Interview with photographer Emma Skye

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Briefly say hi and tell us a little about yourself.
Hey all! My name is Emma Skye, and I had a rather unconventional childhood. Growing up I was homeschooled as my family sailed around the world on a 35-foot boat. It was an amazing education and I feel incredibly fortunate to have been exposed to so many different cultures and places at a young age. Today, the travel bug is still very much alive and well; I’ve spent the past seven years traveling the world with my camera, capturing photographs of the places I visit, and telling stories of the people who live there.

How did you get into photography? What attracted you to it?
I actually hated cameras growing up. My dad was a photographer, and while I often found myself in front of the lens I wasn’t exactly a cooperative subject. As I got older I found that I shared his love for documenting the world around me. I’m a naturally shy person and liked that photography enabled me to quietly say a lot.

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What are your favourite subjects to photograph? Why?
I love photographing remote and wild corners of the world— there’s a certain magic to seeing the sun rise over a landscape untouched by human development. I also enjoy photographing the people I meet when traveling— racing for sunrise or car camping with strangers always leads to some crazy stories and photography allows us all to relive those moments.

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Looking at your socials (social media), you also travel a lot, what are your favourite places to photograph and a favourite place you have been so far? If it is hard to choose a favourite place, then which place has left an impact on you?
Favourite places are so subjective; I’ve always found that the best memories from travelling have more to do with the people than the places. That said, a place which has never failed to leave me in awe of both it’s beautiful and welcoming locals, and it’s diverse and magical landscapes, is Borneo. I first visited Tanjung Puting National Park, located in the southern Indonesian part of the country, when I was ten. I was fascinated by the grace with which ungainly orangutans could swing through the forest and obsessed with spotting a Borneo pygmy elephant.
Revisiting a decade later, the strange and wonderful animals were still there, but there were far fewer of them. The island is changing rapidly and the animals I fell in love with, many of whom are found nowhere else on earth, are some of the first being affected by our changing climate. If we do nothing, orangutans could be gone within the decade.
That got depressing.

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What are a couple pieces of advice you would tell someone who is looking to get into photography or who is just starting out?
Don’t go into debt! You don’t need the newest camera with 61-megapixels. If you are going to spend money on camera gear, invest in glass, it will make a greater impact on your photography and last so much longer.

While it may be frustrating and even intimidating, try to make manual mode your friend. You may have more overexposed and blurry shots than ever to start with, but you’ll learn so much more about light, and how best to capture it if you take the time to learn how various exposure settings affect your images.
With rare exceptions I still shoot full manual today.

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To see more of Emma’s work, you can find her on Instagram here or check out her personal website by clicking here.