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Emma Picq – Rock and Roll Style Photographer

With her sexy just-got-out-of-bed hair, enticing pout, rock & roll style, French accent and tattoo of a gun, fashion photographer Emma Picq wouldn’t look out of place on the cover of Face Magazine or Dazed and Confused or any number of edgy style magazines on the stands. The irony is this hot mess of style and beauty is the woman behind the images and  photography in these magazines. The world Emma Picq sees through her camera lens has a particular brand of chic; a modern and playful cool that is closer to carefully staged works of art with her strange, colorful and surreal editorials.

This Paris-based photographer's work has appeared in magazines from Vogue, Rolling Stone, Jalouse and Marie Claire to Vice UK to name just a few, and among her clients are high-ranking creative powerhouses in the worlds of fashion and music such as Cacharel, L’Oréal, Universal Music, No Format (label of José Gonzales), and designer Atsuro Tayama.

Creative Mapping caught up with Emma Picq in Paris to talk all things photography, her artistic style, inspirations, anarchist-art inclinations, and her love of old school camera techniques and her very first shooting experience.


"I try to create good-looking pictures so people trust me as a photographer – for my artistic side I’m heading towards a more anarchistic way of shooting." Emma Picq

CM: When did your passion for photography start?
The first time I took a picture, I remember that day, my dad asked me to take a picture of him, my mum and my sister and the dog. When I took the picture I remember thinking I’m the one in control, choosing the frame. I got the heads of all of them except my sister and the dog.... I gave back the camera thinking that I did something personal.

My mum used to make (photo) albums and she put that photo in the album and wrote on it "first picture by Emma, she might be a photographer one day."

CM: How did you make the transition into professional photography?
After my studies I did theatre, I wanted to be an actress in Paris. I had a lot of time to do nothing, waiting for parts. So I started shooting (photographs) again, and I met a guy who was an assistant photographer. We decided to live together, and the place was full of cameras and stuff, and he told me I could play with it. I had good connections with a model agency and started to do test shots for models every day, and it was successful.


"I like the mystery of it (film)… people (I shoot) need to trust me because they won’t see anything… it’s a bit magical. And the credit is huge. Even when you get grain, I love film grain, it’s what I love most about the pictures in general." Emma Picq

CM: Do you always shoot on film?
I shoot not only on film but also in media format (digital), which is completely different. For more commercial jobs I shoot film; sometimes I mix it with digital to show the client where I’m going (creatively) and then once they feel confident enough, they let me go forward, but I always shoot some rolls on the side in case they like a picture, then I develop it in film.

CM: Do you prefer film to digital?
I like the mystery of it (photography film)... people (I shoot) need to trust me because they won’t see anything... it’s a bit magical. And the credit is huge. Even when you get grain, I love film grain, it’s what I love most about the pictures in general.

CM: How would you describe your‘signature’style?
I think nowadays it’s more about a nice accident – I do crazy things like open the back of my camera when I shoot, to let the light come in. Or try to make it more ‘accidental’ and in the end that’s the picture that means so much to me, the picture I want to see on the wall. So I try to create good-looking pictures so people trust me as a photographer – for my artistic side I’m heading towards a more anarchistic way of shooting.

CM: What makes a good picture for a fashion shoot?
It should inspire people to want to be that person in the image. If you made a postcard of it (the image), to see lots of young girls with that postcard on their desk, one that makes them dream a bit and make them feel life can be different.

Creative Mapping © Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. Photography © Copyright: Emma Picq

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