Back in May 2013 we were contacted by Nandi Forward, a talented photographer who showed an interest in some of our skates. She wanted to use them for a photoshoot in an American style diner / bar, which caught our attention, especially after seeing some examples of previous work.
After lots of hard work, Nandi’s photos were published in Rebelicious Magazine, and we were lucky enough to get an interview with her to find out more about her work and inspirations… and what she thinks of our skates of course!
Tell us a bit about yourself:
“My name is Nandi and I am a professional female photographer based in Canterbury, Kent. During the day I am a family portrait photographer and at night I specialize in alternative fashion / tattooed models / conceptual / fine-art photography. I like to think of myself as Batman”.
How long have you been a photographer?
“I’ve been professionally shooting since 2007, but I’ve had a passion for it for years”.
What made you decide to become a photographer?
“I loved drawing and always desired to be an animator/anime creator but my drawings weren’t portraying what I had in my head and my skills never lived up to my high expectations – so I picked up a camera and haven’t looked back since! I still draw but I do it for me, for fun – but photography is definitely something I enjoy using to showcase the concepts I have in my head!”
How would you describe your work?
“I have always described it as conceptual – but since leaving college it was more high-art meets fashion. I’m a sucker for bright, colourful, overly processed images. I like to photograph a lot of different styles and try not to limit myself. When I describe my work to others without having a visual, I go with ‘alternative fashion photography with a twist’ “.
Who are your inspirations?
“I’m a huge fan of Eugenio Recuenco. I found his work during my time in college and fell in love with the attention to detail that goes into his work, it’s simply divine – I absolutely adore his work!
David La’Chapelle is another huge inspiration of mine. His work is very colourful, in your face and shows so much expression. It’s pretty obvious with his work where I have gotten the inspiration.
Phillip Warner is also an inspiration of mine. His work is a mix of fine-art with a darker edge. He photographs the female form beautifully – something that can be done so wrong so easily, yet he gets it right so perfectly”.
Please talk us through the shoot you did with our Rio Roller Jive skates:
“This was the first big shoot I have done in a few years and it was my chance to come back from my long hiatus with a bang.
The shoot started out with finding this amazing location, Ink Bar in Maidstone, which had a 1950’s American diner look (now it’s no longer a diner). It was perfect for the pin-up themed shoot I had in mind! After speaking to the manager and got the OK to use the venue for the shoot, I got together a team of two models, Candy Valentina & Emmi, and an amazing make-up artist I use regularly, Leanne Bisson.
The models and I got together and drew up a concept for our shoot which originally consisted of two different outfits/looks for the girls – waitresses and what we called “ladies of leisure”. We originally storyboarded the whole shoot so it was a story of these ladies coming to this diner to have a good time, fight over the men in the bar and just have a laugh. At the same time, be served by waitresses on skates! We had everything fine tuned and ready to be shot for publication – I guess you could say it was almost like a comic strip.
The concept was so elaborate that it required a big team to be involved. Candy Valentina found your advert in an issue of Rebelicious Magazine and suggested that we contacted yourselves, Rio Roller, in hope that you could help us with our vision. Especially with your Jive skates as they fitted the image we had in mind to perfection! Once we had the fantastic response from yourselves, we contacted several other companies, such as Miss Fortune and Dolly Cool, to get involved and lend us their wears. The shoot was becoming the elaborate story we had in mind!
When it came to shooting, we had a lot of hurdles to overcome, one of them being the general public. We needed a lot more space than was available and therefore this put a spanner in the works as it meant that some of the concepts we had in mind weren’t going to work…which meant the storyboard had holes in it, therefore making the original story we had in mind …not work.
So we shot mainly the waitress look with their Rio Roller Jive Skates on as it just looked perfect – the girls rocked the whole look and turned our original confusing concept into a pretty basic, yet visual, feast for the eyes. I genuinely wouldn’t change anything – the end result was more than what we had hoped for and are all so grateful for having such an amazing team and brand, such as Rio Roller, behind us.
We sent the images over to Rebelicious Magazine and explained how we had found Rio Roller through them and how this shoot would fit like a treat in their awesome magazine. They fell in love with the images and instantly said yes to publishing them as an editorial! The whole team were over the moon by the news and still can’t believe the luck we’ve had with this shoot. It all boils down to having such a fantastic team of people coming together to create imagery we’re all so proud of. Thank you to everyone who got involved!”
What do you think of the Rio Roller skate range?
“I love it!! I used to skate all the time back in the 90’s, I went to roller discos as well as skating around my estate with my friends. I’m a sucker for anything bright and nostalgic – who wouldn’t be?! I’m definitely tempted to get a pair and start it up again.”
Where can fans find out more about you and your work?
My domain (undergoing maintenance) : www.nandiphotography.co.uk
Model Mayhem: http://www.modelmayhem.com/nitemarephotography
I even shoot alternative weddings: http://www.uniqueweddingphotography.org.uk
A huge thank you to Nandi for taking the time to talk to us and also for the wonderful work she and her team has done!
We hope to see more in the future and will be more than happy to collaborate if something exciting comes up! If you haven’t already seen it, go and check out the feature in Rebelicious magazine now!