Natasha Zubair is an extroverted introvert who is fluent in photography, graphic design, retouching, and film making. She graduated from National College of Arts Lahore in 2019 completing her BFA in Communication Design with a distinction. She is a stationery lover; and has her own stationery line by the name of Natasha Zubair Stationery.
In this interview, she talks about real passions in life with Fashion Collection.
Fashion Collection: What are your memories of the moment when you picked up the camera for the first time? How old were you?
Natasha Zafar: I was 11 years old when my parents first bought me a point and shoot camera. All the other kids had ipods or new clothes on their wish list and all I wanted was a camera. My whole journey with photography has just about experimenting and learning on my own. No one taught me how to use the camera or how to edit. So my memories generally consist of just constantly practicing everyday and constantly having this creative spark to just go out and shoot everyday.
FC: What does the world look like through the lens?
NZ: Heavily distorted, almost surreal. As a photographer I feel as if I’m constantly capturing very unnatural things that I wouldn’t see or believe otherwise whether it be unattainable beauty standards or false advertising.
FC: Why fashion photography?
NZ: I honestly don’t know why. I’m really not into fashion myself, I have horrible style haha. I’ve always liked capturing portraits but I never really enjoyed taking candid photographs (which is why I didn’t continue with wedding photography.) With my personal style, I feel like I’m able to bring a perfect balance between editorial and commercial while still staying in the barriers of fashion photography. But I’m enjoying this for now, so lets see!
FC.What kind of equipment you carry always for a shoot?
NZ: I always have my camera, lenses, cleaning equipment, my light set up and my personal-mini fan! Probably the most important thing haha.
FC: Can you give some tips for a DSLR beginner photographer?
Don’t stress on your gear! I started out with an iPhone and I was already perfecting my frames/compositions way before I got my hands on a DSLR. However once you have one, try experimenting with whatever you have. Shoot everyday! Plan shoots with your friends, family or even your dog. And if you don’t have anyone to photograph, just go outside and photograph nature. The more you’re around your camera and using it, the more you’ll become familiar with it and will be able to freely experiment. Once you’ve learned the basics of your camera, thats where your creativity can take over!
FC.Take us along on one of your shoots and tell us what you like most doing it and what you dislike about it?
NZ: I think the best feeling about being on set is the sense of respect you get from everyone around you. It’s not easy being a female photographer in a male-dominated industry – so when you’re lucky to be surrounded by people who respect and value your creative opinion, you’re really motivated to want to keep doing your job. The only thing that bothers me about my job is the unprofessionalism that I have to deal with from time to time.
FC.Any photographer whose work you admire?
NZ: Shayan Sherwani from StopStyle! Apart from his amazing work, he’s always helped out people so graciously and given me some of the best advice! I haven’t seen anyone so secure with themselves and their work to be able to help someone out in the same field as them. I aspire to be like that too one day!
FC.Have you experienced the good old film?
NZ: Yes yes. Most of my early work and favorite shots are on film. I have a huge box of film sitting in my fridge but my commercial work has made me forget all about it. Thanks for reminding me!
FC..Monochrome or colour?
NZ: Black and white.
FC. Your favourite model or models?
NZ: All models are great and beautiful in their own way! But Eman Suleman will always have a special place in my heart, she’s the first model I ever worked with. I was so over the moon when I worked with her for the first time.
FC. Your future plans?
NZ: I don’t plan for the future. Let’s see where Allah takes me!
FC. Any personality you would like to photograph.
NZ: Mahirah Khan! Or Ali Azmat haha.
FC..Any memorable experience till date you would like to share with us.
NZ: The best day of my life was when I received a distinction for my thesis at NCA, Lahore which was dedicated to my brother and my parents visited my display. I don’t really have words for the entire experience but it will always be my favorite.
FC: Describe yourself in 3 words.
NZ: Hard working, emotional, self-sufficient.
FC: Do you pursue any other interests?
NZ: I’ve always been fascinated by graphic design and stationery ever since I was younger. I wanted to be a graphic designer for as long as I can remember (which is why I studied communication design at NCA, Lahore.) I always dreamt of having my own stationery line when I was older but never knew I would be able to manage it so early on. So alongside photography, I have my own stationery brand and I’m a freelance graphic designer.
FC: Any tips for beginner photographers.
NZ: Practice. Every day. Come up with new creative shoot ideas. Post them. Social media (Instagram/Facebook) is your online portfolio and that’s where you need to market your work.