Hello all, it’s been awhile but here is a brand new instalment in The Cherry Ladies Interviews!
What are The Cherry Ladies Interviews? A series of interviews I have with some amazing & creative ladies who are connected to Bonfirecherry somehow. You can find all previous interviews here!
Let’s start our 5th interview by letting this amazing lady introduce herself first 😊!
E/ I’m Emily and I live in Greenwich, London. I’m a freelance photographer, shooting mainly events and portraits for local businesses. My style is colourful and often inspired by Japanese pop culture. I love to travel - particularly to Asia. I also do some freelance writing for NEO Magazine, and have covered all sorts of topics from retro gaming to kimono fashion.
BC/ Thanks for allowing me to interview you for this series celebrating the wonderful and creative ladies connected with Bonfirecherry! How are you today?
E/ Hello! Thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed for your blog, I’m flattered. I’m good thank you - I just got back yesterday from a month of travel around Japan and South Korea so am feeling a bit jet-lagged, but had an absolutely amazing time. How are you?
BC/ I'm Great Thanks, I'm still pretty jealous of your recent travels even though it's been awhile since I was in Japan myself.
Both of us love our Japanese culture, I'm currently working on new designs based on what I've seen and got inspired by while over there. What do you love about the culture over there? For those who don't know, it's different to what it is here in the UK.
E/ I’ve been to Japan a few times now and there are lots of aspects of the culture that I’m drawn to. I particularly enjoy visiting Japanese temples and gardens - they are so beautiful and you can often experience a real sense of peace and calm there.
I also enjoy drinking Japanese tea in traditional tea houses. The first time I visited Japan was as a photographer for a tea company, travelling to tea farms and factories around the country. I learnt so much about Japanese tea and the hospitality we experienced was amazing.
Japan’s huge diversity of landscapes really appeals to me too - mountains, volcanoes, tropical islands - Japan has them all!
I’m also a fan of Japanese pop culture and Tokyo is one of the best cities to experience this - there are so many fun and quirky things to do.
View this post on Instagram
Honen-In temple ⛩ The big, popular temples were swarming with tourists so we head off the beaten path a bit and visited some of the smaller ones. The atmosphere at Honen-In was lovely - so peaceful and smelt like moss and incense with just the sound of running water and birds chirping ❤️🇯🇵🙏 #Kyoto
BC/ I have to say the same about the temples/shrines, the ones around Takayama was so beautiful yet there was no one around them, they truly are a thing of beauty. I do have a print planned as we are chatting, one of 2 I think I want to do as there was a few that got my attention.
I agree with the rest too of course.
Cliché question but you often get interesting answers, what got you into photography?
E/ I used to do a lot of drawing and painting when I was younger but after I started working full time I had less time for my hobbies. I took up photography in 2011 as I thought it could be a good way to get creative again. I took some photos of Brighton Japan Festival for fun, and that led me to being employed by Hyper Japan (a Japanese cultural event in London which takes place at venues such as Olympia). From there I realised I loved event and documentary photography. In 2013 I left my job in HR to do a Photography degree for 3 years. After that I managed to get jobs as a picture editor and then as a picture researcher whilst freelancing on the side. I was a fully freelance photographer for 2 years but I now work part time doing photography and part time in an office doing communications, which involves some photography too - so it’s all worked out really well for me.
BC/ Wow that's really interesting, I bet your CV is an adventure to read!
I loved Hyper Japan when i went there a few years ago, I think that's how I came across your work a lot if I remember correctly.
Have you got any dream photo shoot locations?
E/ I would love to do another photography assignment in Japan! Perhaps working for a travel author who needs some photos to accompany their work. Basically anything that involves documenting interesting subjects really appeals to me, and if there’s the chance to travel then all the better.
BC/ When it comes to documenting, there is so many ways of doing it nowadays that it makes it easier for everyone.
I won't announce where I got this from but I know of a photographer went to a university recently for a talk and they had some new graduates from a photography course ask them about work experience. They asked the graduates what was his set up etc, they didn't have clue as the teacher gives them everything set up etc. To get the nail in, they then sked the photographer what filters they used to make the photos look professional, shocking.
