« It’s a quest for Beauty, a treasure hunt. It’s about finding the right angle, dancing with light and the model’s energy. It’s both physical and magical.» E.H.

Photographer and Director EMMANUELLE ‘Emma’ HAUGUEL hails from Paris, where she graduated from the Penninghen School and subsequently studied at the Parson’s School of Design in New York. Immediately after graduating, Parisian fashion house Kookai commissioned her to shoot for their campaigns. Editorial opportunities with Conde Nast, French Elle and Marie Claire soon followed. HAUGUEL made her directorial debut in 2000. With a natural transition, HAUGUEL seamlessly maintains her sensual and feminine sensibility between still and moving picture. As a Director she has worked with Dannon and Ushuaia, and collaborates regularly with L’Oreal, Clarins and Maybelline. Currently, she divides her time between Paris and New York shooting for prestigious clients such as, Eres, Caudalie Paris, Sony Music, Hermes, Garnier, Clarins, Mixa,DOP, and Victoria’s Secret.

Emmanuelle’s exclusive interview for Selects Gallery


Do you remember the moment photography became an obvious medium of expression?

When I was a little girl, I was already drawn by images. I was collecting Cacharel ads, with Sarah Moon images, David Hamilton.... I was making a lot of collages, visiting a lot of museums.... Later, I was fascinated by Edward Weston pictures, by Steiglitz, Tina Modotti, Dorothea Lange, August Sander, Helmut Newton or Guy Bourdin. I made the one and only family camera mine while we were traveling in Egypt. Nobody had the right to touch it since then!! I was 12.

How are you feeling when you are shooting? What kind of emotion is running through you?

It’s a quest for Beauty, a treasure hunt. It’s about finding the right angle, dancing with light and the model’s energy. It’s both physical and magical.


When I look at your work, I feel softness and a wish to take care of the model (I am thinking of the veils or of the created visual effects on the skin), can you talk to me about this? Is this a way of expressing what is intimate, emotional?
I love my images to be softly sensual and light at the same time, I love “gourmandise” (add fruits, flowers...) and simplicity, not anecdotic sets; the veil in front of my model allows to drift away in order to not speak about one woman only, but of women in general, and create a pictural sensation.

Are you thinking of yourself as a feminist photographer?
Yes, I love to “pay tribute” to women by making them as beautiful as possible. I don’t like photographers who “damage” women by shooting them in a vulgar way, as if they were objects; some male photographers can have that same sensitivity.

What is the central message, the skeleton of your work?


If you had not become a photographer, would you have expressed yourself through another medium, or would you have done something totally different?
I am very lucky to have found photography as a way of expressing myself. It’s a necessity for me to make images, it’s a drug. Film is also an attractive topic for me, like a natural evolution.

What are you working on at the moment? Are you dreaming of accomplishing something that you are not talking about but would be happy to share with us?
I have the feeling I am a bulimic that never stops making images, always on themove; I hope that one day, I can launch a book that would gather my most beautiful, timeless images.