Afra Pourdad

Fashion Traveler

For me, travel fashion stories are the easiest way to make friends in new countries; to learn more about their people and their culture. I started the series with the countries I had some sort of obsession with. It’s like I’m in search of something new. I wanna learn more about these cultures, what concerns them the most, or the least, what’s important to them… What they think of art, how they define life, how they get by, etc… All these friendships start with a casting call and a few email exchanges. Soon enough, I find myself in their homes. At first glance, these homes might not be similar to mine, however, it doesn’t take long for similarities to pop up. From the little things around the room to the way we think or share an idea…

Hours later we walk in the streets, we explore the locations and get the job done without even noticing how heavy our backpacks are! By the end of most of these shoots I find myself with these people in a Japanese rock concert, or an underground pub, or even a local ice-cream shop that none of the travel guide books or websites could point me to.

I might publish a book one day of my travel stories with these amazing people. How they let me in their homes and showed me around their cities. How they became my friends even though we didn’t speak the same language… After each one of these projects I feel like I’ve grown older and became more appreciative of the world as a whole.

My interest in photography was discovered by my dad at the age of eight when he developed the photos I took with his old Zenit. Later on in my teenage years, I found myself competing and wining the photo contests; But like many others, I followed the path my parents or, in a larger scale, the society had laid ahead of me. I became an engineer but I never let go the passion for photography within me. So I continued to grow by never putting down my camera, and taking photography courses to improve my techniques. Finally, I came to realize that I have to listen to my inner voice and do what I am passionate about. I know hard work goes a long way, and I am here to create.

To me, photography is the way to communicate and express feelings. It is to capture moments that shall not be forgotten. And It is to explore the fragments of life in these moments of dissemination, of movement and moving. For the past 2 years I’ve been shooting for a variety of fashion magazines, locally and internationally. I shot a fashion editorial in Tehran which drawn lots of media attention as it was the first one in 44 years. The last one was done in1969 by Henry Clarke for vogue. The shoot was challenging and it took a lot of courage along with professionalism to get it done. I did another editorial in Japan, mixing old, traditional Tokyo with its new and modern. I have continued my travel series to Italy and turkey. The list of the countries I wish to visit is long and I use fashion as a tool to bring creativity and culture together. I love to create photographs that my viewer would want to come back to and see them again.

You can follow Afra on Instagram @afrascorner or find out more on her official website.