At Graduate Fashion Week, we came across the work of Fia Yaqub who has just finished studying Fashion Photography at the University of Salford. Her work is beautiful and she's already achieved a terrifying amount for someone who's just graduating. Fia is a regular contributor over at SHOWstudio and spent some time in New York with Richard Kern. Here's an insight into Fia's world along with lots of beautiful examples of her work. A name to remember.
|Hannan, by Fia|
"I first got into photography in my early teens. At first, it was more just admiring photographs and artwork than taking my own photos and then I suppose I was about 14/15 when I began taking my own. I used to tear images out of magazines and incessantly save things from the internet in folders and just collect a myriad of images that I admired or liked for some reason. Most were Fashion Photography but I had quite a lot of Fine Art in there as well."
Fia on what she reads, and writes:
I'm inspired a lot by poetry and literature and my own letter writing- I have various penpals. In terms of poetry and literature, some of my favourites are Warsan Shire, Clementine von Radics, Slade Gibbs, e.e cumming, Sylvia Plath, Virginia Woolf, Pablo Neruda, Rachel Perkins, Fleurishes by Kristina Haynes, Anais Nin, Margaret Atwood, Ben Okri, Shamim Sarif, Leonard Cohen, Rumi... I could go on. I collect journals full of poetry and quotes so it's normally quite extensive and out of nowhere as they're singular little entries.
|Ortie by Fia|
The softer, sensual side of femininity and the darker more violent side always seem to go in tandem for me. I know that's not necessarily true for a lot of people but I think it's just different sides of the same coin. Not all women and not all femininity is soft. There are darker, baser desires which transpire and are just as important. I think it's quite funny really- people can expect you to be this sweet, coy person and you can be completely the opposite. You just keep it more secret, more hidden. It's just human nature. I like looking at the darker things, things people might think they should keep hidden. The things you wouldn't necessarily think a woman was into, even though it's 2013. I always think of Sasha Grey, as left field as that might be. She was doing porn, hardcore porn at 18. She was this beautiful young girl but she had all these kinks, so to speak. She didn't keep her desires hidden, but engaged in them and experimented with them to learn about herself. I think that's great. She made it OK for women to want that kind of thing. Not that all women do, and using a former porn star is probably a strange reference but it's how it see it.
Skúffuskáld from Fia on Vimeo.
Fia on interning with Richard Kern:
It was amazing to intern with Richard . I was in New York with him for 7 weeks- it was a dream come true for me. He's my favourite photographer and was literally and seriously the first person on my list of people I wanted to intern with, so when he said yes to me working with him, and to just come on out to New York, I couldn't quite believe it. It still seems surreal that I spent all that time there and still speak to him. I really enjoyed my time with him, seeing how he works and helping him with his edits. He's a really cool, down to earth, nice guy and it was just refreshing and lovely to meet someone you admire and have them still live up to that ideal you create out of them. Working with him also made me confident in the type of photography I wanted to create, since doing nude photography was something I really wanted to do but wasn't quite 100% sure about before I went. It's hard to get into that and have the confidence to carry it out, but working with Richard made me realise it is doable. I really enjoyed my experience with him, and then working on his wife's project on my very last working day. He even offered for me to work for him again in the future if I wanted to. New York as a whole was great too. I'd never been to America and I'd never really been very far on my own before either, so it was a learning curve for me being that independent and far from home. The entire thing just made me grow as a person with the experience of it all. I really liked New York, Brooklyn especially. I really like the art vibe there, it's somewhere I felt at home.
|Bloom by Fia|
Now that I've finished uni, I'm going travelling. Afterwards, I hope to move to another city and start working but I'm not sure where yet. I like the idea of Paris, New York or London maybe even Toronto or Tokyo. I honestly want to just get a job in the field of type of photography I do. So maybe work with Richard again, or photographers like him. I wouldn't mind interning or being an assistant. or working somewhere like Purple magazine or Mirage or even Irene erotic fanzine which is my new favourite. I'd like to just stay in my type of photography to be honest; feminine nudes and fine art/fashion photography female sensual imagery.... although I am open to other internships/industry jobs of course. I'll still do my own work on the side, no matter where I end up. But honestly I just want to do something I enjoy in fashion/fine art photography, whether it be a magazine/site or an actual photographer I admire.
Find Fia on Tumblr here and here