#YSPortfolio: Photographer Inah Daze subverts our feminine notions of beauty

#YSPortfolio: Photographer Inah Daze subverts our feminine notions of beauty

A tasteful take on granny undies against a pile of white comforters and other things.

In YS Portfolio, we take a look at the work of up and coming artists, their inspiration and the process behind it.

These days, showing your work has never been easier. There are countless outlets for creativity, from the portfolio website Behance to the square grid of Instagram, and the endless void that is Twitter.

For the first ever #YSPortfolios, we take a look at the work of Inah Maravilla, a 21-year-old student film photographer who recently started a female gaze-themed series. Her interest in photography started when she was 13 years old, with her fiddling with a tiny point-and-shoot digicam before shifting to film when her lola gave her her first film camera. Inah wants to show how women see the world and how she can contradict the way male photographers sexualize everything about the female form.

Tell us about your work.

Right now I mainly just photograph women but I am looking to see how my work could be more inclusive. I came from an all-girls school so obviously, I was mostly exposed to girls. I just took photos of my schoolmates and I guess you could say that I subconsciously developed my own “female gaze”.

It’s important that I make my subjects comfortable enough during shoots so that they can be themselves in front of the camera. There’s something really endearing when you photograph a woman, don’t you think? That’s why I always remind them that they don’t necessarily have to pose “sexily” especially if it’s going to be pretty intimate. We’re used to assuming that we have to cater to a male gaze where we should look flawless and perfect but it shouldn’t be that way.

What’s the process behind choosing the right film and camera for your work?

I research a lot online. I’ve never had a proper [photography] education, so I rely on the internet. I also learn a lot from fellow film photographers. I’m still a noob especially when it comes to technicalities, but I also do have my own preferences. I think I have managed to learn a lot about the film I use, though. I try out all sorts of film and I experiment with them by shooting indoors, outdoors, in sunlight, or in artificial light to really know how they look in different settings.

How do you choose your subjects?

They’re mostly just my friends. I always want my shoots to be intimate and meaningful so it makes sense that I pick people I’ve known the longest so they’d be comfortable around me. My shoots aren’t just about me, it’s important that I ask for their thoughts and comments too. The story’s about them and I’m just there to capture it in my perspective. If I were to shoot a model who I just met, I try to talk and get to know them [more]  even just the little bits of what they like, who they love, and what they care about.

Who are your inspirations?

My friends. They’re my biggest influences. Each one of them is equally talented and unique — I’m practically in love with all of them. We’ve been through so much together and there were times where things felt like we were in a coming-of-age film. Being nostalgic, we would always recall and romanticize those moments and I guess that’s why they’re the ones who fuel my passion to keep shooting. They were my first “models” and that really shaped how I see and capture people. My province, Bacolod, is a place that reminds me to stay grounded. Every time I go home it feels like a retreat and an opportunity to restart especially when I’ve been on a creative block.

To see more of Inah’s work you can follow her on Instagram or visit her Behance profile here. Whose portfolio do you want to see next? Tweet us @youngstarphils.


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