Lenara Choudhury is a freelance fashion photographer whose perfect no-frills images have graced the pages of the best and brightest indie mags, shop fronts and lookbooks over the last couple of years. A soft blend of relaxed forms and clean edges usually in black and white, her work explores everything from the subtle movement of the human body to bold architectural shapes and contrasting natural textures. Shooting unique portraits with both film and digital, Lenara’s photography is stark without seeming harsh and beautiful without being cliched or saccharine. She has, it seems, a very natural and zero-bullshit affinity with a camera.
Originally from Southampton Lenara made the move to London for university and after finishing her degree, decided to stay put and continue developing her craft and career in the city. ‘I have a strong love and hate relationship with this place,’ she says ‘but I think it comes out positively in my work. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some amazing people who have influenced and encouraged me to go forward with my photography through trial and error over the last few years. It might’ve all been harder if I had decided to study in Southampton. The city has had quite a big impact in my work.’
Having travelled Europe with her camera by her side, worked on tonnes of stunning editorials and played around with digital platforms and publications sharing her photographs with the world, her work continues to exude fresh-faced appeal. Working with a mix of fellow photographers, stylists, make-up artists and talented creatives, Lenara’s images subtly reflect her clients and collaborators distinctive characters while retaining her signature pared-down style. As she generally avoids using photoshop, her grayscale photographs pleasingly channel reality and a hint of the sublime simultaneously, honing in on the lovely things we take for granted, such as freckles, moles, brickwork and blades of grass.
Though she’s a big fan of strengthening her work through collaboration, Lenara curated her first solo exhibition, a one-night-only show at London’s Doomed Gallery, earlier this year. Naturally, it was a big hit. We’re particularly excited to hear news of another show that’s set to kick off next year, for which Lenara’s currently creating some new material. If the shots are going to be anything at all like her last exhibited collection, we can’t wait to see them. ‘Apart from working on the show, she says, ‘I’m planning on hopefully meeting some more super-talented artists to work with and will keep challenging myself through what I do.’
With spreads, photo stories and campaigns created for the likes of our friends THE WHITEPEPPER, the illustrious C-Heads magazine and even VOGUE, we can’t help but lovingly admire, not just the excellent images, but the photographer behind the lens. It’s tough giving off super-chill vibes in the midst of a hectic creative lifestyle, however Lenara seems to pull it off, working hard to publish photographs that make everything seem right with the world, through and through. We recommend a look at her Facebook page and Instagram feed if you’re in search of a reviving burst of grey-toned imagery, however if you’ve got slightly longer to spare, her carefully curated website is the real winner. Enjoy your wistful gazing session. You’re welcome.
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Words: Emily Beeson | @younggoldteeth