- How has COVID-19 influenced your freelance photography work? If any, can you identify both negatives and positives workwise within the world's current lockdown status?
Work has been very up and down for the last year, but I’m feeling incredibly optimistic now that the roadmap out of lockdown has been announced. There are going to be so many reasons to celebrate and I can’t wait to witness all of the love and happiness that’s yet to come. I think that my biggest negative has been missing the social aspect of my job, but the quiet times encouraged me to experiment and find my creativity again. Similarly, on a wider scale, I think that the planet has benefitted greatly from humans slowing down and this has been amazing to see.
- On a more personal note, what advice would you share with a young womxn experiencing her first lockdown in a hypothetical future?
Don’t feel guilty about putting yourself first. The first lockdown didn’t hit me very hard because the sun was shining and I was grateful for a little break while we worked towards a larger cause, but the January lockdown this year was much more testing. I found that prioritising my health, both food and exercising, and taking time to relax were necessities when it came to my mental health. It can be really tricky to put yourself ahead of everything else that needs to be done, particularly when you’re trying to juggle the extra pressures of lockdown, but it’s so important.
- What is your most beloved garment in your wardrobe right now & why?
Ooh, that’s a tough one. Recently I’ve been wearing my navy-blue New Look hoodie with white drawstrings an awful lot. I’ve had it for years, but it’s still in great condition and is perfect for both exercising in or keeping snuggly during duvet days. It’s a super basic staple, but some of my most wonderful memories from secondary school include this magical hoodie, so I don’t think I’ll ever part with it.
- What has been your most proud creative/freelance moment to date?
There have been quite a few moments that I’m proud of, like working with high profile clients and travelling to amazing places on recent projects, but looking back I think I was the proudest when I first became internationally published. I have a growing collection of magazines in my office that I have been featured in overt the last five years and it’s lovely to reminisce and see how far I’ve come, but knowing that my work has been viewed by readers in America is very cool.
- Three (music) albums you couldn't live without:
My taste in music is super varied, so this question has really made me think. To cover all based, I’d have to say… ’The Hits -- Chapter One’ by The Backstreet Boys, Avenged Sevenfold’s self-titled album from 2007 and ‘Can’t Say I Ain’t Country’ by Florida Georgia Line.
- Is there a particular quote you always fall back on in hard & trying times?
I am a big country and western fan, and I think that Dolly Parton is an absolute queen. One of my favourite quotes of hers is, “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.” I have a poster of it above my computer, alongside my dream board, and I remind myself to be optimistic and remain hopeful whenever I’m having a bad day. Not only is it super uplifting, but I love the whole Southern lifestyle that Dolly represents.
- All time favourite breakfast?
My partner and I are on a bit of a health kick at the moment and we’re really enjoying making homemade fruit smoothies to start our day off right, but if I’m being a bit naughtier my go to is a bacon and egg baguette from the local cafe. So yummy with an iced latte!
- What is your spirit animal, & why?
Haha, I’m not sure! My favourite animal is a tapir, so I feel like that should be my answer, but I think I’m more aligned with a sea turtle. I absolutely love the ocean, my favourite environment is the tropical beaches they inhabit, and I could swim in turquoise waters all day. Plus, I’m super scared of sharks.
- Any past/present photographers that inspire your portrait-photography work?
I am a big fan of Lindsey Natzic-Villatoro, who runs Love Song Photography, based in California. Not only is her portraiture stunning, but she has also established an incredibly successful charitable foundation to provide relief to individuals and families in the midst of tragedy. Whether it’s granting somebody’s last wish, raising funds for a funeral or medical expenses, or taking family portraits, Lindsey has assisted over 7000 people in need over the last 5 years. Not only is she incredibly talented, but she has created a thriving business based on her passions and is giving back to the community, which I find incredibly inspiring.
- You’ve been awarded the runner up/finalist awards for Kent Women In Business Awards 2018-2020 ~ this is so wonderful! What do these awards represent to you, and how much do they affect your business?
Thank you! I am incredibly proud of these titles, because they really highlight the areas of my business that mean the most to me. At last year’s awards, I was a Finalist in the ‘Women in the Arts / Creative category’ and Runner Up for ‘Young Business Woman of the Year’. I am really grateful to have been recognised in both of these categories because they take into account both the quality of my work and me as a business owner, which ultimately leads to more trust with potential clients and contacts who see these awards on my website and social media. Having started Emily Brown Photography at such a young age, I’ve always seen my status as a young entrepreneur as one of my greatest achievements and I’m now working with other students and young business owners, teaching them how to grow a successful and authentic business of their own. It was a gamble to launch my own company when I did, but I’m about to go into my sixth year of full time work and I can’t wait to see where the rest of the journey leads me.
Show Emily some luv;
Insta ~ @emily_brown_photography