Naomi Rahim, a talented Melbourne Photographer, has made quite a name for herself in the world of event photography, particularly in the realms of fashion and music. With her keen eye for detail and ability to capture the essence of a moment, Rahim has established herself as a respected figure in the photography and media industry.
Since 2018, Naomi has been working with Getty Images, a renowned global platform for photographic content. Her association with this world recognised organisation has provided her with numerous opportunities to showcase her skills and expand her portfolio. One such opportunity came when she was selected as the official Runway Photographer at Melbourne Fashion Week.
Rahim’s work at Melbourne Fashion Week allowed her to capture the glamour and excitement of the event. Her photographs managed to encapsulate the essence of each designer’s creations, while also capturing the energy and atmosphere of the runway. Through her lens, Rahim was able to tell a story, documenting the fashion week experience in a visually stunning and captivating manner.
Naomi says. “When I covered my first runway in 2010, I scored the plum position on the media riser – next to the official runway photographer. He gave me guidance on what makes a good runway image: “the model’s front foot should be flat on the ground, it’s the most flattering look”. But all photographers on the media riser were chasing this same image, probably influenced by the international magazines publishing their runway annuals – though chances of being published in these annuals was miniscule. At the time, I recalled the media riser was populated by 95% male photographers. As a fashion consumer, I was excited to see each new look come down the runway from the best seat in the house but was also confused by how little representation there was from my gender, to sell clothing mostly marketed towards my gender.”
Now, Rahim is taking her talents a step further by showcasing her works as part of the Ballarat International Foto Biennale. Titled “Beyond The Catwalk,” her exhibition explores the world of fashion photography beyond the glitz and glamour of the runway. Rahim delves into the behind-the-scenes moments, the preparation, the emotions, and the unseen aspects that contribute to the creation of a fashion event.
In “Beyond The Catwalk,” Rahim invites viewers to go beyond the superficiality often associated with fashion photography and delve deeper into the artistry and craftsmanship that goes into every garment. Her photographs capture the dedication and passion of designers, models, and stylists, giving us a glimpse into their world.
Naomi says, “Upon curating this exhibition, my initial goal was to showcase a retrospective of Australian fashion and to demonstrate a unique approach to runway photography. While going through my archives – the story was so much more. Runways are not only a mirror/dictator of trends, but they are also an elevated reflection of the zeitgeist. The fashion industry has undergone a transformative shift over the last decade, adapting to the challenges of offshore manufacturing, environmental impact, the rise of the social media and online shopping as well as society’s desire for brands to reflect our diverse society more fairly and inclusively”.
Rahim’s exhibition also highlights the importance of inclusivity and diversity in the fashion industry. Through her lens, she showcases models of various ethnicities, body types, and backgrounds, challenging the conventional beauty standards perpetuated by the industry. Rahim’s work celebrates individuality and empowers those who have often been underrepresented in mainstream fashion.
The Ballarat International Foto Biennale provides the perfect platform for Rahim to share her unique perspective with a wider audience. As visitors explore her exhibition, they are transported into a world where fashion is more than just clothes on a runway. It becomes a form of art, a means of expression, and a reflection of society.
Naomi Rahim’s journey as a photographer has been an inspiring one. From capturing the energy of the Melbourne fashion and music scene to becoming the official Runway Photographer for Getty Images at Melbourne Fashion Week, Rahim has proven her talent and passion for her craft. Now, with “Beyond The Catwalk,” she invites us to see fashion through her lens and discover the stories that lie beneath the surface.
By Melinda Sullivan