This month we talk to the insanely talented Akemi, an up and coming photographer who is certainly one to watch!
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Akemi Louise and I’m an aspiring fashion and lifestyle photographer!
Did you always want to be a photographer?
I don’t think so, honestly. I’m the kind of person who likes to try a bit of everything – jack of all trades, master of none – so I first picked up photography when I was about fourteen (amongst drawing and painting). I just fell in love with it! My dad did photography at university so he definitely encouraged me to pursue it, which I’m super thankful for.
Your personal style icons?
That’s such a tough question because in this day and age it’s so easy to stumble across talent wherever you look! I think ‘style’ is ever-changing too, even if you don’t notice it the world around you is always shaping you. But right now, my current obsessions are Marta Bevacqua, Jesse Herzog, Alexandra Nataf, Ben Sasso and Alex Stoddard!
To be a good photographer is expensive equipment needed?
Absolutely not! The majority of my shoots are carried out on locations around London and Surrey, normally in a field somewhere — or just in front of a small bush if there’s no greenery about! You don’t need big studio spaces, huge lights or an eye-wateringly expensive medium format to do the job. If that’s the style you’re aiming for then great! But creativity isn’t limited to equipment. Working with what you have is so important because you might just find you prefer to do things YOUR way.
Do you think the digital revolution has helped photography or hindered it?
Definitely helped! As much as I appreciate film photography, I don’t believe that it rests upon a pedestal above digital. For me it’s made it way less stressful to make mistakes; using a digital camera allows me to experiment so much more without being limited to a certain number of shots, and if I mess up? It’s not as daunting for me.
I think better cameras on phones has also helped too; it lets anyone from any walk of life get creative using something they carry round in their pocket.
Has Instagram cheapened photography or helped it flourish?
Its helped it to flourish, in my opinion. I feel like Flickr used to be the platform for fresh talent to showcase their work, and now that’s come to the end of its era. But I think Instagram is so much more accessible for so many people, and you can show off your personality far more! It’s incredible to see so many young people exploring new talents and presenting it on Instagram, and the community is super encouraging, helpful and kind too.
How can graduates or young people in general, navigate from school and into the world of fashion photography?
Just keep putting your work out there. It’s something I still struggle with a lot today, always hesitating before I post because I don’t feel like it’s ‘good enough’. But with every shot, you get better at something, whether its composition, editing, posing, lighting. Just experiment and share! Also, value your worth as a photographer; so many people will try and take advantage and offer ‘exposure’ – but you can’t pay your bills with that hahah! Know when to accept and when to walk away from a collaborative project, and if you value your work then you’ll find clients will too.
If you want to see some of Akemi’s amazing photography, then head over to her website here.