“I didn’t think I’d become a photographer”, says 24-year-old French-Tunisian photographer Inès Manai, who despite her young age has already shot for Dior, Margiela, Carven and Lacoste, to name but a few. “My life changed three years ago”, she adds referring to her experience at Purple Fashion Magazine, a career move that catapulted her into professional photography, while she was still an amateur. Asked to shoot extensively at events, exhibitions and runway shows, Manai quickly developed her own recognizable style and touch.
“I try to represent truth and beauty”, says the young photographer discussing her now-synonymous clean aesthetic, which is characterized by soft hues. “I realised that when I shot my documentary photography project for Vogue in Tunisia. That trip really impacted the way I understand photography; now I only shoot spontaneous, un-staged moments”.
She cites Nick Knight and Harley Weir as her main influences, but what Manai ultimately wants to do through photographing fashion is subtly blur the lines between reality and fantasy, somehow creating the world she would like to live in. ‘This power to transmit a vision, a point of view on life, politics, society and beauty is magical”, she finishes.
We caught up with Manai and asked her to share her five essential tips on how to make it as a fashion photographer.
Don’t take anything for granted.
Stay true to yourself and your aesthetics. This is how you will ensure durability.
Embrace your singularity. Sometimes your weaknesses can be your strengths.
Accept the doubt but don’t let it get to you.
Find a good balance between commercial and personal work.