Exposure: Simrah Farrukh

The photographer discusses the wide-ranging nature of her work, including the early influence of YouTube as well as complex issues of patriarchy, family and history

“I grew up on the internet,” photographer Simrah Farrukh says as I ask her how she began taking pictures. “There was a niche group of YouTubers who would style and photograph their Bratz Dolls, posing them around their homes inspired by America’s Next Top Model. I participated but never sent my photos due to lack of confidence, but this was my first experience creating a world through images.”

This love of storytelling stayed with Farrukh, who splits her time between Los Angeles and San Francisco, creating stills and films in collaboration with brands like Netflix, Disney, and Adobe. Confidence is no longer an issue for the American Pakistani whose portfolio is a bold, beautiful, and unapologetic reflection of the people and things she cares about most.

In Anardana: Stories of Dado, Farrukh collaborates with her grandmother in a series of joyful and striking portraits that speak to her personal history, something the artist is trying to preserve in the context of Dado’s progressive dementia. The project has been a deep bonding experience for the duo, not simply in spending time together but also in holding space for Dado to revisit her past and everything she has had to overcome.

Top: Togethernesss; Above: Anardana: Stories of Dado