Emma Knapp

Photography (BA) '21

What would you say has been the most surprising thing you learned at Columbia? 

The most surprising thing I have learned at Columbia is how many different ways you can incorporate your interests into your major and your career. Starting out, I thought that there were only a select few ways that I would be able to utilize photography in my career, but my perspective on that has totally changed. Nearly any interest you have can somehow relate back to your major and your career and it can be a great way to get creative and become even more passionate about your work. 

What experiences or courses at Columbia do you feel have been most beneficial? 

Personally, I think that the many times I have been able to collaborate with my peers at Columbia have been some of my most beneficial experiences. Putting together a team of people to create a complete project is extremely challenging but it is also very true to life and allows everyone to use their skills and creativity to work towards the final project. Some of the most beneficial and interesting classes I have taken while at Columbia would be Advanced Retouching and Compositing, Commercial Photography, and Marine Biology! 

What are your plans for after graduation? 

After graduation I am planning on spending some time with my family, traveling when it is safe, working on some personal projects, and continuing my work as a photographer and freelance retoucher.

Do you have any advice for current students? 

My advice for current students would be to get involved! Whether that is going to panels, meeting one-on-one with professors, joining a student group, or even just involving yourself more in classes. Getting involved in things you are interested in will give you a leg up in your practice and help you feel more inspired and creative. Columbia has so many ways to get involved and professors that truly care about your success, so it makes it easy to find things you are interested in and people who are also interested in them. 

If you were going to sum up your experience at Columbia in one sentence, what would you say? 

To sum up in one sentence I would say: My experience at Columbia was intense but rewarding. I feel like I have been going nearly non-stop since my very first day on campus, but now that my time here is coming to an end, I can clearly see that all of the work I have put in has paid off and I am proud of the work I have created over the last four years. 

Website: emmamknapp.com