Created Local Instagram Series – @emmlulu

Created Local Instagram Series – @emmlulu

In the thirteenth of our special features celebrating our favourite Instagram photographers with links with our city, we feature Emma-Louise Parkes @emmlulu. Emma is the founder of Brideance which is a service offering support and guidance for brides to be so they can be ready for their big day.

Can you tell me a little about yourself, where you are from and your links with Portsmouth?
I’m originally from Walsall in the West Midlands. After stints in Manchester, Bournemouth and Windsor I moved to Southsea in 2007 when my employer relocated to Swanwick (I’m an air traffic controller). I didn’t know Hampshire at all or anyone who lived here, so I chose Southsea based on the Victorian architecture, the proximity to the sea, and the incredible number of restaurants!

Do you have a favoured camera or device that you use for your Instagram photography?
Most of my local pictures are taken with my iPhone6 and edited using the Retrica app – I always wanted a Holga as a kid and this is the best digital substitute! When travelling I’m more likely to use my Nikon J5 or Nikon P340.

Would you say that you take photos more for yourself or for others?
Both. I take way more pictures than I share on Instagram. Most are taken for myself, and the ones I post are the ones I think people will most enjoy. Many of my close friends live quite a distance away so we send a lot of pictures via WhatsApp as a way to keep in touch day to day.

Can you tell me more about your photographic experience, is this something that you’ve studied or maybe a hobby which you’ve developed?
I studied photography at college as part of my Media Production course. It was all manual, no flash, and we had to develop the pictures ourselves in a tiny dark room, which I loved. After college I worked as cabin crew, I used to take an old 1980’s Minolta away with me – I spent a fortune of developing during that time. I got my first digital camera in 2004. This was when I started taking more pictures of everyday life rather than just special occasions or destinations. Last year my old college featured a collage of my photographs in their annual public art exhibition – particularly satisfying as my work never made the grade for display while I was a student there! 

Exploring the theme of the “Local”, Portsmouth has a wide variety of climatic conditions, buildings and landscapes. Are there any local places or environments that are personal to you or that you love to photograph for a particular reason?
The beach. It’s partly the novelty factor – I spent the first 23 years of my life living about as far inland as you can get, and now I can walk to the sea in 5 minutes. But I also love the lighting and textures, and how they’re so varied at different times of day and year.

You certainly know how to capture a great photo of your food. Are there any particular spots in Portsmouth that you recommend the most?
Again with food, I love pictures that really capture the textures and colours of the meal. My favourite breakfast spot is Southsea Coffee, which never fails to deliver on a good photo opportunity. My ideal lunch is 6 oz Burgers. For take away I always choose Indian Cottage on Albert Road, and you can’t beat either a Sunday roast or a beef wellington at Rosie’s Vineyard.

Are there any other photographers who either influence you or that you would encourage our readers to also check out?
Joerg Nicht (@jn) is a Berlin based Instagrammer whose photographs are everything. Golden light, symmetry, reflections, shadows, clean lines, architecture – he has it all, and then some. I also love @morys who is from Japan. She photographs everyday items and situations in an abstract way, and always nails the aperture for stunning depth of field.

If you would like to get involved or know of a photographer that you think should be on our radar then please drop me an email at stuart@strong-island.co.uk.


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