EXPOSURE: Emma Burrows

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I always knew I wanted to be a photographer ever since I was about 12 years old. After growing up watching my step sister with her camera I became intrigued to find out what it was all about. During school, I knew photography was all I wanted to do so when the time came to leaving school I went straight into college to study it. I started to love taking photos even more so I decided to carry on my studies by going to university. I now study Photography at Nottingham Trent University, and I’m absolutely loving it, my main area of photography being Fashion and the occasional portrait.

In my first year, I found myself a bit lost. I was shooting all kinds of photography from street to architecture, which have never been of strong interest to me. I found myself taking photos of what I saw around me and never thought of planning shoots that I could enjoy and be proud of the outcome. I focused on fashion all the way through college and then as soon as I got to university for some reason fashion photography just flew over my head. So now in my second year I am getting back into fashion photography and I am so much happier with the work I am producing.

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I am weeks into my current project, and it has taken a turn into the objectification of women. When I first started my project, it was just a visual diary of the everyday life of me and my friends. But as I have felt my work becoming more ’sexualized’ I felt I should focus my project on how women become primarily viewed as an object of male sexual desire. Women are often reduced to the sum of their body parts (breasts, vaginas and legs or whatever body part they prefer). Objectification more broadly means treating a person as a commodity or an object without regard to their personality or dignity. The title of my project is ‘this is what makes us girls’. I am trying to show in my images that society tells us that women’s values depend on how they look. My project is a mix between showing girls as ‘typical’ girls and showing girls as ‘real’ girls. There is a lot of perfecting in editing and photo shopping images in advertising and the media. I am not editing my models’ bodies or faces as I want to show the rawness of my images and that girls should not look up to being that ‘perfect’ girl that is shown in advertisements. I have a diary side to my work where it shows the girls being natural, not all dressed up in short skirts and dressing gowns with a full face of make up on, it shows them living their day to day life, where they are chilling in hoodies with no make-up with their hair tied up. I am really pleased with these images and hopefully I have many more to come.

By Emma Burrows

BA (Hons) Photography – Year 2

Instagram – @emmaburrowsphotography