INTERVIEW: EMMA CHENG (PHOTOGRAPHER)

FFO: THE BEAUTY OF MINIMALIST IMAGES CAPTURING THE OFTEN OVERLOOKED AESTHETICS OF METROPOLITAN ARCHITECTURE 

 

Who are you and where are you currently based?

I’m Emma Cheng, I’m 20 years old and I’m currently based between Newcastle and Leeds.

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All images are taken by Emma Cheng.

 

What is your current photographic work about?

Currently I am working on a still life project about food puns, however when I am not working inside the studio, I document the surroundings of places I visit in a way that considers shapes and angles. At the moment I’ve been quite interested in the minimal aesthetic of photography, I find this is often seen on Instagram.

 

What food puns are you currently photographing?

At the moment, ‘soft drink’ and ‘squash’ are in the works.

 

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All images are taken by Emma Cheng.

 

What got you interested in Food Photography? Would you ever consider a formal career in that line of work?

I would say I am more interested in still life and photographing objects as it’s much broader than just food photography. There’s so much within the genre ‘still life’ you can focus on like cosmetics, garments, etc, although I would still consider food photography to make a living in the future. There’s full control of a still life set, in comparison with landscape photography which relies on the weather.

 

Do you have a preference between working in the studio or on location?

I tend to stick with studio for more planned projects and location for casual shoots, if the weathers nicer I prefer on location.

 

What type of surroundings are you interested in photographing? Is there a specific city/place where you find the architecture more appealing to the eye?

Metropolitan, built up, modern cities typically have more interesting things to snap as there’s more hustle and bustle and innovative architecture around.

 

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All images are taken by Emma Cheng.

 

What got you interested into photography and taking images?

I have always been interested in art and technology so when I got my first camera, this lead into my GCSE art and college work which now has me completing a degree in photography.

 

How have you found studying Photography at university? Has it been beneficial for you?

University has been hugely beneficial in terms of knowing about professionalism in this industry. It definitely gives you a push when it comes to working outside of personal projects and dealing with clients. With the likes of collaboration within uni, I’m able to establish my self branding and style.

 

Got any ideas of what you intend to do after finishing your degree?

Hopefully a placement or internship with a commercial studio, not sure whereabouts yet.

 

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All images are taken by Emma Cheng.

 

Who are you inspired by?

I wouldn’t say a specific photographer inspires me as such, I usually see imagery that I like and research into it so I like buying books and publications. ‘The Gourmand’ food and culture journal is my latest purchase as the photo series ‘irl’ by Matthieu Lavanchy is featured in it, he brings food emojis to life.

 

Do you find Instagram a useful tool to get inspiration from photographers that focus on the minimal aesthetic of photography?

Insta’s great for visual inspo as you can ‘save’ images to collection. There are hashtags that lead to minimal photography accounts like #minimalzine which is a platform that shares minimal view on contemporary visual culture.

 

Do you have a preference in the type of camera you shoot on?

I shoot mainly digital (fujix-t10) but I do like to dabble in abit of 35mm on the side as I have an Olympus trip 35 given to me.

 

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All images are taken by Emma Cheng.

 

What’s your favourite photobook?

Visual feast published by Gestalten is really inspiring for looking at photos of food and set design and Badly repaired cars by Ronni Campana is also a nice little photobook.

 

What are your future aspirations?

To photograph and work in the photographic industry in Hong Kong would be ideal.

 

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All images are taken by Emma Cheng.

 

Why would you like to photographic specifically in Hong Kong’s industry?

My family are from Hong Kong and moved to the UK to work so I’d like to go back to see what opportunities there are for myself, I like the idea of revisiting my culture.

 

What advice would you recommend to young photographers today?

Don’t be too critical on yourself.

 

If you’d like to keep up with Emma’s work, you can do so via instagram!

 

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