It has been a little while since we’ve introduced you fine folks to another Tweek artist. So, we’re here to quench your thirst today! You’ve seen Emily Brewer from time to time on our social media accounts but we thought it was time you learned more about what she does when she isn’t on our social media. She has a couple shows she’s a part of this summer in Knoxville so we’ve got the scoop on those as well. This gal has nothing short of an analogue film obsession and because of that she’s got some pretty fantastic work. Enjoy this little sneak peek in her world! And visit her show in Knoxville before August is over!
TI: Where do we start with you? What camera did you pick up first?
EB: Trying to think back to this first camera of many…I borrowed my Dad’s Minolta SLR back in high school for a short darkroom lesson during an art class, but my first proper camera was purchased at Blue Moon Camera in Portland, Oregon when I lived there way back in the day. I think I bought a Canon AE1.
TI: What draws you to photography? And what keeps you coming back for more?
EB: I think I’ve always been drawn to things that feel magical. Obviously, I realize everything has a scientific explanation and a few genius brains behind it, but think about it – we are using tiny little (and sometimes not so tiny) boxes of wood and metal and plastic with a roll or piece of film in it that captures life as we see it, and sometimes life as we don’t see it. Then we swish it around for a while in some chemicals and there’s an image that we can put in another box and shine light through it onto a chemical-coated paper that makes a photograph right before our eyes as we agitate a tray. It’s fascinating and magical and it feels great. That feeling is what keeps me coming back.
TI: We ask you that because we know you have a camera obsession. What is your current obsession?
EB: Oh man, the camera obsession. Current and long standing obsession is anything Leica. Tiny rangefinders, point & shoots, and half frames really have my heart right now. As well as anything 4×5. So one extreme or the other, basically.
TI: Explain your obsession. Why do you love trying new camera bodies or love acquiring them?
EB: Well, they all have their own nuances. It’s fun getting to know a camera. Each camera I use gives me a different feeling while I’m using it. I’m also an overly technical person (NERD!) so I kinda geek out on stupid tech specs and spend a lot of time researching, just because.
TI: Film or Digital?
EB: FIlm, hands down!
TI: If you could have an unlimited supply of any film what would it be?
EB: Why do you ask these hard questions?! How can I pick just one? If I am forced, I suppose Fuji Neopan. But HP5 & Tri-X are staples too, for affordability.
TI: Describe your favorite shooting environment.
EB: Old, dirty places or cities. Nighttime. Panama City Beach. Anywhere I haven’t been before.
TI: You’ve gotten into tintype photography. What do you love about it?
Remember that thing I said about the magic? Yeah. Plus, it’s pretty interesting that the photograph comes out essentially grain free. And there’s a risk of blowing things up with chemicals, so that’s always fun too.
TI: Your body of work has a good amount of environmental and portrait photography. Do you have a favorite?
EB: No favorites really. I enjoy both equally.
TI: Did you print these yourself in your darkroom?
EB: Yes, I do print them myself in my basement darkroom. I have also used the Knoxville Community Darkroom while mine was still under construction. My platinum prints were made in Portland, Oregon but I am set up to continue making these at home as well. The color prints are professionally printed (the old fashioned way) at my only and favorite camera store and lab – Blue Moon Camera in Portland, Oregon.
TI: Have you displayed your work enough to have a favorite way of hanging/displaying?
EB: I like tacking them up on my wall at home and staring at them until I hate them. Or until I’m bored with them. It motivates me to make more and better.
TI: What would be the content of your dream show?
EB: Interesting question. I don’t really “create” or plan my content, the content, in a way, finds me. I’d be happy to show anything and everything.
Current & Upcoming Shows featuring Emily Brewer:
Striped Light, 8/4-5: Introducing Emily’s new project TnTypes! Visit her site to schedule an appointment to get your very own tintype portrait made this weekend! How cool is that?!
White Oak Gallery, running thru August: Show will consist of silver gelatin prints, platinum prints, polaroid emulsion lifts, and optical color prints. It is in White Oak Gallery.
Current inspiration: All of my creative friends across the world – I’m constantly inspired by any and all other artists.
Current musical obsession: Andy Shauf / True Widow / After Care / Pinback / Title Fight
Favorite meal of the day: Breakfast, Snack, Lunch, Snack, Dinner, Snack – all day food
Coffee or chocolate: Chocolate, and it better be small batch, fancy, expensive, dark, and have superfoods in it.
TI: How do you typically get your film images converted into digital format? Tweek maybe? 🙂 Why Tweek?
EB: Definitely Tweek. I can use quality scanners that have been around and appreciated for years. And I know my obsession for quality is matched by Tony and the rest of the Tweek team.
TI: Do you have a favorite scanner at Tweek? Why?
EB: I prefer using the Scitex Eversmart Pro because the scans have a special quality to them that I don’t see when using other scanners. It’s kind of one of those magical things that’s hard to explain.
TI: What makes you choose Tweek for printing larger format or multiple prints of images? What keeps you coming back for more?
EB: The paper options are enough reason alone. But I also know that Tweek’s attention to detail and quality can’t be found many other places.