Art has always been a big influence.

We had large paintings on the walls of my family home: Dutch masters with figurative classical images. My involvement in photography grew from working as a diving instructor and taking underwater photos. I was fortunate enough to work for one of Norway’s best photographers, who was an assistant to Richard Avedon in New York. I also studied photography in Florence … amazing art galleries there! Currently I have a photo studio on the west coast of Norway in the oil city of Stavanger. ADS: How did you originally connect with Ms. Hafzi and why do you think your visions blend so beautifully? Emile: Well, I’ve known Leila for a long time and have admired her work since she first started. It must be 15 years ago when I saw her first fashion show, and her collection was already eco-friendly and ethical. Working with her is surprisingly easy because we [inherently] understand each other regarding the feelings the images reflect. We kind of jump into things from the start of each shoot and improvise as we go along. ADS: Which subjects spark your creative vision? Which do you find most challenging and which have been the most fun? Emile: I guess my interest lies mostly in pictures of people. I’m not into
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emile W


“My favorite setting is putting mystery into the images so people who see them stop … and wonder for a moment.”

e first noticed the photographic art of Emile Maximillian Ashley while looking over images from ecodesigner Leila Hafzi’s 2010 Bridal Collection. Flashback to the first six pages of our last edition and the gossamer gowns that literally danced their way across each page. There was an intuitive quality to the pictures that seemed to bring Leila’s designs to life. A perfect pairing, an amazing panoply w here photographic function gracefully merged with form and fashion. The results of this symbiotic pairing of art forms so intrigued us that we were compelled to contact Emile. The following is a portion of our interview.

ADS: Please give us a bit of background information: Where you’re from originally? When your interest in photography began? How you settled in Oslo, etc? Emile: I was born in London but consider myself Norwegian since I’ve been living here since age five.


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