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CONQUERING THE LIFESTYLE INFLUENCER SPACE AS A SOLO ENTREPRENEUR

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On the coffee table with the vibrant Naina Redhu

Naina Redhu is a photographer and blogger, a pioneer in the luxury lifestyle space in India, a consultant in influencer marketing, and an experience collector with a rich collection of stories to tell. Her vibrant web-presence draws you in from the first glimpse with spellbinding photographs of designer collections, beautiful people, luxurious yet understated spaces and very creative behind-the-scenes shots of Bollywood celebrities. She talks to us about her journey, shares some genuine insights on being an influencer and also answers questions on her remarkable sense of style.

From shampoo contest winner to veteran lifestyle influencer

In a time when barely anyone knew of, much less understood, the concept of being an influencer, the young photographer was already tapping in to the burgeoning potential of the space. Among her first gigs was a Pantene contest in 2010 that she won and as a prudent entrepreneur, re-invested the prize money into buying new camera lenses. She now shares the skillsets she has acquired over the years with others through workshops and a podcast called The Naina Redhu Experience focused on photography, influencer marketing and blogging.

Her long-term relationship with high-fashion and street style

Rahul Mishra’s Spring 2019 Couture Collection showcased at the Red Fort

Naina has under her belt years of experience with numerous high-end brands like Hermes, Chanel and WWD. Back home in India, she is a regular at fashion weeks like Wills Lifestyle, Amazon India and Lotus Make-Up India, and has worked closely with couturiers Wendell Rodricks and Rahul Mishra, among others. In addition, she has photographed street style in some of the most glamorous cities around the world and goes with London when asked to pick a favourite, for the city’s ubiquitously good dressing sense.

Street style at India Art Fair, WWD

Instagram: to be or to be not

While she identifies Instagram as a powerful platform to showcase one’s work and get inspired by the work of others, she warns against the danger of using Instagram as the sole foundation of one’s personal brand and strongly advises on owning an independent blog – “What happens tomorrow if Instagram shuts down? If I don’t have Instagram, I still have my blog… I’m still a photographer.”

And now we talk fashion

On being asked about her personal style, Naina emphasized the importance of comfort and sustainability. She enthusiastically pointed at her jeans that she had herself painted and told us about her eclectic outfit experiments. Among designers she loves to wear are Rahul Mishra for the delicacy (she makes a special mention of his French knots here), Wendell Rodricks for the simplicity and colours, Urvashi Kaur for the versatility, and The Meraki Project by Sonali Pamnani for her brilliant work with Ikat.

Chin forward and slightly down

Since we were talking to a photographer with such amazing experience in clicking portraits, we couldn’t help asking her for one tip to pose for the shutterbugs. “Move your chin a bit forward and slightly down, and the camera won’t know how conscious you are”, she responded with her unfailing giggle.



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