Emma Anderson is a photographer from New Zealand, currently living and working in Brooklyn, New York. Her work has been featured in i-D, Mundane, Sumzine, no substance, DEW and Teeth Magazine to name a few.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do. I’m a photographer living and working in Brooklyn, NY. I moved here around 5 years ago, only planning to stay for a year, but fell pretty hard for the place. It’s a little different to home in New Zealand.
Top 3 favorite or most visited websites? Lately my focus has shifted & every day I’m sure to visit the Guardian, BBC, places like Slate, Lenny Letter & of course Instagram way too many times. This past month has been heartbreaking for myself and the people around me so I feel like we are all trying to educate ourselves and keep up with ways to make positive change as best we can.
What is it like living and working in Brooklyn? There are so many more opportunities here than when I was working in Wellington, New Zealand. I have found that people can be really open to giving you a shot and it’s up to you to show up & do the job well. Right now photography is energizing and exciting because I’m working with people I love to collaborate with but it’s a constant hustle to allow for the time & money to do that. It’s an expensive, tough and often isolating place so I find it really important to surround myself with inspiring and driven people.
Favorite photographers? Social media & the Internet in general make it so easy to find and engage with amazing artists. But I always return to people I discovered when I was first experimenting with photography like Nan Goldin, Viviane Sassen, Lee Miller, Juergen Teller, and Francesca Woodman. I actually moved to America thinking I’d make documentary work in the South after falling in love with Sally Mann.
How did your interest in photography begin? With the darkroom. I was hoooked by the science of photography and the chemical process and experimentation, it took me by surprise but I never wanted to do anything else after that.
Favorite cameras? I guess my favorites right now are what I am working on at the moment – Canon mark iv, Nikon FM2 35mm & a Mamiya RB. They all provide a different shooting process and atmosphere, which compliments the environments I want to create depending on the project.
How do you go about directing your subjects? A key thing for me has been negotiating the power relationships involved with Photography and particularly the representation of women. I usually only photograph woman (or landscapes) and shooting for me is always a conversation between the subject and myself. I pretty much bounce off the subject and try to make it productive, rewarding and fun for both of us!
Dream collaboration? I want to collaborate with my sister…I just haven’t nailed down the project yet.
What’s your absolute favorite place in the city/the world to be? In the city…Transmitter Park in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. In the world it would be Kawhia, New Zealand.
What are you really excited about right now? Christmas! And a shoot next weekend.
What’s in your bag? A book I’ve half-read by Zadie Smith, wallet, headphones, phone with too many podcasts, and a beat-up 35mm point & shoot.