Emily Muller: Crop it like it’s hot!
Head of photography Emily Silk sat down with fellow photographer Emily Muller, who’s positive energy comes alive in each of her photographs. She laughs over a cup of coffee as if it’s no big deal that she has taken pictures of celebrities such as Hozier, Vampire Weekend and Charlie XCX. After being behind the scenes of such celebrities, it was amazing for Emily to be in the spotlight and hear what she had to say about her view on photography.
What’s a good photo for you?
Something vibrant, colourful, something that captures the energy of the subject, I don’t think that it necessarily has to be technically complex to be a wonderful photo, but something that comes alive.
What are your influences?
With Chicago as my hometown and basing a huge amount of photography there, I networked with so many amazing young women in the Chicago music scene at a young age - they were huge influences. Coming from a more marginal place in the industry, having mentors with such new fresh ideas really inspired me and helped me develop my own style. Also growing up, around the house we have Kosti Ruohomaa film photos that I always loved as a kid, my mom found them from vintage sales and she used to collect them.
How would you describe your photography style?
I really like doing a lot of crisp subjects, playing with the colour grading and tone curves - I want to make it pop. Especially in the music scene it is important to incorporate some of the stage lights, and so lighting plays such a huge part in my photos.
What are some of the best things you have photographed?
One of the first things I brought my camera to was the riots in Chicago right after Trump was elected; that made me fall in love with photography and wanted to do action shots that I hadn’t done previously. I look back at those shots now and was so much worse but I’m sure I’ll be saying that about my shots now in the future. Some of my favourites have been the festivals, there is so much action and so many people to meet. I really enjoyed summer fest - Young The Giant, and pitchfork - Charlie XCX, HAIM, Robyn.
Among your works, which one is your favourite? Why?
One of my favourites is Sameer from Young and The Giant during the past festival season, also Hozier, I photographed twice. He has such a strong face, he was super easy to photograph, I mean who doesn’t love him! I also took a photo of Andy Samberg with his band this summer; I later found out it’s the profile picture to so many fan accounts - it made my heart so happy!
You have a fanbase?!
Haha maybe not me but they take my pics of celebrities and crop them……
Do you ever get to meet these people?
Very rarely, more often during festival season because the artists hang out backstage, its quite casual and I always feel anxious to ask them questions. I get more in contact with them if the publication I’m doing is an interview and photography kind of thing. Gus Dapperton was great to meet and The Beths too!
Other than music, what is your favourite subject to photograph?
Portraiture sometimes, going from these shows with super ISSOs and shutter speeds, it can get super strange to do portraits with more natural surroundings and far less aggressive lighting.
Do you like your photo being taken?
Sometimes, although I feel like I don’t have my photo taken that much, my home is usually behind the camera. I love candids though, they are definitely my favourite.
What does photography mean to you?
I think I've always liked capturing moments. I’m quite sentimental, and so I think photography immortalises things in a way that no other mediums of art does. As Susan Sontag said “The photographer is not one who records the past , but the one who invents it”!