A fashion photographer talks about the city that changed her life

As a fashion photographer based in London, there are many things that I, Surbhi Jain, have learnt from the city, both personally and professionally. I completed my one year diploma in Art and Design with a specialization in photography from the prestigious University of the Arts in London. That is when I realized my love for fashion photography and decided to take it up as a full-time career. Over the course of three years, I completed a BFA degree in Photography from the Symbiosis School of Photography in Pune. I then moved back to London where I was working towards my degree in Fashion Photography from London College of Fashion. I completed my degree last year and have been working full-time as a fashion photographer in the vibrant and bustling city of London ever since!

As a professional photographer working in the young and diverse fashion industry of Britain, there is plenty that I’ve learnt from my peers and colleagues that has helped me hone my craft and become a better photographer. I like to consider myself a thorough professional with a high level of dedication for my work. My specialization would be in the fields of fashion, beauty and fine art photography. My personal style of photography is quite conceptual and filled with symbolism. I love to mix fashion with an undertone of fine art – a quality that I picked up and subconsciously inculcated in my work particularly when I was exposed to the fashion-forward Londoners who always seem to have a penchant for dressing well. I like to reflect on the human condition with particular emphasis on the subconscious development of the human mind and how humans grow and nurture their individual character.

I made the journey from India to Europe as it was always a goal I had set to achieve and to fulfill my dream of getting my masters in fashion photography .The course I studied in London is one of the toughest to get into for a Masters degree in fashion photography and I feel a great sense of achievement in getting it done. My peers and professors from London College of Fashion have been key in this professional whirlwind.

My work allows me to frequently travel through the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe, which has allowed me to indulge myself in and be inspired by European fashion at large and particularly the local fashion community. Through my travels, I observed that the local fashion that is thriving in narrow by lanes and tiny boutiques is a powerful tool of influence . The community has a unique spirit and energy. Being a hub of almost all the top fashion brands, designers, influencers , trends and model it helps me draw inspiration and incorporate these ideas into my photography. There is a diverse fashion community. Through fashion you can be be whoever you want at any given time!

Moving to London has greatly changed my perspective towards fashion photography. It allowed me to approach the industry from a deeper perspective by pulling me away from the commercial aspect of the job and instead gave me a peek towards the technical and artistic side of fashion photography. Living and working in London gave me a chance to collaborate on exciting projects with creatives from all over the world – set designers, make up artists, hairstylists, models, dancers and even acrobats. I even got a chance to be a production assistant for Vogue Arabia and work for London Fashion Week. I had a chance to have my photographs and short film exhibited at the oxo tower in London too! Londoners have a high standard of work quality and in order to achieve that I had to push my imagination to the limits and graduating from one of the top universities in fashion helped me along the way.

AISPI is a unique concept and one that is thoroughly needed to fill the gap in the local fashion community of Europe. As an avid fashionista myself, whenever I travel I look for shops and boutiques that would sell fashion and accessories that just seem more rarer and make for interesting conversational pieces, and fits the vibe of the city. AISPI makes it searching for these boutiques and shopping from local European designers a breeze – something that would otherwise be out of reach to the modern consumer.

All images are courtesy of Surbhi Jain Photography.

– Written by Surbhi Jain, Edited by Soha Joshi

Stay tuned to the AISPI’s Instagram and blog for more on the trendsetters and change makers of the local European fashion community.

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