Emily Maye | Photographer From the Photo Annual, issue 17 •  Jan/Feb 2013

FROM ISSUE 17 [ January 2013 ]

Storytelling is the most important thing to me. I grew up in a ballet studio, then discovered cinema, then writing, then photography—and storytelling has always been at the center of each of those passions.

I began photographing when I was 15 and have continued steadily since. After ballet, cinema is my first love and I consider cinematography to have the greatest influence on what pictures I see.

In 2011, I drove from Los Angeles to Livermore for the start of stage 4 of the Tour of California. I followed the Tour for four days, until the summit of Mt. Baldy. I had gone because I had fallen in love with cycling and wanted to document what I saw in it. I’d become compelled by the old stories, the newfound characters and the notion that a simple bike race could carry so much dramatic potential. I didn’t suspect it would become the central focus of my work in the following year.

I am constantly looking for how to best tell the story of cycling. Who are the people who ride professionally, what does it mean to the spectators, and what makes it such a compelling sport? This year took me to Europe for the spring classics and behind the scenes with the Bontrager-LIVESTRONG Team. Those two experiences revealed an all-encompassing lifestyle—both for the fans that love the sport and for the men who live the sport daily. I continue to look for the quiet moments that reveal the deep beauty of cycling, and strive to best show that love that compelled me to turn the camera on cycling in the first place.

I use Canon cameras, mostly the 5D Mark II. I prefer prime lenses whenever possible—a 28mm 2.8 and a 50mm 1.2. I also use the 16-35mm 2.8, the 24-70mm 2.8 and the 70-200mm 2.8 I have used two bodies in the past, but I would like to move toward using only one. I also having been shooting with the Instax camera at races and have several film cameras that I adore. I am constantly taking photos with my iPhone. I generally utilize natural light and dislike the look of a flash.

When not on the road, I can be found in Los Angeles, drinking more coffee than any one person should.