April 20, 2022
Photography by Emy Maike
Interview by Melanie Meggs
Emy Maike is a creative force to be reckoned with. Her passion for black and white photography has led her to create STA(Y-AC)TION, a project that captures the ever-changing scenes of station life with her camera. A patient observer and a true adventurer, Emy is a master of her craft. Born in Manila, Philippines, she has experienced a myriad of cultures and customs that have shaped her artistic vision. Today, she resides in Baden Württemberg, Germany but works in Switzerland, taking her project of capturing the beauty of station life to new heights. With STA(Y-AC)TION, Emy has created a meeting point for her and her friends, a place where the confusion, ever-changing scenes and interesting passengers can be paused and captured in timeless photographs.
“Life is like a train station, people come and go all the time, but the ones that wait for the train with you are the ones that worth keeping in it!”
IN CONVERSATION WITH EMY MAIKE
THE PICTORIAL LIST: Firstly Emy, please tell us about yourself.
EMY MAIKE: I was born and grew up in Manila, Philippines. I graduated in Elementary High School and I visited the PATTS College school as a Flight Attendant in Manila, Philippines. Living life in my homeland was, colourful, and so much happiness to remember.
Now I live in Baden Württemberg, Germany and working in Switzerland.
TPL: What draws you to photography and art? How did your journey into photography begin?
EM: There are many technical uses for photography as well as social and creative ones. Photography can play a somewhat vital role in life. It can tell the story, capturing moments in time, it can be documentary, or it can be art.
My passion for photography has been going on for many years and has intensified over time. I learned photography by reading photography books and just practicing. I photograph anything and everything, from landscapes, nature, wildlife, architecture, to people in the streets, but lately most of all I have been fascinated by experimental photography at home. Whether I am taking pictures or processing...an image has to elicit my interest. Photography is my universal language.
TPL: Talk to us about your series STA(Y-AC)TION. When and how did this project first manifest itself?
EM: I wasn't interested in public transport before. The interest, which has only developed in the last few years. is mainly the train station or tram station. At the station is interesting, there are many things that could happen there.
To my friends and I, it is our meeting point. We call it “Stay Action”. When we have planned for a vacation for a few days or a day outing, we always meet in the station. The place is easy and we have fun memories. Easy if you pay close attention to review or memorise the plan, schedule, stop over – station to station and platforms.
I use these outings to take the opportunity to pursue my passion of taking photos of what is going on about in the station. I must be alert to react, to move, to capture the that moment of time. Observing the passengers coming and going, waiting and staying. Being aware of dangers that may happen.
Those characteristics of life in my project STA(Y-AC)TION are engaging, relevant, always close, memorable, loving, crying, fighting, dramatic, crazy-funny, hilarious, vicious and most of all, I love my thoughts of that time of moment that goes through my mind as I press the shutter...it's confusing but interesting!
TPL: What do you want the viewer to experience and take away with them?
EM: The Station series images I share appreciate the characteristics of the lives of the passengers who come and go. I turn it into my favorite colours black and white, it shows more attitude to life and also plays with the shades of black and white colours.
TPL: Do you have any favorite artists or photographers you would like to share with us, and the reason for their significance?
EM: Henri Cartier-Bresson: The painter and the photographer. I like his work as a street photographer. The street photography is full of life, curious, funny and really interesting! I like mostly the lights and shadows he`s used to play and even more.
Berenice Abbott: I didn't know who Berenice Abbott before was? Starting my influence more and more to take architecture and searching for some information and found her accidently in Google. I rush to buy books about her.
Paul Klee: I like his passion of impressionism art of his work. The still life, the abstracted colours he has used.
Claude Monet: One of my favourite impressionism artist. Mostly I like the outdoor painting, the garden. The blurred, vivid colours, and, the light and the dark.
TPL: What are some of your most favorite spots you find inspiration to explore through your photography, and what draws you there?
EM: Life is a place that is most hidden. A feeling and the mood in the viewers as an art form to explore. Photography is emotionally, provoking and visually stimulating art to show.
Photography is my universal language.
TPL: How have the streets and culture you capture influence your photography?
EM: Everyone has something to say and tell a story. I try to interpret people's emotions and situation.
TPL: What are some tips or advice you would give yourself if you started photography all over again?
EM: When I start to taking photos again I will use my mind and all my heart.
TPL: Does the equipment you use help you in achieving your vision in your photography? What camera do you use? Do you have a preferred lens/focal length?
EM: One way, my lens is the third eye and my thoughts captured the moments to share. I use Canon EOS 5mark iv; Sigma Lens 24-105mm and the Fujifilm X-T2; Fujinon Aspherical Lens XF 18-135mm.
TPL: What are some of your goals as an artist or photographer? Where do you hope to see yourself in five years?
EM: My goals are to improve my skills. The more I practice, the more I have learnt the art of photography.
I can't say yet where I'll be in five years, but I hope I'm still in good condition for the next years to come. And like everyone, I have a dream to triumph!
TPL: Are there any special projects you are currently working on that you would like to let everyone know about?
EM: I have some projects to share but it mostly takes a lot of time. Lately I fascinated by experimental photography at home. This is work in progress.
TPL: When I am not out photographing, I (like to)...
EM: I love to read books!
Emy Maike is a trailblazer with a vision of capturing the ever-changing scenes of station life. She has used her passion for black and white photography to share her unique perspective with the world, creating a project that celebrates the diversity of station life. Connect with Emy through Instagram to support her documentary journey.