Student Spotlight: Maria Memet

Maria Memet is from the South East of England and is currently in her final year at Norwich University of the Arts, where she studies Photography. On her course she has experimented with different forms and her style has greatly developed over her two years on the course, but she is always drawn back to shooting on 35mm film. She documents life around her, particularly focusing on her friends, capturing intimate portraits and their adventures together.

What made you want to study photography?

College! I studied photography at A level and absolutely loved it. My tutors were amazing, they had so much faith in me and encouraged us all so much. I spent most of my last year in the darkroom.

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What has it been like to study at NUA so far?

NUA has really changed my perspective on photography and the way that I shoot. I’ve learnt to just take photos and see what happens. It can be really hard at times, everyone is competing to be the best and sometimes it can be quite intense in that way. You have to really focus on your work and stop worrying about others around you.

 What does photography mean to you, and what makes you want to create photographs?

Photography means I can show people the way I view the world. Whether it’s how amazing my friends are or tiny things in my life that mean a lot to me. I can show that all in one photo. It also helps me stay creative, something I think is really important to me.

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What projects have you completed on your degree?

In first year I did a whole project on Girl Culture. This is probably where I became really interested in shooting girls and my life around me. I have also recently completed a project called ‘Remix’ which allowed me to experiment in as many different ways I could with my work. This really helped me understand the photography I like to create.

You seem to shoot a lot of film – what do you like about this format as opposed to digital?

My tutors are constantly telling me to shoot digital but I can’t get away from film. The colours are always so beautiful, I think it helps bring a quietness and softness to my work.

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How has your style as a photographer developed while studying?

I’d say I have become more interested in everything. Shooting everything around me, whether that is people or just something I think looks beautiful.

What do you want to explore or convey in your work?

I want to show the quietness in the world. The times that nobody notices. Yet it also seems important for me to show the happiness in being young and free.

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What has been the most valuable thing you’ve learnt on your degree?

I think for me the most valuable thing I’ve learnt is to stick to what you love and focus on yourself. At times I have really struggled justifying my work to people. I’ve tried to please everyone. I’ve learnt to focus on what I love best rather than what everyone else likes to see.

What are you currently working on in your final year of university?

This year is an open brief so its been really difficult to refine one project I want to work on. I am still currently working on the project I want to explore. I have been looking at what makes me happiest through my life and exploring the relationships I have with people around me. I’m also seeking moments in time. Remarkable, quiet, happy, just moments.

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Do you have a dream project for the future?

I’d love to travel the world with my favourite people, taking photos of everything!

Check out more of Maria’s work on her Tumblr and Instagram.