Microview | Sania Tharani, Photographer
Sania Tharani is a Chicago born, Atlanta raised photographer living and working in the city. Her down to earth personality and amazing eye for design and architecture makes it easy to understand why Tharani is a force in the creative industry. Currently you'll find her at The Thick and The Wall Group.
Current City: Manhattan, New York City
Hometown: Born in Chicago, IL; Raised in Atlanta, GA
Currently reading: The Tao of Wu by The RZA, for the second time
Currently listening to: BLONDE / BLOND (twoooo versions)
1. Tell us more about yourself, how has your background played a role in your artistic expression?
By blood, I’m half Indian, half Pakistani. Being a first-generation American to immigrant parents has given me an insatiable desire to work hard and do better. My mom is Indian and has the most beautiful collection of jewelry, and she always had a passion for traditional clothes. My dad was never without a camera in my younger years, so I got lucky because they understood my love for art. Their appreciation for beauty and documentation influenced me in a way I never realized until I was in university. Now I just want to create dope work to make them proud.
2. What was it like transitioning from Atlanta to New York?
Polite answer: Not too bad. I knew from the second I first visited that it was where my heart was. So moving here was like coming home.
Real answer: IT WAS KINDA HARD ALWAYS BEING ALONE AND FIGURING IT ALL OUT I CRIED ALMOST EVERYDAY IN PUBLIC ON THE TRAIN AND ON THE STREET FOR 2 MONTHS I’M OKAY NOW
3. Who is your muse-- how and why do they influence you?
I don’t have one particular muse. Living in such a visually saturated time in history, I constantly look to my peers/other creatives’ Instagrams and tumblrs and portfolios to stay aware of what others are producing and how I can do exactly just not that.
4. What is the oddest thing you find inspiration in?
Other people’s daily planners/notebooks. Really mundane things like the facade of a building that has no distinctive architectural mark save for its endless symmetrical windows. A nicely scuffed up white brick wall.
5. Favorite subjects or places to shoot?
People, as they are. I like to capture a slice of time as it exactly was, unaltered. Skateboarders are my favorite: on the street, at LES Skate Park, anywhere. Architecture has my heart, though - skyscrapers and bridges, especially. I’m always wandering around outside.
6. What experience has inspired you the most?
I spent a full 24 hours outside and awake in Manhattan last September as part of a personal photo/video project (doing it again this September!). It made me realize how much there is on this tiny island: how many different walks of life co-exist, the different types of architecture that make up the city, all of the sub-cultures that create the New York culture. That’s when I started documenting the city. I want to take advantage of living here.
7. What is your creative process, for either your personal or professional work?
1. Find the right soundtrack. (Blonde is perfect rn.)
2. Get cozy, usually on the floor of my apartment.
3. LOOK AT EVERYTHING. Books, magazines, tumblr, my iMessage
history, the view from my roof.
4. Stream-of-conscious write in my sketchbook / talk out loud /
record myself / take walks outside.
5. Immediately dive into newest idea without thinking it through
6. Throughout: print it out if it’s digital; take a photo if it’s
physical. Always look from a different view.
7. Repeat steps 1-6 multiple times at random until work is
“complete” because is anything ever complete.
8. How would you describe your style? What’s the oldest piece of clothing you own?
I wear my dirty white Sk-8 Hi Vans with EVERYTHING. I do have a uniform of sorts: all black, an occasional crisp white, loose silhouettes and very cozy. I need to be able to move. I own 11 black tees and wear each one regularly. The oldest piece of clothing I own is a charcoal grey lightweight wool coat my mother bought for me when I was 13 or so. It magically still fits and I absolutely treasure it.
9.If you could wake up anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Right now, this very instant? Antwerp. Couldn’t tell you why, though.
A Question from the editor:
E: You’re a genuinely cool person, I’ve sat and spoken with you and you definitely have a solid sense of visual aesthetics. What are your thoughts on the future of the creative industry?
S: I think this slice of time we’re in – with the whole microwave idea of pushing out content, product, the short-lived snapchats, – it’s just that. A slice of time. And it’s loud. I think the future lies in longevity. The creatives right now who are focused on refining their signature without being pressured to conform are the future themselves. I like a quiet evolution.