Photographer, Emily Kennedy, has loved art all her life. It’s what drew her into the glossy pages of a magazine and what led her down the path to becoming an interiors photographer. With such a strong art background it’s no surprise that her approach to capturing the perfect shot is geared toward composition and inspired by light. Enjoy a sneak peek at Emily’s portfolio to see how she creates a work of art with each snap of the shutter.
Tell us about the path that led you to becoming a full time photographer.
I studied graphic design and photography in college and the first half of my career working as an art director for design agencies and brands. As time went on I became more and more interested in Interiors and I knew I wanted to shift in that direction. I worked as a design assistant in Portland in order to learn more about the business and when our family made a move to Chicago in 2015 I began documenting my own home as I styled it along the way. Then I joined the team at Kate Marker Interiors and began shooting for her and absolutely fell in love with my job. I knew right away that was the way I would bridge my love of photography and love of interiors together. And I made some great friends in the process!
What details do you believe make the best photographs? How do you focus on them in your work?
Composition & Lighting: Since I spent many years as a graphic designer and art director I look at everything through a composition lens. When I walk into a house I am thinking about the composition of the shots and how to incorporate architectural details as well as how different shots could work together on the pages of a magazine. I love natural light. I keep my lights off at home during the day because I just prefer the way natural light looks in general, and feels on my eyes, even if it’s a little darker. I think being sensitive to light helps me to see the way it sits in a room and when coupled with good composition can really make a great photo
What does a typical ‘day at the office’ look like for you?
I work from home and each day is different, so it depends if it’s a shooting day or an editing day. But generally, as I prepare for a shoot, I pull accessories a few days before and send some quick pics to the designer to confirm we are on the same page about what I’m bringing — and I make sure my camera equipment is ready to go. If I’m bringing flowers I usually pick them up early on the morning of the shoot, bring them home to do a quick, simple arrangement before heading out to the shoot. I love for shoots to feel relaxed and collaborative. I just really enjoy what I do so I think I bring that energy with me.
As someone who’s work revolves around photos, where do you find inspiration for your craft?
As a child of the 80’s I’ve always loved magazines and they’ve been a main source of inspiration for me most of my life and a big reason I wanted to study design and photography. These days Instagram and blogs have made their way to the forefront of my daily inspiration, although I still love to sit down and pour over a magazine.
What aspect of being a photographer do you most love? And what’s one facet of your profession that you could do without?
I love that I have the opportunity to work with such talented designers, architects, and stylists. Not only do I have the chance to see their work in person but I also get to document it and create images that inspire. I can’t think of anything big that I could do without except possibly the number of times I load and unload my car!
If photography wasn’t your calling, what profession do you think you’d find yourself in?
My two other loves besides photography are cooking and interior design so I think I would likely choose one of the two as a career if I had to choose something else besides photography. I love following cooks and chefs who develop recipes and take beautiful food photos. And I’m continually inspired by interior designers and all of the decisions that go into each beautiful room.