From flicking through copies of Time magazine in doctors’ waiting rooms as a child, to studying art history at university, London-based Nathalie Pitters has always been drawn to visuals. But it was only when she Googled “masters photography film London”, aged 21, that she realised cinematography existed.

“Cinematography at the London Film School popped up and I was so excited that I called my friend and said, ‘This is what I want to do with my life,’” says Pitters, who is gearing up to shoot Queenie, a TV adaptation of Candice Carty-Williams’ novel, for Disney’s Onyx Collective, Channel 4 and Lionsgate.

It took Pitters another seven years (during which time she taught English in Japan) to apply to the London Film School, after which she went on to complete an MA in cinematography at the National Film and Tele­vision School. She won the Silver Tadpole in the Student Etudes Competition at 2020’s Camerimage International Film Festival for her graduation film Stratum Deep, set in a 1980s coal-mining community, and went on to shoot a number of music videos and commercials.

Pitters’ TV break came when creator Adjani Salmon recruited her as lead DoP on five episodes of his 2021 BBC Three comedy series Dreaming Whilst Black, which also led to her being hired for block two of TV series Queenie, which centres around a British Jamaican woman in London whose life spirals after a breakup.

Queenie is allowing me to explore inner character and struggle, which is what I want to be able to do more of,” says Pitters, who believes her own complicated upbringing has helped to shape her work — her heritage is Congolese, Italian and Greek, and she was raised on a London council estate by a single mum, securing an assisted place at the prestigious St Paul’s Girls’ School.

“My whole life I’ve had to be like a chameleon, but it means I’m very observant and particularly sensitive to characters’ journeys,” says Pitters, who would love to shoot features and TV dramas in the vein of The CrownSmall Axe and Chernobyl. “I try to be bold with my approach to shots. I would love to get [any] job where I didn’t have to play it safe, because that’s where I excel.”


Read more:

Stars of Tomorrow 2023: Nathalie Pitters (cinematographer)

Complete list of 2023 Screen Stars of Tomorrow.