Rianna Tamara talks about shooting Mila J

We talk with London Photographer Rianna Tamara on one of her recent shoots:

My name is Rianna Tamara & i am a Photographer who has been shooting for
pretty much 6 years straight. I got into it by accident having
chosen Photography as a ALevel even though at the time i wanted to be a
fashion designer.

My main passion in Photography is music documentary (although i also
shoot fashion & portraiture), whether thats documenting a stage show or
the parts of an artists life
most people don’t get to see, those more personal intimate moments.
Theres something i just can’t shake about capturing a moment that may
seem insignificant to others but can
be looked back on later on in months or years, & it tells a story about
what was happening at the time. This is how i got working with Mila J.



At first when i heard about her trip over to London, i was asked to do
an actual shoot featuring a few clothing brands, but i knew that
it would be a wasted opportunity if someone didn’t at least try and
capture her time here & everything she was doing.
Luckily after asking if it was possible to not only do a proper shoot
with her, but to also document her trip, i was commissioned to do it
about a week or
2 before her arrival. I was excited to say the least as i was going to
be with her pretty much 24/7 throughout her 3 and a half day trip.

Her schedule was jam packed with radio promo, photoshoots, interviews
and more so i knew there was going to be lots to capture as well as a
lack of sleep, but
that didn’t bother me at all because i was doing what i loved. As soon
as she arrived at the airport and we were introduced, we headed straight
to her radio promo at
Kiss & Capital Xtra while the whole time i was pretty much being a fly
on the wall & trying to document everything in as best way i could and
also not get in the way. Thats an important part of doing this type of
work because the natural, unposed shots are always in my opinion the
best at showing the reality of that particular moment. Day 2 there were
2 photoshoots back to back around London finishing at about 1-2am and
the third day she had an interview with SBTV, a breakfast with some
bloggers, another photoshoot, a samsung dinner influencers dinner with
some important people in media & then a quick stop off at a party before
getting on a plane & leaving the next afternoon. Again the whole time i
was there with my camera shooting, using whatever light i had available
to me but i was also filming everything to put together a short
documentary of it all (should be out soon), almost like a moving image
version of my photos. The one thing i love about video vs stills is
sometimes hearing the sound and seeing the movement adds something that
you can’t capture in a still shot.


As you can imagine i took a lot of shots & every night had to import &
back up all the shots & video, make a quick selection of the best and do
the same the next day. At the end i think i got it to
from 70-100 from those 3 days & sent everything over to her label Motown
Records. They were really happy yet surprised that i’d managed to
literally capture everything as they were mainly interested in
the short video documentary which i put together a little while later.
Its always good to exceed your clients expectations.

One thing i really enjoyed about working with Mila is how she just kept
going even though i don’t think she slept at all over those 3 days here
& how welcoming she was.
In the mornings i would arrive at her room in the hotel by myself & she
was more than happy to let me chill & talk while waiting for everyone
else to arrive. Artists who are genuinely down to earth are the type of
people who are an absolute pleasure to work with for me & Mila is that
type of person.


Making an artist feel that comfortable with you, that they don’t feel
the need to censor themselves in your presence is also SO important in
doing this documentary style work if you want to get the best out of
them & i was able to make Mila feel that way around me which was great.
She was a pleasure to be around and work for & hopefully i will be
working with her again very soon.

This was the first time that i had worked so closely with an artist and
spent so much time around
them & it just inspired me so much more than i originally was. It made
me realise how much i want to continue on the path to documenting music
even while still shooting fashion & portraiture as it something i could
never stop even if i tried to.




Check out more of her work at riannatamara.co.uk

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