different shades of brown, a celebration of black skin in the eyes of inari briana
August 19, 2021
Continuing with our celebration of Black women in photography, in partnership with Black Women Photographers, today we talk to Atlanta-based commercial photographer, Inari Briana. Inari has been capturing images since her freshman year in college, and over the years her work has been featured on various commercials, websites, and publications. We talk to Inari about her work, her inspiration, and the importance of representation in the industry.
How did you get into photography and when did it become clear that this was a career for you?
I started photography in college. Originally, Film and Cinema was my first love. Photography however became my true love. I realized that both cinema and photography went hand in hand. The whole process of storytelling was important to me and the best way for ME to convey what I wanted the way I wanted was with photography.
What is your creative process when working on a new project?
My creative process consists of music, Pinterest, PowerPoints and group chats. I treat my entire process as a full-blown production. It’s one of my favorite things about being a creator. I definitely pay attention to the colors I want to use, the kind of shots I want to execute, along with the message I want to present to other individuals. Details are important when trying to create the perfect image. I learn about these things the more and more I continue to shoot.
You have a very specific way of capturing Black skin with your photography, your images always envoke this sense of Black joy. What story do you want your work to tell?
What you’ve noticed is what I want to tell. I want to show how beautiful black skin is. Being a dark skin woman, representation was always important to me. I wanted to see dark men and women in a light where they were the main centerpieces in an image rather than the supporting characters. I always love seeing shades of brown with pops of color. It’s actually my favorite color. So even if the shots I snapped had a moodiness, you will still recognize the tones every time.
Have you done any collaborations with other women of color in photography?
I have! I’ve done somewhere I was actually the subject in front of the camera. I got to experience what it was like to be a model and understand the pressures of having to interpret what the photographer wants. It actually helped me become better with directing during my own shoots.
Are there any challenges you’ve experienced in your career? Can you share some of them.
Challenges would be dealing with clients who don’t take the time to understand the amount of work that goes into creating content. Because so many other upcoming artists want to get their foot in the door, they take the bare minimum but give their clients the world which is a good thing. However, when you think about the amount of money you spent on the equipment you’ve invested in, it’s always best to make that money back. Another would be just being a woman but we can always talk about that another time. (Lol)
What has been the most memorable project so far for you? A highlight in your career.
The most memorable highlight for me would be being able to go to LA for the first time and produce 5 shoots with my incredible creative team. It sounds very simple but I went to LA with some uncertainties about how things would turn out. It was also the week of my birthday so although part of the trip was for pleasure, it was mainly to work (which also I find to be a pleasure). During that week, I got to shoot incredible people such as Khalid, Trevor Jackson, Tanerelle, and Algee Smith. It was a highlight for me because I started understanding my strength not only as a photographer but also as a content creator. From making the right calls to securing specific materials needed to create magic I was on cloud nine when those shoots were not only complete but actually successful!
AFROPUNK x Black Women Photographers Are Proud to Announce The Back and Blacker Than Ever Photo Pit Experience. The partnership with Black Women Photographers aims to give black women / non-binary photographers a chance to get a full access pass to photograph the festival. To win this, contestants will have to make an Instagram post or Story answering how they’d cover this year’s festival from the lens of a Black woman or non-binary photographer. They must follow @afropunk and @blackwomenphotographers on Instagram, tag both accounts in the post, and use the hashtag #AFROPUNKxBWP. The Deadline is Monday, August 23rd.
You can follow Inari on Instagram @inaribriana or visit https://www.inaribriana.com/
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