WONDER WOMAN // Savannah van der Niet, Photographer and Graphic Designer
Savannah van der Niet is a Wonder Woman.
Photographer and Graphic Designer, Savannah (also known as Savvy Creative) does it all. Brisbane-based, Savannah is a regular at local venues, capturing the city’s burgeoning live music scene in vivid, layered images often shot on 35mm film. Having freelanced for the likes of Broadsheet, i-D Magazine and Tedx in addition to making a name for herself in Queensland’s wedding industry, Savannah is not content to just stop there. Designing incredible album covers, zines, posters and beautiful branding, she absolutely lives up to her name.
For our recent story with Bianca Mavrick we had Savannah capture the makers studio, following up with this chat about her work and the process behind each shot.
Interview by Alex Birch, Images by Savannah van der Niet
In your personal bio, your work is described as ‘a quiet testament to youth and seeing the world with eyes of curiosity and exploration’. How do think your photographs reflect this?
This bio is partly formed through words I’ve had said about my work. I think it’s because in my personal work I’m naturally drawn to details and oddities, and my work tends to have some naivety to it.
Most of your work is shot on 35mm film, what is it about this medium that captures you?
It has heart. When you click the shutter, you feel like you’ve actually taken a photograph – you’ve recorded light onto a tangible substance. It slows you down. The imperfections when light cracks in or when images are double exposed has a playful perfection.
Can you tell us a little about your relationship with Bianca? What was the creative process behind this shoot?
I’d seen Bianca’s work around long before I knew it was hers. I photographed her some time ago for a project in her previous studio where I was given an insight into her work and met her properly. I love the way she balances a bold palette and feminine elegance!
Your portfolio is incredibly diverse, capturing anything and everything from live music and editorial stories to weddings and food. Do you have a subject that you’re particularly drawn to?
Storytelling is what I generally try to do in my own work – I like interviewing people and getting to know them before I take photos of them. Ultimately I want to create human connection, and share beauty. That being said, I like the ease of shooting something like food, and the fast-paced nature of the occasional wedding and live gig.
In addition to your photography, you’re also a practicing graphic designer. For you, how do these two worlds relate? What sort of graphic projects excite you?
It’s helped technically with the way I make sure my images are usable with their composition across mediums – being less afraid of space in a photo, as well as with resolution and the way I supply files. I’m always up for a gig poster or, weirdly enough, I get a kick out of formatting long documents – making sure the styling and sizing is consistent across a book or brochure I find really satisfying.
What are three things you always say ‘yes’ to?
- Diving in to cold water while travelling.
- Watching a new film.
- A good, long walk.