The grayed-out ghost of the Great Barrier Reef haunts her, as do the vast mountains of floating plastic that will outlive us all, and the fish gnawing on the plastic’s toxicity right before we gobble the fish. She thinks about the trash that can never decompose because we can’t be troubled to compost, and the nearly extinct species our grandchildren will never see.
When Emma was working as a photojournalist in Fiji, a mammoth cyclone pulverized the islands. It was the second-worst storm to ever hit land there. While it was greedily decimating homes and lives in Fiji, most of her friends back home hadn’t even heard a word about it. This telling silence made it all the more urgent that she documented this tragedy truly.
Intentionally opening ourselves up to what affects others can be perilous. But Emma does all any of us can manage these days, small things with great love, like packing a kit with silverware, a chopstick and a metal straw to minimize her plastic usage while out with friends. Her camera lens has become a voice, calling viewers to look outside ourselves. The creative director and photographer for an eco-sustainable intimate apparel company, she now makes it a practice to only shoot those clothing campaigns that are environmentally responsible.
It feels both turbulent and poignant that this tintype of Emma is so timeless, while the passions and concerns behind her gaze are so timely. Emma will tell you that she doesn’t want to waste time, that she loses sleep over our environmental arrogance. She will urge you to act now to make choices that steward the earth we used to think we had all the time in the world to care for later.