Tell us about yourself…
My name Is Rianna Tamara and I am a 23 year old freelance photographer and videographer shooting for brands like Relentless Energy Drink and Dr Martens as well as BTS for artists and the occasional music video. I do a lot of different things really.
How did you get into videography?
I got into video by chance when I got a job shooting Mila J when she came over to London from LA. I only did photography at the time but the label wanted me to film the artist while she was here for 4 days as well as photography. I couldn’t turn the opportunity down and said yes even though I had no clue about video, lol! I’m glad I did though, it was so exciting trying something totally new.
You curated a photography exhibition…how did that come about?
Photography exhibitions were a big part of the photography degree I did. My university would always tell us to go to galleries and not just look at the work but pay attention to the little details as well. After I did my degree show exhibition, to be honest I was a bit disappointed with how it came out and I instantly wanted to put on another one where I could have a lot more control over the space, size of the photos and all that. I thought it was the perfect time with how grime artists were appreciating photography more to take the photos away from the Internet so they could be looked at as more than just digital images on a phone. It was great because everyone who was involved felt the exact same. The idea was pitched to Converse who loved it also and from there all the little elements that were written down on my Macbook notes from the year before started coming together.
Does where you’re from inspire your work?
Recently I’ve been getting a lot of inspiration from films with amazing cinematography and lighting. There’s something about color lights at night that I’m 100% OBSESSED with right now and I want to start using in my video work! I get inspiration from hearing other people’s stories too, it makes me want to find a way to share them with others either in the form of photos or a documentary type video. I can hopefully start showing this in my personal work soon.
What does your typical day look like?
There is never a typical day for me! Some days I can be up early for a full day shoot and may even have a show to go to the same evening and other days I can wake up at 1pm because I’ve was up all night editing and then spend the rest of the day watching movies for lighting ideas for a video and stuffing my face with Pringles, haha.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’ve started writing out a rough plan for another exhibition. I haven’t set a date for it yet though. Apart from working with brands and artists regularly I’m really inspired more than ever now to set time aside to work on video or photo personal projects because it’s been a while since I did something just for me.
What’s the first thing you do when you get a new project?
Make sure I’ve read over the brief so I’m clear on what I need to do and I will start picturing the video or photos in my head as I’ve already finished it. It helps me to work backwards by imagining what it should look like and then slowly figuring out what I need to do to create what I see. Every project is different though, some are just creating content based on the client’s ideas and others will be a lot more free where I can bring my own ideas forward. That’s always fun.
Best advice you’ve been given?
Weirdly my best advice just comes from me. I’m one of those people that will give anyone advice who asks for it and I find it quite easy to follow my own advice as well.
Someone did say to me at a time I really needed to hear it that it’s okay to have to start again because that gives you a chance to build something better. The first time, second time, even tenth time might not work out the way you want it to but when you’re in something for the long haul you have to learn to re-evaluate when it’s needed, see what’s not working and start again using what you learnt the last time and not be afraid to do that.
What do you listen to when you’re on set?
If I’m shooting in a studio it can go between Skepta and President T to Delilah and Sasha Keable’s old EPs or a Soulection mix. I like lot of different types of music but most of the time it will depend on the type of shoot it is and the energy that I want to come across in the photos. I always forget to play music when it’s an outdoor shoot though, I definitely need to get a portable speaker soon because music can change the whole vibe of the shoot.
Favourite place you’ve travelled to for work?
NYC. I went there last year during the summer and it was so humid but I loved it.
I was there with an artist but every corner I turned I could see a new shoot location and idea.
Dream person to shoot?
JCole 100%, he’s been someone I’ve wanted to work with for ages. I feel like I could sit down and have such an eye opening conversation with him. Ironically Rihanna too, her style is just amazing and I think I could capture some craziness and parts that more people don’t see if I was filming her BTS. I’ve been watching The Originals and I think Phoebe Tonkin who’s in it is one of the most beautiful women I’ve seen. I would love to shoot her.
Best and worst thing about being a freelancer?
Being able to work in different places and on totally different projects all the time. It keeps things exciting because I tend to get bored if I don’t change it up once in a while. The worst thing is how up and down the freelance life can be at times. It can go from a hectic month to a really quiet one and it sometimes feels like you’re on a roller-coaster ride. When it’s quiet it’s so easy to laze around and not do much if you’re not disciplined with yourself.
Who’s the last person you followed on Insta?
The last person I followed are @itsgirlgang. I did a shoot with Nay and Shay not too long ago in the popular pink staircase at Franks Bar in Peckham for Beats by Dre.
Favourite place to go out?
Hoxton Hotel in Shoreditch. I go there a lot to sit and work on my laptop in their lobby area with the sofas but it’s a really nice spot to get drinks in the evening. I’m quite chilled out so a night sitting down with friends talking and laughing is my type of going out.
Where do you get your style inspiration?
I used to be a faithful YouTube watcher and would watch lookbooks that people would pull together for Spring/Summer and for Autumn/Winter like Samantha Maria and would get so much inspiration from that and ideas of what things went well together. Now it just comes from me. On a normal day I like to be not too feminine but not too baggy or masculine either, somewhere in the middle. That’s kind of how I am as a person too so it works. Once in a while I’ll dress up more and surprise people a little though because it isn’t the norm for me, I love when that happens.
Typical work uniform?
Joggers, a black or grey high neck crop top, a sheer black shirt that I don’t button up & Nike Roshes. I pretty much live in that outfit or something really similar because I prefer to be super comfortable when I’m shooting. You never know what weird positions you have to get into to get the right shot.
What item of clothing can’t you live without?
That is the hardest question! Probably my high neck crop tops because I could be out shooting and have an event I need to go to in the evening with little time to change and can quickly look a little bit more dressed up by throwing on some black jeans, boots and a nice necklace. I don’t like to spend too much time thinking about what I’m going to wear so anything that can be changed from a really casual to a more going out outfit is a win for me.
Fashion guilty pleasure?
Lace, I love black lace although I never wear it…I really should. I have a black lace dress tucked away somewhere at the back of my wardrobe. I might pull that out for the next event.
Describe Missguided in three words.
Goals goals goals! I love so many of the pieces, it’s actually kinda annoying, lol!
Wanna know more? Follow Rianna on Insta @riannatamara
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