Behind the Lens with Nayantara Parikh

If you have spent any time at all on Nicobar’s Journal, you are probably familiar with Nayantara Parikh’s work. For once, we chose to flip the camera on her, turning the focus onto her work, her style, and her affinity for dinosaur printed socks.Born and brought up in Delhi, Nayantara lived in New York City from 2006 to 2014, training in the art of cinematography at NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. She worked on numerous feature films, commercials, music videos and documentaries, alongside artists such as folk rock band Mumford and Sons, seminal director Spike Lee, and fashion designer Zac Posen.

In 2014, Nayantara returned to India and began to focus on still photography. She specializes in fashion and lifestyle photography, and her work has been featured in Raghu Rai’s Creative Image magazine, Elle, Vogue, and Harpers Bazaar.
Nayantara took the Nico Q&A.When did you first become interested in photography?
I first became interested in photography in a mandatory freshman year class at NYU. Our professor was crazy, and incredibly inspiring. I still feel some of the best photographs I took in college were in that class. After that, we studied photographers in my cinematography classes.

Photographers/ photographs that you love?
In the cinematography classes I was introduced to Gregory Crewdson (Beneath the Roses), Duane Michals (who shot two of my favourite series "Grandpa Goes To Heaven" and "The Fallen Angel") and Bruce Davidson. His street photography is inspiring (particularly his photographs from East 100th street) and documents in all its rawness, New York in the 60s and 70s. And of course Prabuddha Dasgupta, but we already know how heart-achingly beautiful his images are.

Favourite Instagram feeds?
I made a rule for myself a while ago to only follow friends, pretty pictures and jokes because there was too much clutter in my feed. I love @evakosmasflores feed. She takes beautiful pictures of food and flowers. I also love watching or looking at beautifully iced cakes and cookies and this can cheer me up no matter how terrible my day has been- @sweetambs, @sweetbakes @ocd_obsessive_cookie_designer, and of course @ollicake. I also love the @designmilk feed.

What are your favourite subjects?
I love shooting women. I love shooting women through the eyes of a woman. And I absolutely love shooting plants, bark and mud. Yes, mud. Wet mud if possible. Click to view Nayantara’s Berlin and Plants series.

What are the current projects you are working on?
I am currently working on a 50's inspired shoot with my sister (who is also my muse), and together we are working on a project with women (of course), but I will withhold more information on that until it is complete.

What are the pieces in your wardrobe that you just couldn't live without?
I could not live without my Nike Roshe Ones and my DC sneakers. And my Vans. Basically I love sneakers. Add in a pair of dinosaur socks and I'm happy.

Nicobar favourites?
I think it’s very important to be comfortable all the time. I like clothes with pockets, and clothes that I can easily shoot in. I love the old world feel of Nicobar’s Indigo dress, and the fit of the polka dress - the V neck shows off just the right amount of cleavage. The tank tops and the pants are super comfortable. They feel soft, and fit in all the right places. I loved the spring florals on the cheent top - this top is comfortable enough to shoot in, and pretty enough to wear for an evening out.

Want some pointers on prettifying your Instagram feed? Nayantara was kind enough to share her tips here.

You can view Nayantara's work on her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.