fashion photographer

fashion photographer
Natsuko Teruya

Strength and sensuality are two things this 30-year-old Singaporean-Japanese fashion photographer is obsessed with for the red-themed fashion editorial for Female‘s June issue. Like really, obsessed. “Make an R,” she tells the model. “Yes, I love that weird pose. Hold it there,” as she gesticulates an exaggerated bend of her elbow to create a human letter with her petite frame.

That’s just how hell-bent she is on getting the perfect shot. Later, Teruya, who has a background in photography and fine art tells me that the project strikes a cord with her. “I’ve been obsessed with red nails lately, and this project made me think about how this sort of ‘femme fatale’ red is a colour that is very much part of our intrinsic nature as women.”

fashion photographer
For the series of images in Female’s June issue, Teruya captures the boldness and intensity of the colour red in a set of strong, dynamic poses that scream, “Strength”.

Her knack for fine art, in particular, surrealism, is evident too in the still life photography images that Teruya shoots for homegrown bag label Ling Wu. Think bags stacked precariously with random objects like Philips light bulbs, pumpkin, pomegranates, and sweet potatoes among others. The result could very well be a giant mess, but in this case, Teruya styled them into almost Man Ray-like sculptures.

fashion photographer
Teruya lenses the campaigns for homegrown bag label Ling Wu, such as this one from S/S ’16.

I choose photography as my medium of expression because… for a lack of a better word: a short attention span. I fell in love with the immediacy and fluidity of the medium quite instinctively. Although, I think what initially drew me to photography was the process that came alongside working with film — from the moment of releasing the shutter to not quite knowing exactly how it will turn out in the dark room. I find the element of surprise exhilarating. I still do. 

Good photography is… is always emotional. Visually, a particularly great image can provoke several emotions all at once, even conflicting at times. For instance, when something is slightly disturbing yet sensual, or when it is both bitter and sweet. It’s really in the nuances. I’ve always found the experience similar to when you listen to great music. 

fashion photographer
A great photograph to Teruya is one that evokes emotions, the same way music does.

Three words I would use to describe my images are… a sense of humour, curiosity and strength. I tend to gravitate towards these ingredients in most of my work. 

My style of photography is… evolving.

The subjects I always photograph are… an aide-memoire (aka a note that serves as a memory).

fashion photographer
One of the images from “Chasing Beauty”, an exhibition of self-portraitures she is planning for next year.

The cameras I use are… a few of them, depending on the occasion. But my two favourites are currently a Contax TVS III and Canon DSLRs.

My photography hero is… Guy Bourdin. 

fashion photographer
Surrealism is one theme that runs through her work a lot.

One person I would love to photograph… Kurt Cobain.

I’m currently working on… a series of self-portraitures titled “Chasing Beauty” which I hope to show in the Fall of next year. It has been a work in progress since graduating from Goldsmiths, University of London at Lasalle College of the Arts in 2015. The series is divided into three major themes of desire, fear and happiness, and revolves around the Freudian concept of The Uncanny.

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