I take photographs of what interests me, what’s around me, photographs of people places and things that really exist. The monumental and minimal both inspire equally. Contemplation and play are both essential to my work. I believe its possible to achieve the right feeling in a picture by simple means. I like the … Read More
I take photographs of what interests me, what’s around me, photographs of people places and things that really exist. The monumental and minimal both inspire equally. Contemplation and play are both essential to my work. I believe its possible to achieve the right feeling in a picture by simple means. I like the unpredictable, the accidental and the unknowable in photography, this often results in very interesting things.
Steven James Emberton became interested in photography as a teenager.
In 1974 he gained access to a darkroom in a family friend’s house with another keen amateur, and began developing and printing his own black & white work.
After leaving the arts-orientated Quarry Bank School and with a natural talent for music Emberton played in various bands as a bass player as well as doing session work in Amazon Studios Liverpool. ‘There was quite a scene there at that time (late 70s early 80s) I did that for about 8 years. I tried my hand at music production which seemed the natural step and I would still be in music if photography didn’t exist – but at this point I realised that the visual world of light and colour was where I needed to be’.
In 1984 he started collaborating with a local model agency and photographing musician friends. During the same year Emberton opened, with his friend Jonathan Moss his first studio, located just outside Manchester.
After moving to London in 1987 he assisted photographer David Whyte. At this time he enrolled in painting classes ‘They teach you how to look, and the basics of painting technique which included life drawing, but the main thing they taught was a sense of the poetic’.
This led to a 10 year period of drawing and painting resulting in several solo exhibitions in London and many group shows until 1999 when Emberton decided to return to photography. He quickly started working closely with London’s model agencies and also shooting fashion editorials.
He started using the 8×10 camera in the early 2000′s. ‘I hadn’t thought it could work for modern day portraits because of the long exposures, but I heard that August Sander had used one and also Avedon, Penn, Bailey and later Roversi. So I tried it on a fashion editorial shoot I was doing – just as an experiment and have used it ever since.’
A chance introduction to the global designer Anya Hindmarch in 2005 in London led to a 4 year collaboration on their advertising campaigns.
Steven James Emberton lives in London. His work has been featured in numerous international advertising campaigns fashion editorials and exhibitions. Read Less