Rosary : an interview with Emma Craft

a chat with Georgia based photographer, Emma Craft

Emma Craft is a photographer that I’ve been following for a bit now. Her work reminds me of looking through a cotton candy filter. For her junior project at university she shot a large format film project, Rosary and I asked her a few questions on her work and how the series fits into her evolution as an artist.

Where are you from and what is an unknown fact about you?

My name is Emma Craft and I am a 21 year old fashion photographer currently studying at the Savannah College of Art and Design working towards a BFA in Photography with a minor in Fashion Photography. I am originally from a small town in southern Michigan, while I spent most of my summers in northern Michigan.  Something not many people know about me is that I secretly wish I lived inside a Fragonard painting.

How did you plan your junior project? What is your conceptualizing process?

This project was a portfolio produced over the course of five weeks shooting solely with a 4×5 large format film camera. About a month before I started shooting my final, I had a few different strong ideas, but unfortunately those fell through so quickly I had to search for new inspiration.  Right now I have been greatly inspired by Baroque and Rococo artwork.  The pastels and motifs in that time period’s artwork are what inspire me.  For example, the cherubs, the colors, the femininity and sexuality, and even a bit of religion. My conceptualizing process is, I don’t want to say messy, but it’s definitely not organized.  Some periods I am super drained and uninspired. Other times my mind can’t sit still with possible shoots and what I want to do next.  I find inspiration everywhere I go, but mainly my inspiration comes from my personal life and past experiences.  Growing up, French culture, Marie Antoinette, etc.  were heavily talked about throughout my life, so it makes sense to me to almost recreate that time period, in my work.

If you could only listen to 5 complete albums forever, what would they be?

Oh Wonder –  Oh Wonder, The Dance – Fleetwood Mac, Night Time, My Time – Sky Ferreira, Take Care – Drake, any Biggie Smalls

Is there a new media or art discipline that you have never done but always wanted to try?

Gifs! There are photographers who have been creating really beautiful gifs of their work, someone teach me!

How has your environment shaped your art?

Where I am currently living, wherever it may be at the time, is one of my main sources of inspiration.  Living in Hong Kong last year changed my work a lot.  Everywhere we walked we were shaded by pastel buildings and neon signs, it was almost a dream.

This was shot in large format? How did that change your shooting process?

To begin, I was incredibly intimidated about the entire process of shooting large format.  For five weeks, I only shot black and white film, processed and printed it all myself in the darkroom.  After those five weeks I finally picked up color.  Shooting color on 4×5 is a win or lose scenario, it’s pretty difficult to guarantee perfection.  Shooting large format slows down the entire shooting process.  Instead of shooting over 100 images at a shoot, you will maybe get up to 12 sheets of film exposed.  I actually fell in love with large format and was really proud of the work I produced from my time with the camera.  I hope in the future I can shoot more with large format, and experiment with 8×10 film!

Lastly, what pop culture figure from the past would you have loved to photograph?

Chloe Sevigny.  She is the ultimate cool girl and my ultimate girl crush.  I would love to photograph her today, as much as I would love to photograph her teenage self.  I have this book that was gifted to me of over a hundred film photos of Chloe from when she was very young that she created.  Chloe has that natural cool-girl essence everyone strives to have.  She’s the girl people would say could wear a paper bag and look chic. Learn from Chloe.

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For more of Emma’s work follow her on instagram @emmacraftwww.emmaicraft.com

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