BOOK: PORTRAITS BLACK & WHITE by Emily Andersen
25 September 2018
We catch up with long standing AOP Member Emily Andersen who gives us an insight into her new book, inspirations and the role of photography today.
Congratulations on your book - Portraits: Black & White, which is due out later this month. How did the book come about?
Thank you. I have wanted to produce a monograph for a long time. I worked with an assistant for over a year trawling my archive to find the photographs. We made a rough lay out in InDesign and then worked with the designer Melanie Mues to produce a book. I approached publishers with it and found one quite soon.
Can you talk about the process of how you came to photograph such a magnificent collection of diverse people?
Portraiture is one of my main interests as a photographer. Photography takes the portrait as a space for work to examine the human relationships between friends and within the family. I work in series, and in this book, there are photographs of fathers and daughters, friends, and sisters. I have been fortunate enough to meet some of the sitters through commissions, and others I have approached and asked to photograph them.
©Emily Andersen. Louisa and Denys Lasdun, London, 1993
What inspired you to get into photography?
A Diane Arbus exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) when I was 10. Postcards I saw of photographers work like Bill Brandt. While doing A levels at Kingsway College (now Westminster Kingsway) in London I chose photography as an option. The lecturer there was the photographer Janette Beckman, who encouraged me. I found that I loved working in the darkroom and the thrill of making pictures and processing film (and still do!)
©Emily Andersen. Anna and Eduardo Paolozzi, London, 1995.
Having been a photographer for many years you will have seen many changes in the photographic industry, What do you feel is photography’s role today?
That’s a good question. Photography is employed everywhere; the dissemination of the photograph is instant and global. I am not sure that photography knows what it’s role is at the moment. Photography needs to settle and retrospectively it may be easier to decipher. However, there are still extraordinary series of photographs being made, particularly in the photo book.
©Emily Andersen. Diamanda Galás, London, 1993.
Having been a member of the AOP for over 20 years? Why is it important to you to support the Association?
The Association provides a connection to other photographers, it is also a great resource. It is respected as an institution and is comprised of an eclectic group of people who are connected by the medium. The assistant who worked on my book approached me through the AOP. For photographers it is a shop window with access to the world.
©Emily Andersen. Bill and Sanso, London, 1994.
What advice would you give to someone starting out on their photographic career?
Make photographs every day if possible. Network and persist. Don’t give up.
Portraits: Black and White is due out on 18th October