Meet the SHEROES - Naina Redhu
Naina Redhu is best known for her vibrant imagery for luxury brands and behind-the-scenes photography that tells the story as if you were there in person.
A background in branding helps Naina bring a consultative and marketing led perspective to her clients and their brands. She specialises in shoots outside a studio and her clients include some of the world's leading luxury and lifestyle brands.
Naina's clients prize her utter professionalism and complete reliability, and these two factors have shaped her career success. As an early adopter and extensive user of technology, Naina enthusiastically showcases both her work and her creative process on her blog & website Naina.co. We catch up with her on an e-mail interview-
What got you started in photography?
I think I always wanted to be doing photography as my main "job" but never got around to doing it because it sounded so risky. Equipment was expensive and I wasn't able to find people who could give me feedback on the industry in India. Growing up, I had used my father's camera quite a bit. I used to spend whatever little pocket money I got on buying new rolls of film and getting them developed. Each time I had the camera in my hands, I was obsessed.
In 2006, a friend of mine decided to do a little photography for a client and since I was freelancing as a branding / graphic designer, he asked me to go along on a paid assignment. I shot the assignment for the client on a Sony CyberShot and a FujiFilm Analog SLR. The client loved the outcome and it started me thinking on whether I could do this full time. But it wasn't till 2009 when I won a contest with Pantene ( using social media and my camera ) where I won a decent amount of money and immediately invested it in two FX camera lenses that I seriously considered doing photography full time.
Once those lenses were with me, I had to find ways to put them to use and essentially there was no looking back. Client work picked up pace and by the end of 2012, photography was my main source of revenue and I closed my design & branding freelance side of things.
It is a great feeling to be able to loiter about making photos for clients and getting paid for it at the same time. I love making photos. While my style and selection of genre might evolve over time, currently I can't see myself moving away from this "job".
One valuable photography tip you will give to a novice.
When in doubt, press that shutter button and when you have to display your work, be brutally selective.
What exactly does one do in Brand Storytelling?
I use photography as a tool to tell the story of a brand or various aspects of the brand's personality. For example, capturing images of subjects that represent the values the brand stands for or presenting the images in a style that qualify the brand's intangibles. When brands have launch events or special art installations etc., they are doing to so further strengthen certain personality traits associated with the brand. If I photograph that event for them, for example, I photograph and present in a way that further enhances that association.
A message to all the SHEROES out there.
I'm in great company! One of the smallest yet most important things I've learned in my career so far is to take that first step / leap. Once that's done, things fall into place. But taking that first step is the hardest and most important.