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Meet Nadia Ryder - Photographer Interview

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

This week favorite artist is Nadia Ryder (@nadiaryder) a talented fashion and beauty photographer from South East London.

"You’re not as good as you think you are, but you’re not as bad as you think you are either" is her personal life motto.

Let's meet her!

Nadia Ryder - Fashion and Beauty Photographer
Nadia Ryder - Fashion and Beauty Photographer

- Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?

I’m a fashion and beauty photographer, 27, born and raised in South East London.

- When did your journey start?

I actually can’t remember a time when I didn’t have a camera of some kind, but I really started thinking about it as a career on an Art & Design Foundation Course at Ravensbourne College. I went on to do a degree there in Digital Photography, and then did loads of internships when I graduated, and started assisting. I was shooting personal work throughout, and picking up commissions here and there. I worked in-house for a fashion brand in Production and Art Direction for a year or so, realised it wasn’t for me, and went fully freelance as a photographer at the end of 2015/beginning of 2016. It was honestly the best decision I ever made.

- What’s the idea behind your work?

I have absolutely no idea. Haha! I just love shooting people. There’s no general idea behind it all, I think each shoot has it’s own story and you find it while you’re doing it.

- Do you have a personal life motto?

You’re not as good as you think you are, but you’re not as bad as you think you are either.

- What kind of music drives you?

Honestly, anything. My friends make fun of my music taste because it’s all over the place in terms of eras and genres. I probably listen to Fleetwood Mac, Bon Iver and Frank Ocean the most though.

- Do you have any favourite film and why?

It’s always Fight Club, I don’t even know why. I could literally watch it back to back. I’m obsessed with Marla Singer!

- What’s your favourite piece that you’ve created?

I don’t think there’s one shoot that I like above others, but my favourite images always end up being the go-see series, where it’s just me and the model. No brands, no brief, no big set ups, just connection and collaboration!

- How do you find inspiration on an average day? Do you have any rituals?

I don’t have any rituals, every day life is pretty interesting if you take the time to look closely at it. A lot of the time people just let this pass them by, but the gold is in the mundane details! I think the best ideas are the simple ones.

- Who’s your favourite contemporary photographer?

It’s so hard to name just one, so here are some of my favourites: Chloe Le Drezen, Agnes Lloyd-Platt, Charlotte Wales, Emma Tempest and Steph Wilson, to name a few!

- How is it to be a woman in the contemporary photography scene?

It’s exciting. To have a voice when so many women before us simply did not, is an incredible thing. It is still very difficult at times; there are antiquated social structures in the industry that are hard to navigate, but change is definitely happening and female representation is getting stronger and stronger. Personally I find a more feminine approach creates a whole different energy on a shoot. A masculine energy has its own benefits too, different artists work in different ways and create beautiful imagery nonetheless, but I find it easier to engage with the models with a softer approach. There is a strength in being able to be soft. I think people are used to a certain hierarchy on a shoot, but I aim to make it more collaborative on an even playing field; I think you can create better work this way.

- How do you advertise yourself as fashion photographer?

Instagram is a great tool for exposure, connecting and sharing work. It enables people from all over the world to be able to see my work and reach out which is really exciting and something that the generation before me never had. I’m also represented by Serlin Associates in London, Paris and New York; the team work really hard getting my name out there and networking on my behalf. It’s great to have someone else backing your work besides yourself!

- How did social media help you to promote your art?

I treat my Instagram like a visual moodboard, curating the people I follow to produce a constant stream of inspiration for me. It helps me keep up to date with new work from artists, publications (independent to large) and brands. When you finely tune the kind of inspiration you see every day on your feed when you’re scrolling through, it really helps to keep your mind focussed on what you’re aiming for.

- Do you have any advice to give to the new female entrepreneurs ?

Seek out constructive criticism; it is honestly the best gift someone can give you.

Thank you Nadia :)

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