The latest in our series of creative profiles focusses on photographer Lenara Choudhury.
Photography by Lenara Choudhury
Interview by Emily Beard
Hi Lenara! Tell us a little about yourself for those who aren’t familiar.
I’m a London based Fashion and Portrait photographer.
Do you remember taking your first photograph?
I’ve taken so many photos over the last 9 years, so can’t remember the first one. However, I’ll always remember the first roll of film I shot when i was at university. I was exploring my local area at the time, Camden and managed to take some personally memorable shots of my life in those years. Learning how to develop film was so exciting for me and watching that first roll of film being developed was unforgettable.
Would you say living in London has an influence on your work at all? How is it living there compared to where you grew up?
I grew up in a small city called Southampton. After college I decided I wanted to move to London to study – I’m not entirely sure why I wanted to move to London in particular but haven’t looked back since. Career wise this is where I need to be right now. Not saying I wouldn’t venture out to other cities. I have developed this infatuation over the past few years with Paris, so would love to try living there some day. I Love the architecture, effortless fashion and solace lifestyle.
We meet you for a day out in London, where do we go?
I’d take you out on a Sunday but I’m a little lazy… So you would be invited to come and meet in Stoke Newington (where I live) then we would grab a coffee to go, from one of the local cafes. Walk down to The barbican to check out the exotic plants at the Conservatory – it’s always good for a walkie talkie session.
Then off we’d go to Columbia road Flower market for a shop (or window shop if you’ve already got too many plants – don’t want to end being a crazy plant woman) and then The Royal Oak for a roast which will topped off with a nice cold beer. Sounds like a pretty good date hey? don’t you think?
Whose work do you enjoy/find inspiring?
So Many inspiring artists out there but a few are…
If you had to describe you work to someone who couldn’t see it, what would you say?
Photographs, evoke a sense of lonely youth, distraction/touch of the hands, with slight undercurrents of melancholy. I’d like to hope people can feel and see the connection beyond the lens.
Who has been your favourite person to photograph/your favourite shoot you’ve done?
I can’t just pick one person but everyone that has made the cut on my website (which isn’t that hard) – I’ve had a good connection with. That’s the most important thing for me and without that I don’t think I could create such images.
If you could photograph anyone, alive or otherwise, who would you pick?
Charlotte Gainsbourg, MIA and Victoria Legrand – Girl crush’s!
And finally do you have any advice/mantra you live by?
Be yourself, let go and don’t take it all too seriously.
It important to give yourself some time to find what you’re good at within the field of interest and feeling vulnerable is okay. Trying to be too cool for school and seriously doesn’t really work – get out there, network and be a little silly with it. A shit joke or an awkward conversation with a stranger in the industry doesn’t do anyone any harm… You never know it might land you a few jobs along the way!