An amazing creative, photographer and inspiration, Emily Toone, is an up and coming star in the photography world. Just nineteen years of age, Emily’s work can already be seen gracing the pages of prominent fashion journals from Melbourne to New York, as well as a number of fashion blogs across the web. Val manages to catch this very busy lady at the Adair Boutique Art Meets Fashion event where this rising star was seen shooting down the runway.
We’ve seen your work around the interweb for a while and you’ve just sky rocketed! How long have you been pursuing photography for?
My passion started during high school when my family first bought a digital camera and a video camera. I remember being obsessed over taking photos of everything in my bedroom, pencils, pens etc and being able to put them straight onto my computer!
I then studied photography as an elective at high school, and further more throughout my VCE studies, which is where I fell in love with the art of photographing people and documenting the human form and emotions through conceptual art ideas. Through my studies I was introduced to many famous photographers, one being Annie Leibovitz whose large scale commercial fashion shoots inspired me to get into the fashion industry and study photography further as I am now halfway through my three year Bachelor of Photography at RMIT University.
What’s motivated your passion being photography? Especially as it’s an area where so many people want to excel/succeed in?
It’s always hard to stay motivated, especially since leaving high school as I had such a strong support base there. Being constantly creative and building a name for yourself is challenging at times. There are so many people within the industry that constantly tell you that you can’t achieve your dreams, especially with wanting to work in fashion. I can’t count how many people have criticised my work to an extent that I almost gave up pursuing photography, and I’m still at University! I have learnt that if it’s your dream you cannot give up on it, you have to take the negative words as learning curves and improve on where you went wrong, you always have to go above and beyond what you have done before otherwise you will never improve, and you cannot stop!
You have an exceptionally extensive body of work how do you go about organising and art directing these shoots?
Oh why thank you! I think from the start I have always had very extensive visions. When I get an idea it generally takes the form of a very elaborate Tim Walker style shoot which would need a HUGE creative team to make it work. Which in ways is not a good thing because I’m not Tim Walker, I do not have Vogue US backing me up and providing me with everything I need…. Yet.
I find that networking is one of the most valuable if not the most valuable tool you need when you are a photographer. Without extensive hours of networking I would not have been able to form the creative teams that I work with today! When I have a shoot I generally instantly write down the idea and start finding reference imagery/creating mood boards that can more clearly help define what I want to achieve. I then approach fellow creative whether it be specific designers, stylists, hair and makeup artists, assistants etc. To pitch the idea and build a creative team, which I then pitch to modelling agencies to book a model. Depending on the situation, sometimes an agency will approach me asking me to shoot for them and I have to come up with a concept and a team on the spot!
In terms of Art Direction, I always have a vision in my head for the particular mood and style of the shoot. I always look at certain reference images in fashion magazines etc to help me direct the style that I want to create. I bring these images with me onto location incase of a creative block, but I’m usually running around like crazy acting out these outrageous poses for the models to create!
Do you draw inspiration from a particular place/ person or thing?
My inspiration doesn’t come from any one particular thing. Honestly it can come from anywhere and at any time! I find I usually get brilliant ideas when I am about to fall asleep or in the shower, in which case it’s always a scramble to write it down before I loose it!
I draw inspiration from magazines, songs, movies, art, and literature. A lot of my concepts have been inspired by a single quote or sentence or maybe even a colour combination I see in an art piece or a movie. I have even been inspired by the way the sunlight catches a certain location at the right time of day.
Inspiration is everywhere to me, you just have to open your eyes and see!
What is your greatest dream right now?
Well, anyone who knows me would know that I am in LOVE with NYC! I haven’t been there but the obsession has been growing for years. (I am actually going next year which I am way to excited about if I start talking about it I wont stop) So my ultimate dream right now and really has been for a few years now, is to become a successful fashion photographer, living in NYC, married to a handsome businessman flying all over the world, creating art. I want to be Mario Testino in woman form being invited to photograph Haute Couture week in Paris and taking selfies with Karlie Kloss. Is that too much to ask? Haha I find this quote quite explanatory.. I have tweaked it a bit.
“I want to move into an apartment in Manhattan with white floors and big windows. Drink Coffee in central park with my best friend and gossip about that girl yesterday. Work at a fashion house or magazine. Go to a restaurant downtown with all of my friends on the weekends. Wear my boyfriend’s shirt at home, but extravagant clothes when I go out. And last, but not least – I want to be the type of person, people turn around on the streets and go “she’s someone”
Where will we see you in a couple of year’s time?
You will hopefully see me in NYC!
VALERIE BONG – Photographer
Val is an Arts/Commerce student currently based in Melbourne. As a photographer and documenter she loves celebrating the beauty of the world. With her love for capturing special moments she specialises in fashion, wedding, family and event photography.
EMILY TOONE – Featured Creative
Emily is a Melbourne based internationally published photographer who shoots predominately fashion, alongside food, events, weddings and portraits. In 2014 she founded “The Fashion Photography Collective” a creative network which aims to bring together creative dreamers who live and breathe within the fashion industry.
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