Meet Narita Savoor; published fashion photographer and retoucher, owner of the One Studio and recent Manchester School of Art graduate.
Hey Narita, tell us a bit about yourself.
Hey all, I’m a 24 y/o fashion photographer and retoucher from South Manchester. I’ve been photographing since I was around 15 y/o and at the age of 23 opened up my own photography studio and business in Altrincham.
How did you get into photography?
I got into photography when I was 15 years old after finding a film camera amongst my late grandmother’s possessions. I used to photograph my best friend Catherine and then moved on to photographing girls in derelict houses with one of my best friends and makeup artist Stephanie Swain. We used to climb over fences and sneak into properties and take our own clothes, or even wrap the models in material to make it editorial in our eyes. We even got caught by the police once oops!
I actually originally left photographing at A-level and went to Lancaster University and studied Criminology with Psychology. However, I believe that life has a way of placing you onto the right track for your destiny and after three months at Lancaster I fell ill and was placed in Hospital. Due to being on morphine and other opioid medication I had to leave Lancaster, and whilst debating on leaving I found out that one of my images (aged 18) was published by German Vogue. The publishing of this image made me realise I wasn’t on the right track; so I left Lancaster, went on the dole, got a job and then joined Manchester School of Art within one year.
Tell us about your university experience.
University was very difficult for me if I’m completely honest, I was plunged into a course where myself and other fashion orientated photographers weren’t appreciated in comparison to the fine art photographers… and I found this really hard. It took me until third year to get a bit of a backbone and decide ‘You know what, if I’m going to be paying nine grand a year then I’ll do what I fucking love!’. I told my tutor that the grade no longer mattered to me and that doing what I’m passionate about meant more. In the end, I started to enjoy university more and achieved a 1st Class Hons upon graduating, achieving 95% in my 3rd Year Professional Employability folder.
What have you achieved since graduating?
I have had two front covers of House of Coco Magazine – a Ldn based magazine selling in Selfridges and Harrods. I photographed a campaign for Lush Apparel that was featured in Manchester Arndale Topman, and my company became official with HMRC. I was able to photograph the legendary, international boxer Frank Bruno – oh what a lovely, funny guy! To me, the most meaningful was my work in a national gay wedding campaign in Attitude Magazine – the issue that made history with Prince William on the cover after gay marriage was made legal in the US.
What attracted you towards fashion photography?
The beauty of the art of fashion – capturing a moment of collaboration, passion and meaning, I loved the idea of getting the chance to create a story from a series of outfits and photographs.
To me, fashion photography is important, as someone who has suffered with self esteem and mental health issues, I love the idea of making men and women feel beautiful within themselves by looking at the magical story we have created together. Fashion photography has that element of closeness and intimacy between yourself as the photographer and the model. You make so many wonderful friends from this art, some of which can become like family.
Tell us about your artistic process.
NETWORKING NETWORKING NETWORKING! It is so so important. Social media is the way forward. Make sure at the beginning to work with all different people before you feel confident with your work enough to critically pick and choose.
Here is my process broken down:
- PLAN SHOOT. Moodboard and brainstorm my ideas for model, clothes, make-up and location.
- EMAIL AGENCIES. Once I have thought of the concept, I email agencies that I have a good rapport and ask to test with the model I want (it has taken me 4 years to be able to gain these relationships).
- SHOOT! – be myself and have fun – having fun and creating good vibes to me, is the most important.
- CHOOSE THE IMAGES. I narrow down three times on Adobe Bridge to select my final editorial.
- RETOUCH MY IMAGES WITH REGULAR BREAKS. (I have made sure that when I reached my level I made creatives aware of the terms of testing with me – paying clients only get to choose images and paid work goes first!)
- SEND TO MAGAZINES. If needs be I create a document on InDesign and send off my editorial to various magazines (make sure to always read the magazines guidelines).
What inspires you and your photography?
Fashion trends, simplicity, striking pose and glowing skin.
If you could work with any model or designer, who would it be?
Alexander Wang…HANDS DOWN
Who is your phenomenal woman?
My grandmother. Ha I’m already in tears just writing those two words. She is my muse. She’s the reason I got into the arts and decided that, ‘you know what? Fuck the people that have it out for me and judge me for my choices in career’. I lost my grandma when I was 14 – she was my best friend. She got me into art and poetry. I’d spend my half term writing her poems. She had phenomenal strength as a woman who went through so much trouble until the day she passed. Her strength had made me into the person I am today.
What advice would you give to photography students?
Don’t care too much, by all means work hard but you don’t need to care so much about tutors not liking your work to the point it makes you unwell. Since leaving university I’ve not been asked once about my degree whilst getting booked by paid clients. It’s your work and the love for your work that matters.
Do you have any exciting plans or resolutions for 2017?
I do have a couple of exciting plans, but those are hush hush for now! Resolution wise – finally get my tutorial videos out on youtube!
Interview by Amy Smithers @photogrrrlx