This month we spent 5 minutes catching up with the winner of the LPA Student Challenges 2014-2015 final round – Emma Boyns. Emma – who is in her final year at the University of Gloucestershire studying Editorial and Advertising Photography - wins some amazing prizes including her own bespoke portfolio by the brilliant Delta Design with prints by Metro Imaging, as well as representation with LPA Futures for two years. Here’s what she had to say about the experience…
Congratulations on winning the LPA Student Challenges grand final! You’ve secured your place as one of the next group of LPA Futures photographers – how does it feel?
It feels great! I wanted to stay positive after entering but totally didn’t expect to win so it was a lovely surprise.
What are you looking forward to most about being a part of the LPA roster?
I think being part of a group of people whom I have looked up to and whose clients and work I really admire; Sam Stowell, Charlotte Tolhurst, Rowan Fee and others have really inspired my work.
For the final round you were asked by Richard Brim & Daniel Moorey of Adam&EveDDB to interpret the creative copy ‘Love it or Hate it’. What were your initial thoughts and how did you approach the brief?
This is actually a brief that I was set at university for one module, which all of us hated at the time so there was a bit of a joke about that at first! But I approached it in a completely different way and chose not to over complicate it, focusing on the one, simple theme of liquorice and how to create a striking series based around that narrative.
© Emma Boyns – Student Challenge Number Three submission
What made you want to pursue a career as a food photographer?
I’ve always loved cooking and baking and have found both to be very therapeutic, so the movement towards this genre happened entirely naturally for me; at first I didn’t even realise I was photographing everything I was making, and it soon became second nature. I don’t think I’d have the time to invest in a different subject, as food really is my passion and is constantly on my mind.
How would you describe your photographic style?
I would describe it as fairly delicate, almost fragile sometimes. Although that may seem to contrast with my more conceptual, graphic images, I feel that a simplistic, minimalist theme runs through most of my work and the way I style shots often makes them quite feminine and dainty.
© Emma Boyns
Where do you look for inspiration – any favourite photographers, websites or blogs?
I am a huge fan of food blogs, which were the main focus of my dissertation. I admire the ability that bloggers such as Linda Lomelino and Izy Hossack have to cook, bake, write and photograph so beautifully. I also love cookbooks such as Nigel Slater’s Tender and Katie Quinn Davies’ What Katie Ate, and photographers such as Jean Cazals, Jonathan Gregson and Mowie Kay have been really inspirational for me.
If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be doing?
I have a big interest in psychology, which was my intended path while I was at sixth form, so perhaps something down that line. But I always think I’d find it hard to resist a food-based career, so you’d probably be more likely to find me in a little family-run bakery or restaurant.
© Emma Boyns
Your work impressed the judges in Student Challenge Number Two as well as the final round, what advice would you have for students wanting to enter the competition next year?
I think it would be to enter images that are strong rather than images that you ‘like.’ Don’t become too attached to an image because of the setting or context in which it was taken or the sentimental value it has to you – remember that the judges can only see the photographic merit and not these personal elements.