So with that, any advice for anyone studying photography or want to get into photography?
E/ I don’t necessarily think that you need to study photography at university to be a good photographer. I just wanted to immerse myself in photography and this seemed like a good way to do it. I was less interested in the technical aspects and more interested in finding out more about the industry, meeting like minded people and trying out lots of different types of photography. One of the most important things I learnt was about sequencing your images and telling a story. One of my personal gripes is when people come up to me at events and ask what gear I use or proceed to tell me about their own equipment. To be honest I’m really not interested - I’ve seen amazing photos taken on old cameras and rubbish photos taken on state of the art cameras. Unless you learn how to use your equipment and be able to assess the light you’re working with and what settings you need to get the effect you want, you’re going to struggle. If you can’t afford top of the range equipment it doesn’t mean you can’t take awesome photos.
Did you study print-making or is it something you taught yourself to do?
BC/ Good advice!
I came across print-making during art/design and graphic design courses I studied while at college (didn't want to go to Uni), learnt various print-making methods ranging from mono to screen printing but it wasn't the main focus of the course. I came across lino cut print-making twice during college and both times I was not very good at or that much interest in it.
I came across lino cut print-making again after college when my idea of a t-shirt business using screen printing failed and thought about what I learnt at college and decided to go with lino and the rest is..well you know :)
A lot of stuff since I taught myself such as able to use different print-making ink but using a foam roller instead of a rubber roller and learn how to produce badges using shrink plastic.
Have you got any plans for 2020?
E/ That’s interesting - good that you ended up trying it again as your prints are great! I’m not sure what 2020 will hold yet. I would like to do some more travelling - perhaps to the USA. I like the idea of a road trip or going somewhere a little weird - like Area 51 or Salem. That’s the dark tourist in me coming out.
What are your plans?
BC/ Awwwh thank you!
Oh being a dark tourist is good, why do what everyone else is doing, be different!
Planning on doing more interviews such as these Cherry Ladies Interviews, focus on the Bonfirehcherry Youtube Channel and of course brand new designs to make up for a lack of designs through 2019 due to my focus going on other stuff such as saving up for Japan.
By the time this interview goes live, there should be 3 new designs showed off that will be available in 2020.
Is there any piece of equipment minus the camera that you couldn't live without as a photographer?
E/ Probably my phone. These days phone cameras are so good that I generally only use my DSLR for paid work. For personal photography I use my iPhone 11. It has its limitations of course, but it’s just so convenient when you’re out for a walk or travelling.
What about you?
BC/ have to say the same, just how much phones have changed over the years and what you can do with them eg run a business of them nowadays. I do find the history of phones interesting especially the military side of it and how it effects phones for us now.
Your favourite app?
E/ That’s a hard question! I use so many! The obvious answer would be Instagram. RNI Films has some good filters for images, so I’ve been using that quite a bit lately. I’m really enjoying using apps to learn Japanese - Drops, Dr.Moku and Dualingo are my current 3 favourites.
Do you have any favourites that make your working life easier?
BC/ Instagram is course the obvious choice along with Twitter for me, I have to say OneDrive as I've been using that for years to back up all my files.
I think the last question I can think of to ask is, what sort of music do you like to listen to?
E/ I was a teenager in the nineties so bands like Blur, Oasis, Feeder and Idlewild are my favourites. I also play piano and really enjoy listening to and playing music by a fairly contemporary composer called Einaudi. My cat enjoys listening to me play!
Thanks for the opportunity to be interviewed :)
BC/ I'm a 90s kid too
And thank you very much for accepting the invite!
To end this, where can people find you?
E/ I’m on Instagram and Twitter @emilyjanelovell and my website is www.emilylovellphotography.co.uk
Wow what a very interesting chat with a very interesting & I may say pretty photographer who has been places that I am jealous of, putting a fair few of them on my list of things to do in the future. Highly recommend checking Emily out!
Thank you very much for reading!