We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Anderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, how do you think about risk?
Ever since I was small, I’ve viewed “rules” as “guidelines”, always with room for interpretation and/or negotiation. In fact, I distinctly remember one of the very first times I took a risk – I was in the second grade and about six years old.
My teacher instructed each student in our class to color in a picture of an apple, which would eventually be cut out and glued onto a big paper tree, displayed on the outside of our classroom door. We were told to use realistic colors– Red, Green, Yellow, etc.
Every single kid in my class followed the directions, except for me. I wanted my apple to be blue, so that’s how I colored it. When my teacher saw my blue apple, she told me I had to start over, (using her so-called-apple-color-palette) and if I didn’t, my apple wouldn’t be displayed on the classroom door.
I was devastated that my beautiful blue apple wouldn’t be displayed on the classroom tree, but I was also unwilling to change the color to match everyone else’s. That day, I returned home from school with my blue apple in my backpack and asked my mom to hang it on the front door of our house.
My mother loved my blue apple, and we had a good chat about the importance of general-rule-following as well as the importance of self-expression and the absence of rules, when it comes to art.
The next day, my mom walked me to class and chatted with my teacher. A few minutes later, my blue apple was taped to the classroom door, and it lived there for the remainder of the year.
That single fleeting moment of risk-taking/harmless rule-bending at the age of six, influenced many aspects of my life and helped shape who I am as a human being, artist, business owner, and creative entrepreneur. I have quite literally never been afraid of being different or standing out. In fact, I fear the opposite – blending in or being ordinary. I’m naturally a curious, creative, risk taker, and without a doubt, it’s made for an interesting and rewarding life, (even though I always need to learn from my mistakes the hard way).
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My style is fun, laid back, authentic and full of joy. I love bright colors, making fart sounds and bringing out the inner child that lives within you by creating an experience your family will never forget. What sets me apart from typical family photography, is that my sessions are actually fun, and it shows in the final product. I can crack a real smile out of anyone- even the ones who say they hate having their picture taken. 😉
My goal is to capture you and your loved ones in such a way that you can cherish your photos for life. I know how to make you pee your pants from laughter and also know how to take charge and create the sweet candid moments that can never be recreated too. I love what I do, and I feel honored to be the one to capture your family memories. When we work together, we’re creating magic that goes way beyond the click of my camera – we’re forging a friendship, creating memories and decorating your home with heirloom quality works of art, starring your favorite people- your family. I guarantee the art I create from our session will be cherished by your family for generations to come.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If I had a weekend to show a friend my favorite places, we’d kick it off taking a short drive from LAX over Joxer Daly’s in Culver City to catch a Liverpool match, grab a pint, (or two or three) and sing along to with my buddies from the LFCLA supporter group. Go Reds!
Next up, we’d drive up the coast towards Malibu, jamming to one of my many California-inspired spotify playlists. We’d stop at my favorite bougie restaurant, Taverna Tony, for a fabulous and delicious authentic Mediterranean meal and a glass of wine, while catching up and enjoying that warm Malibu sun. Then, we’d walk off some of that wine off and hit up some of the cute boutique shops while trying to refrain from making any outrageous impulse purchases.
Next, we’d continue heading north to my place in Westlake Village, but not without taking a pit stop at the most beautiful beach in the world – El Matador, to take some photos and crack up at all of the “influencers in the wild”. Once we got to my place, we’d throw some bikes in my car and continue heading north to my hometown, Ventura. We’d start at Marina Park, crash and burn on the zipline attached to the big pirate ship and then take the bike path all the way up the coast, to Emma Wood State Beach (or further!). Once we get to EW, we’d stash our bikes, take off our clothes, and make a run for it straight into the ocean.
Next, we’d bike back towards downtown Ventura where we’d stop for burritos at Corrales, and visit my sister, Jess, and her bakery, Awkward Pastry, where we’d beg her to bake us something delicious and fresh. Then, we’d make our way to Downtown Ventura, where we’d hit up some funky thrift shops, pick up a new record at Jockamo and visit my friends at The Refill Shop. We’d load up my backpack with the treasures we found along the way and hop back on our bikes to catch the sunset from the Ventura Pier, while watching hottie surfers catch some waves.
Eventually, we’d make our way back to the Conejo Valley, where we’d take my dog, Waffles, to go run wild at the Conejo Creek Dog Park and finish the evening up with watching old music videos in our jammies.
The next day, we’d wake up, grab coffee at the cute coffee shop by my house, Five07, hit a yoga or spin class with Doug or Tania at Equinox and head to my ultimate favorite place in Westlake – the spa at Westlake Village Inn, (Spa Realis). Here, we’d get massages and facials, followed by a delicious poolside lunch. Eventually, we’d have the perfect end to a fun weekend with dinner and wine in the vineyard while listening to live music at Stonehaus – (I love that guy who always plays acoustic Oasis covers!).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Shout out to Meem, for bringing me into this world and teaching me to be compassionate while shamelessly be myself. You have always encouraged me to dream big, be curious, ask questions, and live fearlessly. You really taught me that I can be whatever and whoever I want to be, and for that, I can’t thank you enough. I love you, mom.
Shout out to my many mentors along the way: Jennings Paige Photography, for teaching me the ropes of starting my own photography business, my friends at Conejo Deals, who believed in the value of my work and helped me expand my reach, and to all of my friends and family who continually pass along their business wisdom and inspire me to be the queen of my very own queendom.
And of course, shout out to my lovely clients who support my dream and make my business possible. You guys rule and I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart.