Emily Scarlett Romain‘s chronicle of youth lures you into an exalting journey from the great California outdoors to the Haldern Pop Festival in Germany. Always shooting 35mm film, which she believes is magic, the New York-based photographer sneaks her camera everywhere and compulsively documents beauty in its rawest form; life on the road. Her most recent work unveils, one by one, the many layers of sisterhood. Originally from London, Emily graduated with honors from Nottingham Trent and moved stateside to intern for Ryan McGinley – a dream gig. We had a chance to sit down with this rising star to chat about everything from fantasies to inspirations to the curse of making eye contact the New York subway. Have a look:
LF: When did you first pick up a camera?
ESR: I was about four years old and at my grandparents house, there were always cameras about in my childhood. I only found out recently that my Grandad was an avid photographer and when my Mother was growing up she remembers the bathroom being out of bounds for hours whilst he set up his own darkroom.
LF: How would you describe your style in a simple sentence?
ESR: I take photographs constantly, so I see my work as a sort of visual diary. I am drawn to interesting characters with beautiful faces and exciting lives. With my photographs I try and find the beauty in even the most banal of situations.
LF: What makes you tick / what makes you click?
ESR: Boys / Girls. I have always been more comfortable photographing girls. When I really got into photography I was about 14 and I became known as the girl who would take the photos. I hung around with girls mainly and since then, they have been the ones to make me click. I also have an extensive collection of sunset photographs, but that’s more a compulsion!
LF: Do you tend to pick up inspiration when you travel or on your everyday life?
ESR: I try and find inspiration in every day life as I feel so much can happen in a day and if you blink you miss it. Also if the little things pass you by you will never be able to build up a cohesive documentation of your life. When I travel I seek out inspiration and try and go to as many new places as possible.
LF: What’s one lesson you took from your first stint in NYC?
ESR: To not make eye contact on the subway. I arrived a little naive and overexcited and soon learnt! I try and come back as often as possible so don’t really give myself a chance to miss it. Although doing that makes me feel like I am living a double life, not quite settled in New York or London fully. When I am in London for long enough though I long for the 24 hour subway, $1 pizza and my friends.
LF: What have you learned the hard way?
ESR: Don’t make eye contact on the subway and always make copies of everything!
LF: When are you happiest?
ESR: Driving around California with the Badlands 777 girls, camera in hand and adventures ahead. Or being at home, whether in London or New York, with friends and wine. Oh and anything to do with my photographic practice… dropping films off to be developed and the thrill when you collect them, scanning then editing and publishing them… and then moving onto the next one!
LF: What’s your drink of choice?
ESR: I was always a vodka girl but NYC has shown me the ways of frozen margaritas, especially when it’s happy hour…
LF: What’s your favorite thing about life?
ESR: Nothing bad lasts, every day is new and a chance to start afresh, to change your mind, be happy and explore.
LF: What’s your favorite thing about photography?
ESR: It cements my life into memories, and reminds me of things I would otherwise forget.
LF: What other forms of art inspire you besides yours?
ESR: My friends’ art especially. I have a group of very talented people I am lucky enough to call friends and I am always drawing inspirations from their achievements and artwork. I am also inspired by cinematography, film and music.
LF: What’s your biggest fantasy?
ESR: To have a worldwide visa so I can roam free and live and work anywhere I please.
LF: How fast do you live?
ESR: I am a impulsive person with no patience, so it’s never as fast as I crave!