Today we’d like to introduce you to Emma Kanchanawat.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Emma. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My Name is Emma and I am from Bangkok, Thailand. However, I moved to Singapore when I was 15 and moved to Boston after I graduated High school. When I was younger I was always that kid that had a camera taking photos of friends and the scenery, even if it was the ugliest photo. I would enjoy sharing it with my friends and family and I loved to edit it into crazy colors. Fast forward to a few years later I was given an entry level dslr and I must admit I used it in auto mode for years (5 years to be exact), and I didn’t really see the potential of what a dslr could do.
During those years I would never take out my camera and would only use it when something exciting was happening. However, that changed during my sophomore year of high school where I had a phase of posting beauty youtube videos with that DSLR. That lead me to my passion for video editing and the passion for photography that I have now. My interest and passion didn’t fully take effect until I moved to Boston for college.
One big reason why I decided to pick up my old DSLR was that it was something that distracted me, I was living in a new country, the culture was different, and it was a way to cope with adjusting. I would spend my time exploring Boston taking photos everywhere I went, which got me through some hard times. I am currently studying to get a business degree but photography was something different that wasn’t accounting or finance. Photography/video made me fall in love with cities, especially with Boston.
Since then (it’s been about a year and a half now) my photography has evolved drastically. I kept working on my photography skills and it turned into something that was a part of my identity. I have now branched into portrait photography where I have met so many amazingly creative people in Boston and New York, and I am still improving my city photography every single time I take my camera out.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely wasn’t a smooth road. When I started to really try to learn how to use my camera seriously I knew no one who was a photographer or was interested in learning photography. I would sit in front of my computer for hours learning photography/video edits on youtube just so I can get that single edit. As I mentioned before photography was a hobby and distraction to adjusting to a new life.
I just moved to the US from Singapore for college, I was a clueless college freshman who was having a hard time adjusting. It may not seem much to a lot of people but mentally it was hard being in a new culture and country, and photography made it easier. Being able to capture the city through my eyes helped me feel more at home in a completely new country.
Please tell us about Emma Kanch Photography.
My photography work has to be the one thing I have gotten recognition for and it’s crazy to me how much I have done in only one year of taking this whole photography thing seriously. What sets me apart from people depends on what I’m photographing. My portrait photography is something that I have been working on nonstop for the past two months, and I am proud of where I am now.
What sets me apart are two factors, the people who I interact with and my style of photography. Since being introduced into the portrait community I have met amazing people who have helped me drastically improve my photography, but I have also heard of the negative sides of the community. Hearing the way so many photographers treat models and the way they talk to them or their professionalism hasn’t been great.
As a female photographer, I want a collaboration to be a fun and comfortable experience. When I meet a model who I am going to photograph I always try to get to know them first, I see it as making a new friend. Especially since a lot of models are females that are my age I love hearing about their stories and showing them what a collaboration should be like. The second factor is the actual photo style, which connects to both my portrait and city photos.
With city photography, I want to capture the feeling of a city that you may feel while you walk through it, capturing moments without faces is a hard thing to do but I feel like I was able to do that. With Portrait photography my photos tend to be high in contrast and involves movement, and I always have a pop of color in every single one of them. My best photos have been moments where the model is having the most fun or is just relaxed at that very moment.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I can’t pinpoint an exact moment, but my favorite memory would have to be when I was the most carefree. I used to love princess dresses, dancing while everyone was looking, and singing. I am definitely not like that anymore (I am terrified of singing in front of people) but it was when I didn’t hear the judgments or cared a single bit of what people thought. There is, however, this one moment where I remember as a 7-year-old me and my mum went to the Eiffel tower in Paris, and I was in a dress (feeling like a princess) and I gave the sassiest pose to the camera with the Eiffel tower at the back.