around minimalism, eclectisism and charisma, Emily channels pastel colours and experimental styling to create this contemporary youthful story. We talk about Emily’s educational creative journey, her experience on the commissioned shoot and her plans to take the photography industry by storm post-graduation this July.
What university are you currently studying at?
The University of Huddersfield, BA (Hons) Photography
Tell us about yourself.
I’m a 20-year-old Photography BA student, from a gorgeous little town within Leeds called Horsforth. I’ve always lived in Leeds and I’ll go as far to say it’s been a pleasure. As far as hobbies and interests go, I class photography as my hobby, just as much as it is my work and my education, I love it, therefore I do it in my spare time as well. Other hobbies would include coffee dates and shopping, and I like to keep my wardrobe up to date. My passion for photography began what feels like forever ago. I was always an arty child, painting, sketching, doodling on whatever piece of scrap paper I could find. With my Granddad being a professional artist he taught me the ropes and helped me make handmade birthday and Christmas cards over the years! He would draw me a picture so I could colour it in, as a child. He pushed me to further my talent in school so I did. When it came to selecting what I wanted to study at GCSE and photography was an option it seemed like a no brainer. I also studied Spanish, Food Technology and Art. Its fair to say Spanish didn’t get me very far, I can make a good spaghetti Bolognese (thank you Food Tech), but Photography and Art got me where I am today. Most people were surprised that I’d decided so young and I had my career planned out. I just had a passion and I ran with it. I decided to drop art and prioritise my love for photography to ensure that my grades were up to scratch, and it worked! I achieved a 100% grade in A Level Photography, helping me get into my first choice university, being the University of Huddersfield. Here I am today, in my final year!
What began your love for photography?
One of the reasons I fell in love with photography so much was because I had one of the nicest teachers. She had an easygoing approach to teaching and made every lesson fun. We would develop our own photographs in the schools dark room, and watch them slowly process, which was just fascinating. Sophie Corcoran showed so much genuine interest and belief in the work I was creating. Being a very timid student with not much confidence, she filled me with it and ensured I knew the work I was creating was of a high standard. On my 16th birthday, my parents decided that it was time I was treated to a DSLR, a Canon 500D. It was the biggest camera I’d ever seen at the time, but comparing it to my Canon 5D Mark iii it seems positively tiny. This was the best present I’d ever received. So I started offering my services to the public, photographing a few birthdays, baby’s, christenings etc. I did the odd fashion shoot against a white bed sheet in my living room.
Tell us about your photographic style.
I like to think that my work is unique in the way I light and the way I retouch my images. I like to capture my images to the best of my ability in the camera, to save time retouching. Although I do like retouching, I don’t like over doing it. I like the images to look the same as they did in the camera, just maybe a few imperfections removed and a smooth over of the skin. The way I light my images is also a specific trait to my work. I also like to work in colour. As much as black and white can be beautiful I believe colour helps your work stand out in the crowd. I was overjoyed when I received the inspiration moodboard and brief from Carnival Magazine. Much of my studio work is linked conceptually to painting, whether it’s just a tiny element within an image, or whether it’s more obvious like the way the model’s posed or the outfit. I like having the tie between the two as I believe it gives the images another dimension and more meaning rather than just ‘another fashion image’. To the photographic and art world, I’d like to think I bring something that is quite unique. A style which I find quite difficult to create; but when it works it looks good.
Which photographers inspire your practice? What other sources of inspiration do you use when ideating shoots, techniques and concepts?
Patrick Demarchelier and Mario Testino. If I was even close to being in their shoes one day, I’ll know I’ve done alright. Aim high I say. Pinterest is my best friend, I find it’s the best way to get different and unique ideas and source other creatives work. I look to painting within a lot of my work; I like taking the conceptual element and making it modern.
You have decided, within your final year practice, to work with many fashion photography publications on commissions; us included. Which other publications have you had the chance to work for in this process?
It’s still early days for this project, and you helpful people at Carnival were the first to respond with a brief. I am also working towards an I-D Magazine brief that I managed to source. The rest is work in progress. As well as writing to publications, I am going to test the water and write to companies, maybe try and get a more commercial fashion job too.
We have had the pleasure of working with you on an extremely beautiful editorial commission, featuring in ISSUE 03. How did you come up with the initial pitch and idea?
