Emma Raynes graduated in 2004 from Bowdoin College, where she majored in art history and pursued additional interests in photography and sociology. In 2005 she received her Certificate in Documentary Studies from CDS, and the following year she completed a program in General Photographic Studies at the International Center of Photography in New York City. Emma is a documentary artist who uses photography, audio, video, book arts, and installation. She collaborates with the subjects of her documentary work, encouraging individuals and communities to be participants in the documentary process. She has worked on projects in Northern Ireland, China, Nepal, South India, North Carolina, and New York.
During her junior year in college, Emma studied anthropology and Nepali language in Katmandu, Nepal. In order to expand the scope of her research and gain a greater understanding of the lived experiences of Nepali women, she taught local residents how to use cameras to make images about the things that are most important to them. Back in the United States she produced three exhibitions of eighteen collaborative portraits of Nepali women.
After Emma graduated from college, she lived in South India, where she worked on a project about women’s experiences in the emerging urban middle class. She organized a photographic exchange between her students in India and a group of photography students in the United States.
Emma’s most recent work focused on a shelter for previously homeless veterans who struggle with mental and physical disabilities. Concerned about the war in Iraq and the experiences of those who return from combat situations, she interviewed and photographed the residents and staff members at the facility. She also led creative writing and poetry reading sessions for the residents.
As a Lewis Hine Fellow, Emma worked with Centro Popular de Cultura e Desenvolvimento in Brazil to develop photographs and videos with impoverished children in rural towns.
To read some of her recent thoughts, visit