Her work is like a ritual she fulfills everyday. Compositions and lines and colors are the foundations of her images, and what she cares for the most is telling a story, inviting the viewer to go inside her tone and, ultimately, building a universe we get to see through her eye. We have a chat with Parisian photographer Emma Le Doyen about beauty, the connections between documentary and fashion photography and how color brings musicality to images
What inspires Emma Le Doyen?
That’s a tough question, it is kind of an unconscious process and most of my influences are not necessarily obviously visible in my photos. Generally, I would say I am inspired by class Hollywood cinema, Technicolor films and documentary photographers from early age colour photography like Eggleston, Shore, Haas or Meyerowitz. I also have an interest for pop culture, for trivial and outfashioned things. I like old TV shows airing during the afternoon and draw from my childhood memories.
How and when were you drawn into photography?
I started taking pictures when I was around 15 years old. With a friend, we would pick a place randomly on a map of Paris, and by night, we would have a long walk taking pictures on our way. During high school and college, I took photography classes, but it was one amongst different mediums. I would draw, paint a lot and it was a continuity of my artistic practice. Around 2010, I kind of gave up these other practices to focus on photography. It’s hard to explain, but there’s a sort of funnel effect and it’s almost as if the medium chose you.
Where do you find beauty?
I don’t know if I can really explain beauty because it’s a very personal and subjective thing. It’s about shape, composition, color, sensitivity and emotion. Also, I’m attracted by things that seem to have been here for many years, but very fragile and are about to disappear. I think when you start documentary photography, a part of you is scared about losing things, and you’re trying to preserve them. Like a memory back up.
In which ways do you connect the models and the environment in your photographic work?
In fashion, I want my models to express the idea of being placed in an environment where they don’t belong. What’s interesting to me is the contrast between the situation and the posture taken by the models. It allows me to create natural and spontaneous images, right on the borderline between documentary and fashion.
For portraits, the choice of the surroundings is very important because it has to reflect the reality of the person I am shooting. Whether by going to places they’re used to go to often, whether in a more abstract way, by choosing locations that echo their personality and work. To do so, I choose with my subject a predetermined route and all we have to do is wander, chill and drink coffees.
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What do you try to express trough your view?
Probably my vision of this world with a subtle sense of humor and nostalgia. I think in a naive way I’m very fascinated by the world we live in and I want to document it. Every time I try to inspire a certain emotion, introduce characters and tell a story, as abstract as it can be.
Your style is kind of a mix between documentary photography and fashion photography, how do you think this link happens?
It happens very naturally. I started with documentary photography, shooting what was around me. And it’s still a big part of my work, very confidential and personal for now. So when I started doing commissioned work, it was for people who had seen my personal documentary images and asked me to keep this approach for portrait and fashion job. It felt natural to me to keep it and apply it to the rest of my work.
What feelings do you have about this industry? 
It’s a system that gives a lot of creativity freedom. It’s an opportunity to meet many creative and interesting people. You constantly have to renew yourself. As a photographer, it’s a wonderful playground to explore. As a Parisian girl, you grow up with fashion. The whole city kind of revolves around it. It’s part of our rhythm, of our agenda. So it feels pretty natural to me. At the same time, I like to keep a certain distance towards this industry and be able to work on different subjects like when I do reports and documentaries.
What is the importance of color in your work?
Color is very important to me. It brings a certain ton and musicality to the images. I can’t really explain it, but I feel more emotions with color photography and barely shoot black and white images. I have a hard time understanding people shooting exclusively black and white when there is such beautiful colours on this planet.
I’ve noticed that you are into some projects, like Mire. Can you tell us a little bit more about it?
Mire is a fanzine that I made few years ago with my friend Clara Deshayes and my boyfriend Samuel Rixon. We started it with the desire to make a ‘real fanzine’, inspired by punk and skate culture, only in black and white, printed on a copy machine. The idea was to publish some of our early works and curate a selection of works from people that we love. It was made with complete freedom, without themes nor censorship. We kept that project going for 3 years and made 4 issues. It was a great experience, but we stopped because of our others project and busy schedules.
Could you give us a sneak peek about the future ones?
I am working on a book with studio Mitsu, and on another one with Samuel. And I have several fashion and commissioned documentary works on going.
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