Nirimmi Firebrace is an immensely talented young fashion photographer and ECR had the good fortune to get in a short interview with her in between her busy schedule of travelling, shooting and being a mother to her daughter, Alba.
ECR: Your photography has become recognizable for your distinct style, yet it is the product of you and your lover working closely together. Can you describe that process? What is it like to meet and collaborate with someone who shares your artistic vision?
Nirrimi: I fell in love with M. when I was 14, around the time I seriously began photographing. I was his muse and he was my idol, so I guess our style kind of intermingled in the same way we did. These days I usually photograph while M. films, it's become second nature for us to work seamlessly with one another.
ECR: You have worked with a variety of clients ranging from indie artists such as Bic Runga to international brands such as Diesel. Do you find yourself tailoring your photographic approach for different clients?
Nirrimi: When clients hire me, I try to keep in mind that they are hiring me because they like the way I shoot. So I try to unite their essence with my own personal style.
ECR: This past summer you travelled across Europe with the Billabong team to shoot their campaign. How did you find the prolonged period of interaction between you and your team/models to impact your photography?
Nirrimi: I believe the best images come from a real connection. Through adventuring and photographing the models they became friends, so I could photograph honest, intimate moments in a way only a friend could.
ECR: The title of your blog, “the road is home”, reveals a lot about your work, in which the concept of wanderlust is central. How has traveling has impacted your creative process?
Nirrimi: Travelling is so constant and wonderfully chaotic, it doesn't allow me the time to feel stuck or uninspired. When I'm travelling I feel truly alive and that feeling motivates me more than anything.
ECR: From reading “the road is home” it is clear that you have a talent for both visuals and prose. How do you feel the ability to express yourself in pictures and words has helped you develop as an artist?
Nirrimi: As a photographer I think of myself as a kind of storyteller, but imagery can be a rather vague way to tell a story. So I write and keep a blog to fulfil my need to express myself fully. sometimes an image may inspire a story, or a story an image.
ECR: As a reflection upon your professional career beginning at an early age, what do you feel are the benefits of your precocious nature? Where do you see yourself in another 10 years?
Nirrimi: When I first began photography I had no influence from magazines, blogs or other imagery. I was from a small town and I didn't know any photographers. It helped me to develop my own style entirely. If I started later in life I wouldn't have had the opportunity to begin from a clean slate.
In ten years we will own a home by the water, be self-sufficient, buy a camper-van to travel the country, have a beautiful growing family and an exhibition now and then to pay for overseas adventures.
ECR: Congratulations on the recent birth of your daughter Alba. What lessons of creative wisdom would you wish to impart to her?
Nirrimi: To create for herself not others and to not be afraid of life. She has a wise soul and is her own person already, I can imagine she will have a lot to teach me.