About Emmy

emmy01_400Emmy Schoorl is a Dutch freelance travel photographer and writer, based in Shanghai. After a career in the corporate sector, she made the life-changing decision to dedicate her life to her three passions: photography, writing and travel in 2003.

Born with a travel passion, she has ventured to very remote places in Asia. Journeying with her camera in hand she likes to capture the emotion and passion in people’s lives. Important themes in her work include portraits, ethnic minorities, the lives of monks, pilgrims & nomads, faith & symbolism, and daily life.

Driven by a natural curiosity about people, Emmy follows the ‘paths less travelled’ to explore unique and extraordinary communities. She has an exceptional ability to cross the boundaries of language and culture to capture the personal stories of those she meets. With an open approach and a smile, she makes people feel at ease and gains their trust, finding openings to their personality, innermost feelings, life and home.

Emmy is most interested in portraiture. She sees photography as a means of unveiling the essence of a person’s life and presenting it in a broader perspective. She said ‘I prefer to visit remote places that have been relatively untouched by industrial development in order to photograph those whose culture and traditional way of life reflect a deep authenticity or bond with the past. I look for the intangible spirit of that particular place that, for those who live there, represents their daily landscape. And it is fascinating to witness with a fast changing world, the challenge for these people to adapt to modern life.’

She is also fascinated by people who live in very difficult circumstances. ‘This interest has brought me to diverse places from the desolate landscapes of Tibet where nomads survive extreme weather and environmental conditions to the dumpsites of Phnom Penh in Cambodia, where people live, eat and work. In spite of these difficult circumstances, people can still be humorous and incredibly hospitable. I try to reveal how they live their life and show their extraordinary ability to survive’.

Emmy’s photographs are the result of an authentic and honest desire to locate the universal experience of survival and of life itself.

Her photo book about daily life in China was published in October 2014 ‘China an inside view from the outside’. Because of the success her photo book, the second edition came out in September 2015 and is almost sold out again.

Currently she is working on other books about Himalaya to include the incredible photos that she took since 2003 when she visited Tibet for the first time and she was struck with a strong feeling of coming home. Since then she visited frequently as many corners in the Himalaya as she could, like in Amdo and Kham, Tibet (TAR-region), Nepal and Mustang, Bhutan, Ladakh and Zanskar in Summer and Wintertime.

She held talks about her photo book and her travels frequently and tells passionately the stories behind the photos.

If you have questions about her work or talks, please let her know: eschoorl@hotmail.com