We had the good fortune of connecting with Emma Nilsson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emma, how does your business help the community?
As an artist and a photographer, I think that the work we create can have some of the most profound impact on the world that we live in. Something I have always thought about is the representation of women in the media: young, white, skinny girls. It is so rare that we see full-figured women of color at all different ages. My goal as an artist is to photograph the essence of the people who are before me. I do not concern myself with the question is someone is a “model” or not. We are all people, and everyone deserves to be represented, not just those who fit into society’s standards of beauty. Everyone has a story, and photography is a unique medium because you can capture a moment of someone telling you their story. All too often, we see horrific and violent images on the news of people dying, and killing one another. Although those are important to bring about social change, I also think it is crucial to spread light. Photography is a medium that would be nothing without light, so I use that, to help share other women’s stories and help to uplift those around me. In the photographs I’m submitting today, I have a young woman named Lara, who is the owner of Fleurs Et Sel a small baking company based out West Hollywood. Find her on Instagram @fleursetsel. She is AMAZING. The other image is of Rosa, a woman from the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, who runs a local and daily farmers market. If you are ever in Centro Oaxaca, her market is a must for the most delicious and fresh food. I hope that magazines and outlets will begin to look at portfolio’s like mine and realize that there is much more to taking a portrait and telling a story than casting a pretty model. If we honestly want to change the world we must begin to represent real people, the world will start to be more accepting of people that don’t look like the current standard of beauty, and the next generation won’t have to live up to those unrealistic ideals.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
As a photographer in 2020, I feel very different from the group. I am not constantly shooting. I am most likely sketching and writing about my ideas more than I shoot. We live in a world that is so inundated with images that when I feel ready to put out new work I want it to be interesting and thought-provoking. Since Covid-19 sent us all into quarantine, I have had so much time to think and work, which is so rare. I found myself continually returning to the dueling realities of our natural world, and how humans are destroying it. My new works are exploring these dualities. But what I am most excited about is being appointed to my hometown’s art commission. They have never had a community for artists or much local support. For the first time, I am going to be able to help put together resources for the locals, and hopefully, even more.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Start at Rubies + Diamonds for the best caramel sea salt latte you didn’t know you needed. Reserve free tickets to the Marciano Art Foundation. Inside an old freemason building on Wilshire, they have the coolest exhibits. Pop over to the arts district before Art + Fish sells out of the best Japanese lunch in LA. The door blends in with their mural, so it’s easy to miss. After a stroll through the galleries in the arts district, grab some Pizza and wine at Desanos. You can sit, eat, and drink here for hours. End your night at Gold Diggers. A dark little bar with great music and better drinks.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to dedicate my shout out to Lara. I mentioned her in my story already but she has been killing it lately. Check out her Instagram @fleursetsel