Last year, Inpro® partnered with Larry Emerson and his firm The Art Around You to make his vast library of more than 10,000 high-resolution photos available for durable Printed Wall Art and Aspex® Printed Wall Protection.
We recently sat down with Emerson to talk about his work, and to learn more about both the inspiration and motivation behind his beautiful imagery.
Inpro: Would you share a little bit about what drew you to photography?
Emerson: The world that surrounds us captivates me. Not just the grand landscapes and vistas, but the visual textures, colors, shapes, shadows, reflections that surround us in our everyday pursuits. It is easy for one to become disconnected from our environment. We trudge through our lives focused on the many tasks that lie before us often unaware of the immense beauty that we are passing. It is within these simple every day environs that I find the greatest joy and often the most beautiful images. Taking the time to stop and see beauty where others may only see the mundane. I love the idea that through my photography I may be able to connect someone to the beauty that exists in his or her own world.
Inpro: What’s the most-interesting image you’ve captured?
Emerson: Wow, that’s a tough one. It’s like asking someone to pick his or her favorite child. Each image that I capture is unique and has a special quality that captivates me. I’m not sure I can pick one image but I will admit that I love when an image is beautiful in its own right. Not because of the context of the image; for example a flower or a beautiful landscape, but because of the inherit beauty that is generated by the form, texture, color and light. I find it intriguing when someone is enthralled by one of my images yet has no idea what the subject of the image is. Recently I captured an image of pelican feathers. No beak, no eyes, no feet, just a solid image of feathers. The image is captivating on its own and viewers are amazed when they discover that the image is of the back of a pelican.
Inpro: Where is the coolest location you ever shot?
Emerson: That’s a great question. I’ve shot in a lot of beautiful locations from mountaintops, to grand canyons. I’ve waded in marshes teaming with crocodiles, navigated rivers and bayous, and marched across endless beaches. Yet, I must admit that my favorite place to shoot is in my own backyard. Every moment of everyday the scenery changes. Light shifts, colors evolve, textures change, and my eye adapts. It can be the same tree or stone that I’ve looked at everyday for years, yet at this exact moment, in this light, at this time of day, it’s something that no one has ever seen before.
Inpro: How does your personality come out in your imagery?
Emerson: We often think of the camera as a means of capturing a memory – the documentation of a moment in time. Yet, an image once captured can sanitize ones’ recollection – removing the self from the environment and the sensory experience it embodies. The challenge for the photographer is, as best as possible, to capture not only the visual image but to connect the viewer with the essence of the sensory experience that permeated that environment at that moment. I served in the US army infantry during the Vietnam War. I was shot, blown up, caught malaria, yet I held onto life. I was one of the lucky ones. Now, it’s important to me to experience life to the fullest and to give back to others so they too can experience the art that surrounds us all.
Inpro: As a twice-wounded combat veteran, how did your time in hospitals effect your ambition to provide art for healing environments?
Emerson: Healthcare environments by their nature are highly functional spaces designed with the purpose of saving lives. It makes sense that the utility of the space takes priority over aesthetics. Yet, we know that there is a strong regenerative element to ones connection with nature. I’m fascinated by the concept of Biophilic Design, the connection of people and nature, especially within healing environments. Anything I can do to support that connection, to aid in healing, to ease suffering, to help those who dedicate their lives to helping others, is a very wonderful thing. It’s one of the reasons that I feel so strongly about my connection with Inpro. Their line of Printed Wall Art and Aspex® Wall Protection offers a viable means for my artwork to have visual impact and to be printed on a material that is engineered to meet the rigorous standards required within a healthcare environment.
Inpro: Could you share a bit on your approach with clients on custom photo shoots?
Emerson: As I mentioned previously, the idea of connecting people with the environments they live within is an important part of my process. If a client desires they can specify the boundaries of that environment. It could be as large as the State of Texas, a teaming metropolis or a small rural town, an intimate garden or an expansive national park. The scale of the shoot doesn’t really matter to me. What does matter is immersing myself within an environment and capturing those images that communicate the essence of a given location and the art that surrounds us all.
To learn more about Larry Emerson and Aspex® Printed Wall Protection, visit https://inprocorp.com/larry-emerson-photography