• About a Girl: Nesrin Danan

    Nesrin Danan photographs artists, rappers and creative visionaries…we flipped the lens to get to know more about the emerging talent behind the camera. Get to know her here. 

    Can you introduce yourself please — tell us a bit more about who you are, where you’re from, and what you do?
    My name is Nesrin Danan. I'm 21 years old, and I live in Portland, Oregon. I'm a tour photographer for hip-hop and pop artists, as well as a full time college student, world traveler and mac and cheese aficionado. I'm currently wrapping up my B.A. in sociology at Portland State University. When I'm not in class I'm traveling. I love seeing new things and meeting interesting people. Taking photos is what I love to do! I kind of meshed that with my love of music and made it into a career.

    You photograph such a wide range of subjects — what are your favorite shoots? 
    It's so hard to pick a favorite shoot.. Every time I shoot something new I think it's my favorite! One of my favorite people to shoot is G-Eazy. I've been shooting with him for years and his look never gets old. I also love shooting with models. I never used to do portraits, but now I've gotten into that a lot along with my concert photos. I travel a lot with my best friend AnneMarie; we take the most insane photos. I do some of my best portrait work with her for sure. One of my "how did I get here?!" moments had to be when I met Drake for the first time; that was just like...whoa, this is real. I love shooting with musicians who just let me do my thing and get those legendary candids.

    For other young photographers looking to launch their careers, what advice would you offer? What did you wish you knew when you were first starting out? 
    My first piece of advice is always just to keep shooting. You have to get out of your comfort zone in order to find your shooting and editing style; I'm still developing mine. Practice makes perfect. Also, personality-wise, when I first started out in the music industry I was super shy. I quickly realized you can't be shy. You have to ask people if you can take their photo, you have to assert yourself in situations where you're getting ripped off, and you have to be comfortable talking to a wide variety of people. Half the game of being a professional photographer is making lasting, meaningful connections, so it's all about putting yourself out there.

    Can you tell us more about your personal style? What do you like wearing, and what types of styles feel most like you?
    Black denim, chunky sweaters, and cozy flannels are my go-to for everyday school outfits. When I shoot shows, I wear all black so basically half of my closet is completely void of color. I love leather and suede jackets, I have four that I wear in rotation. Over-the-knee boots with dresses, ripped jeans, and Stan Smiths. I like to dress pretty comfy, but more on the stylish side of casual. 

    When I go out, I really love to experiment with style: sequins, glitter, lace...you name it. I also absolutely love doing my makeup, I'm always experimenting with new looks and I think that's probably my favorite way to express my style.

    What are you most passionate about?
    I'm passionate about a lot of things. I'm passionate about music, I'm passionate about photography, I'm passionate about food...I guess I'd say I just try to keep it real. Life isn't perfect and I don't aim for perfection in my photos or on my social media. I'm kind of awkward. My Twitter is low-key a mess. My IG Story is just my real, unfiltered daily activities. Even in my photos, they look pretty cool but you have to remember you're seeing 1 out of the 250 that I took. I like to take my followers on my adventures with me and live my life in a what where I'm growing and making progress without striving for some unachievable standard of perfection. I'm passionate about being real.

    What artists, ideas, places, or books are most exciting/inspiring to you right now?
    I'm really excited to be working with a lot of female musicians. I started photography in the hip-hop industry, so shooting female artists is something I didn't get to do very much! I'm also planning a trip to Europe for this spring after I graduate college which has me so stoked. I'm going to Paris, London, Cologne, and Edinburgh. I can't wait to shoot in these amazing places and just immerse myself in the culture. As far as books go, Milk & Honey by Rupi Kaur is my favorite right now. I kind of slept on that book for a minute, I can't believe I only read it now! Her words are so powerful & really hit you in the feels. 

    What’s your mantra?
    Know your worth.

    Who do you look up to?
    Mindy Kaling. I really admire the career she's created for herself. It's so inspiring to see women killing it in the entertainment and creative industries! 

    What are you most looking forward to this season?
    I love Christmas/New Year's time. Dressing up in cute winter clothes, hot coffee, twinkly lights and spending time with my friends and family!

    photos by Bryan Daugherty, Jake Chamseddine, Amelia Woodford, Forrest Smith, Raimee Miller, Paarsa Haft, Davis Hilton, Chase Loreto, and Alivia Latimer
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