What Would I Change: photographer Emily Stein

In another installment of our series of articles that asks creatives what needs to change about their industry, Emily Stein considers the importance of human connection in her work

London-based photographer and director Emily Stein has a playful, colourful and celebratory style. A mixture of documentary and portraiture, Stein has worked on an array of commercial and editorial projects, managing to inject the same warmth into those commissions as she does her personal work. 

Her editorial client list includes the Huffington Post, Dazed, the Guardian Weekend Magazine, and the Economist, while commercially Stein has most recently worked with Transport for London, Natwest and Tesco for the launch of its skin-tone plasters.

Though coronavirus put a stop to the majority of her commercial work, Stein has been busy balancing childcare with the urge to stay creative. Though it’s been difficult, she’s found solace in her Dreaming Of series, in which she’s been celebrating what people are dreaming of after lockdown, and pairing it with portraits she’s taken.

By finding new ways to connect with her subjects, this has given Stein time to consider her creative process and the ways she can be more open to experimentation. As well as changes within herself and her practice, Stein is also recognising the changes happening in her industry. 

Here she discusses the importance of human connection, what smaller jobs, both in terms of budget and scale, could mean for the commercial world, and the areas and people the photography industry still needs to nurture, especially post-lockdown.