Wow, its the very first day of 2017! I hope everyone had a fantastic evening ringing in the New Year, saying bye to 2016 and welcoming all the possibilities 2017 has in store.
I'm entering 2017 in a refreshed and positive outlook thanks to a collaboration I had two days ago with Preethi Rajaguru, a Creative Content Producer and New York University student. Thanks to Instagram and its power for connecting people (seriously, I have met some amazing people thanks to IG), I was connected to Preethi. Preethi reached out to me to meet during her time home in the DC area for winter break. Her Instagram is curated with powerful images, with a focus on headshots. Her aesthetic I thought complimented mine so we met this Friday for a collaboration.
Upon first glance, I knew Preethi was self-assured and confident, and her friendly demeanor instantly let me know this was going to be a great collaboration. We met at Peregrine in Eastern Market to chat a bit before shooting. Preethi told me all about her life as a student in New York City attending NYU studying creative content such as videography, graphic, and photography. In a way, I saw a bit of myself in her, but it was a bit of myself that I never got to live out. I feel like I missed out on a part of my life by not attending college in NYC (I was accepted to Marymount Manhattan College but didn’t attend due to cost), so I admire Preethi for living out such a fantastic dream.
I think what impressed me most about Preethi, was her creative eye. She suggested some shooting locations that she had completely researched before our meeting, with the goal to visually capture iconic DC landmarks. As we walked to the first location, the James Madison Memorial Building, Preethi told me about her experiences studying abroad in Tel Aviv and her upcoming trip back (this week!) to film a documentary on individuals living in the city as part of her NYU studies. From her maturity and passions, it is hard to remember that she is in her early 20’s. When I was in my early 20’s I was a hot mess, so to see someone so dedicated to their craft and talent at that age is very inspiring.
We shot at the James Madison Memorial Building and Library of Congress, both of which I’d never shot at before. When we began shooting, I quickly realized she knows her aesthetic down to a T. Her eye is impeccable and visually stunning, finding inspiration and possibilities for pictures in all of our immediate surroundings. As we talked throughout our time together, she shared with me her style of capturing individuals in her photos because in her perspective, it makes the photo more interesting. I completely agree. We also bonded over our liking of Kanye and Chance the Rapper.
The time spent with Preethi on Friday was refreshing for me. I love seeing young women succeed and aim for the stars. Preethi is the epitome of a creative artist and I know the future will have much in store for her. I also can’t wait to follow her Tel Aviv trip and see the documentary once it is finished. To see some of Preethi’s past graphic, photography, and videography work, visit her website and Instagram page.
I’m humbled that I was able to finish 2016 on such a positive note by meeting a fresh young creator that gave me inspiration to bring into 2017. To me, this collaboration was the perfect mix of Preethi’s visual eye, coupled with my love of style, in a city we both adore. I hope you also enjoy this visual storybook, a storybook that will remind me to look for inspiration and strive to meet my personal creative goals thanks to Preethi’s creative outlook on life.
Blonde in the District