1. How do you get the person, place or thing that is in front of the camera into the film, chip or paper in the way you want?
A: Mood of the environment, arrangement and purpose are the first set of priorities for me to start a project. I like to play with new ideas and capture candid moments, even if it is a specific candid shoot of product or person. Shooting in the studio is something that I would like to consider as my comfort zone but shooting in nature is also something I have explored whenever I got an opportunity. My team or the clients I work for have always encouraged me to go an extra mile while shooting. I always feel a keen interest to see the result of my hard work and my team’s dedication in the form of a published photo, be it in a magazine or on a billboard or in any digital medium.
2. Which photographers influenced you & how did they influenced you thinking, photographing & your career path?
A: I consider photography to be an unintentional hidden talent flowing in my veins from my childhood, which I suddenly discovered when digital cameras became available and in cell phones. It might sound like bragging but I literally invented taking selfie among many of my peers with the tiny digital camera when none ever cared to take their own pictures. As long as I remember, two of our local fashion photographers hold an iconic place and have encouraged me hugely to embark upon this career path. They are Abu Naser and Rafiqul Islam Raf. The way they played with light and shadow and captured the stylish moments of fashion campaigns fascinated me a lot. Internationally, I have been an avid follower of the works of Mario Testino, Lindsay Adler, Clay Cook, to name a few. Frankly speaking, whether I am staying here or leaving for abroad actually will decide how I am going to shape my career as a photographer. There is a possibility that at some point in my life, I have to join my family business. I shall still continue doing photography as my part-time gig.
3. Exact what it is you want to say with your photographs, how do you actually get your photographs to do that?
A: To be exact, I try to express my style and perception of fashion through my photographs. I believe whatever comes from deep inside my heart and whatever goes on in my brain every now and then get translated into the photos I take. I believe trends are meant to be changed and therefore, while keeping track of the current trend, I always look forward to the next one as I want to remain relevant always.
4. What was your career path? How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it full time for a living?
A: Like many other sons and daughters of my country, I also grew up hearing from my parents that the professions of a doctor or engineer are the most coveted one and I must prepare myself to hanker after one of those. Being no different from any other young adult, I also made a plan of going abroad for higher education. I was about to apply for Pharmacy at the City University of New York. But my heart was somewhere else. I could not recollect the exact reason for not pursuing a higher degree in Pharmacy. Rather I opted for getting myself admitted in South Asian Media Academy (Pathshala) in Dhaka, Bangladesh where I learned my basics of photography and started working as a product and fashion photographer. I still believe that was a wonderful decision and through my work, one day I would be able to make my countrymen proud.
5. What technology / software / camera gear do you use to keep focused on what you do best as you photograph?
A: I am using a few models of Fuji film and Sony Mirrorless cameras as they currently have all the latest technological advancement as well the s best result to offer. Adobe Photoshop and Capture One, Imaged with Perfection are a few software I am greatly indebted to for my day to day work.
6. How do you get paid for your work?
(money is a courtesy of showing respect and experience)
A: Getting paid is very important for a budding photographer like me to survive, upgrade my tools and succeed. I believe money is a medium of showing courtesy and respect for the work I do. It also gives recognition to the accomplishments I have, being a photographer both in physical as well as philosophical sense. Having said that, compliments and kudos that I receive are immensely valuable to me and sometimes even more important than the payment.
7. What motivates you to continue taking pictures economically, politically, intellectually or emotionally?
A: As a commercial photographer being typecast for a particular genre might turn out to be a drawback. However, I always listen to my heart and emotions associated with a photographic assignment encourages me to give extra and keeps me motivated to look forward to more of such opportunities.
Photos: Sakib MUHTASIM photography
Text: Saif Rahman Sozib