Life Through Her Lens

A chat with photographer Heysha Nameri.

“You’ve got the eye for it”—this quote has a ring to it that can spark anyone’s curiosity. In a sense, it forces us to explore exactly what one has the ability to capture and conceptualize into something compelling. This could be a painting, lyrics to a song or a simple idea.

The one thing that jumps out in my mind is photography. The visual behind one’s lens can capture a moment that creates a lasting memory. I’ve always been curious as to how photographers come up with their ideas: the techniques, the state of mind in which they approach a project.

One particular person stood out in my mind when I thought about all of this—Heysha Nameri. She is a creative genius behind the camera. She is able to capture the true essence of someone without really trying. I call this her “Magic Queer Eye.” I had the chance to pick her brain recently as she shared some of her first moments in photography as well as offered tips to other up and coming artists. Check out our chat below.

Hey Heysha! What’s your brand?

I go by Heysha Nameri, of Heysha Nameri Photography.

How long have you been into photography, what drew you to the art?

I’ve been into photography since I was about 20 years old. I bought my first camera, a Kodak 2 megapixel, considered top of the line at the time. I lived in Wheeling, West Virginia where the scenery is to die for: rolling hills, trees, real flowers and open space but it didn’t become my “love” until 9, 10 years later.

What was the first photo you ever took, and what did it mean to you?

The first real photo I ever took was in 2012. I was dating a woman for a short time and she was helping me with my portrait project. We were in Columbus Circle waiting for the participants.

I was standing behind with my camera ready and asked her to turn around. I quickly snapped her portrait. It was magical. Probably one of my better photos. Which is why I don’t show it, if that makes sense [laughs].

What inspires your work?

One would think I carry my camera everywhere I go but I don’t. I used to but I draw inspiration from people I’ve gotten to know. I love portraits. I also love nightlife photography. I like to witness people in their raw form or when they’re drunk—same thing! Although I’m pretty outgoing, I love watching people enjoy themselves or push themselves out of their comfort zone.

Does your sexuality play a role or inspire your work?

Good question! I don’t think it affects quality but it’s helped shape my projects and the people I scout to be my models. I identify as queer and somewhat blur the line when it comes to how I present myself. The women (and men) I shoot reflect that most of the time.

Has your sexuality posed any issues or setbacks for your art?

Not at all! I’ve been very blessed and lucky.

What advice would you give to up and coming photographers?

Stop editing so goddamn much. Shoot to not have to edit.

You can check in with Heysha and connect with her below!