Emma Hardy is well practiced in capturing the nuances of our everyday performances. Her images reflect an often unnoticed drama behind the scenes. Coming from a theatrical background, and having worked as an actress herself before focussing on photography, Emma cites her fascination with people’s behaviour, the tensions, interactions and quirky humour, as a driving energy in her work.
Mainly self-taught Emma prefers to work with natural or available light, “I try not to impose much technique or too much of myself on my subjects”. As such, there’s a hallmark honesty to her work. Her images are infused with a believable sense of being, her portraits are intimate and unselfconscious and this had lead to regular commissions from titles such as American Vogue, W Magazine and NY Times. Emma’s sitters include; Noomi Rapace, Tilda Swinton, Natalia Vodianova, Michael Fassbender and Stella McCartney.
Although Emma shoots digitally for commercial clients she prefers to work with film for her personal work. “I like the physicality of film. I’m very touched by light, I find it moving, I love that light scores itself onto film… It’s simple really, such a beautiful invention: some celluloid and an exchange between photographer and subject, written in light. And then it’s for the viewer to find something, however small, that resonates.”
Emma finds inspiration in the chaos and unexpected beauty of life, the less seen moments in between, for each commercial client she challenges herself to bring her sense of authenticity to a necessarily constructed commercial brief, “I photograph with my heart engaged, and however manufactured an instance in photography, the test is to bring soul into commerce”.
Describing her aesthetic as raw but tender, Hardy finds beauty in imperfection, and polish in the detail of every day life. And through her lens, the most ordinary of moments appears steeped in romance and intrigue, as if her subjects are characters in a movie playing in her head.