It’s been a pleasure working with you too, thank you! My initial pitch and ideas stemmed from paintings created by artist Frans Halls. He was a 17th century painter who created captivating imagery of wealthy citizens. He often used a realist approach within his art. I looked within his art for keywords, and one of them I came up with was ‘bold’. This was simply because most of the outfits the people within the portraits were wearing were black and white. From this I decided to take a minimalist approach and my mood board went from there, sparks started flying. It is something I had never done anything like before, I want to leave university with a very diverse portfolio, touching all elements of fashion photography. I have thoroughly enjoyed creating this editorial for Carnival Magazine, it’s been an amazing experience!
Tell us about the featured editorial, in response to our brief.
The brief was right up my street! I love working with colour and expressive styling and makeup, so I was in my element. One of the words within the brief was monochrome. This is something I don’t often work in as I’m such a mad colour fan, however I am really happy with the results of the monochromatic images. I will continue to work in monochrome throughout other projects. I was also given the keyword ‘eclectic’ within the briefing. I hired the stylist Sophie Benson, who works in a very unique, fun, bold style. I wanted to ensure that the clothing wasn’t just off the highstreet, and Sophie sourced wonderful pieces that were all handmade. My MUA and hair stylist Hannah Russell was incredible, and truly worked her socks off for me. Using all her bold colours and hair gels to create the look I was expecting. I decided to use three models with similar looks, in regards to long hair and similar heights. The two models that posed together were Ella and Cerys from Nemesis Manchester, and the third is Madeleine from Space Model Management, London. In order to make this brief my own, I tried to work from the keywords given rather than mimicking the ideation moodboard. I found inspiration and individuality in the keywords; Modern, Minimal, Monochrome, Charismatic, Harsh Lines, Shapes, Eclectic and Attitude. Hopefully you can see how this has helped me to respond to the brief successfully!
What did you enjoy most about producing this editorial?
The whole process has been really enjoyable. The loved the elements of communication with other professionals, such as yourselves, and working amongst a very trusty and lovely team. Most of all, I loved creating some beautiful imagery that, with your help, will further my photography career and stand out within my portfolio!
What did you find most challenging? How did you overcome any problems that you may have faced?
The scariest part was seeing my name on the brief! “Commissioned Photographer – Emily Green.” Booking the studio time we needed and trying to organise such a big team to be free on the same day always proves to be a struggle, but I managed! I did two separate shooting sessions for this editorial. Throughout this process I’ve learnt to forward think and plan well in advance. I’ve furthered my skills in how to direct a model. Most importantly, I learnt how to work like a professional. As it was my first brief, I learnt how to respond!
You will be graduating in Summer 2015. What's next for your career post-graduation?
This part scares me! I am currently in the middle of establishing as self-employed, so that’s all very exciting. When I graduate, I’d like to push myself as a freelance photographer and set up a little studio somewhere and continue to produce fashion images (as that is my main love), but also explore the field until I find my feet. I also plan to offer myself as an assistant to studios across the city. I think it would be great for me to see how the ‘real-life’ professional studio works, and a good way for me to build up contacts. In July 2015 my BA course (at University of Huddersfield) will be holding the annual Photographic Graduate Show, showcasing the graduates’ work. It will be my first exhibition, so I’m not sure what to expect yet! I am also hoping to get down to D&AD New Blood Exhibition and Festival in London, along with a few other students on my course. That would be an incredible opportunity, and a great excuse to do some sight-seeing!
If you could show one person your portfolio, who would it be and why?
Anna Wintour - The editor of American Vogue. How cool would it be to have a feature in Vogue!?
Finally, where would you like to be in a year’s time? What is the dream?
Owning a business with a nice steady income, a lovely client base and a little room that I call my studio. That would be perfect, but we will just have to wait and see. I’d like to continue creating editorials for publications and maybe even explore the photographic world in London. If there are any creatives reading this that are wanting to test, or any photographers that need assisting, my contact details are listed on this page. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch. It’s always a pleasure meeting new creatives and producing exciting photographic work and commissions!
PHOTOGRAPHY / Emily Green
MUA & HAIR / Hannah Russell
STYLIST / Sophie Benson
DESIGNERS / Leanne Hardacre, Eleanor O’Neil @ WMJ, Ellen Wilson
Ellen Wilson, Vintage @ We Are Cow, Eleanor O'Niel @ WMJ, American Apparel, Leanne Hardacre, Adidas (See Full Wardrobe Credits in Issue 03)