About Me

Born and brought up in Dubai, I got the professional photography bug when my college hired me to shoot their senior graduation ceremony (I was the guy with the big camera). After investing in some additional gear (Read: nifty fifty); the next thing I knew I was scraping at the bottom of the food chain (in terms of photography opportunities) as I was barely managing to stay afloat. Slowly I have worked my way up to the point of being able to survive with the work I’ve earned, while broadening my photographic horizon by delving into shy street photography. I is still figuring out what type of photography is my calling, but at the moment I get excited about the idea of shooting weathered CEOs in funky settings. That and oil rigs.

Below is an short interview I’d done for Gulf Photo Plus that delves further into my school of thought and my inspirations.

What sparked my interest in photography? 

The fear of being under the spotlight I guess which is kind of ironic right now. When your face is hidden behind the camera, you manage to escape the hundreds of photo tags on facebook since you’re the one taking the picture. I like it that way. So I ended up becoming the person who’d grab the camera out of other people’s hands and snap away. It ended up being the perfect invisibility cloak. Obviously all that went down the drain when I married a photographer.

When did I start shooting?

I was 10 when I shot my first reel of film. What I also did on that day is expose the film to the sun ruining most of the pictures I’d taken so clearly I had no idea what I was doing. For me the day I started seeing pictures as way of expressing myself is when I really started shooting. That was back in 2005 and my camera of choice was an impressive (for then) K750i phone.

How often do I shoot? 

Not often enough and I’m not talking about on a professional level. Personal projects are the ones that count and right now all of them are catching cosmic dust. In the past few years itself I’ve only shot for myself when I’ve traveled to other countries. When back in Dubai the camera only sees speedlite when I’ve got work to do.

Why do I love photography? 

The adrenaline rush of watching nature, time, humans, my ego and/or any other external/internal factors ruin that perfect picture. It did start off as a mode to expressing me but then I realized that’s a boat ridden by too many. After surviving the HDR hole and the temptation of going paparazzi crazy, I took up the task of creating challenges for myself in the most mundane of photography opportunities. Challenges more often than not don’t seem to work out with results often falling short of expectations, infuriating the competitive nature in me. It makes work more interesting but has sucked the life out of personal projects due to mental fatigue that comes along with it. The trade-off has been slightly heart breaking but seeing how the quality of my work has improved relatively makes it worthwhile.

What gear do I own?

I married a gear freak which means to list the equipment we own would take a while. All that matters is that we’re still rocking the ageing 5D MKII and 7D.

Other than my camera, what piece of equipment couldn’t I live without?

My monopod. It makes a brilliant walking stick and can be modified into a weapon in case of a zombie attack.

Who are my biggest influences as a photographer? 

My wife Aasiya. If I’d been asked this question a year or so back then my answer would have been David Hobby and Zack Arias. Coming from the school of thought of minimalistic equipment, it was an eye opener to shoot with Aasiya who was the complete opposite. After various arguments and compromises; I learned to appreciate her way of thinking and managed to experience photography in a way alien to me. It was liberating and filled my head with ideas I didn’t have the sense of adventure to execute. I became a better photographer.

What’s my best advice for someone starting out?

Spend all your savings on the costliest of photographic equipment that man has created and then brag about it to every one you know. And don’t forget about adding that hipster tag to your kit with a film camera that you only shoot B&W on. That’s what many want to believe is the doorway to taking mind boggling photos. If that’s your focus then you can ignore the next paragraph.

The truth is, our life is full of moments and objects that we see and feel on a daily basis. Things we take for granted and to a certain extent have become so inconsequential that they don’t even leave an impression in our mind. A million photo opportunities that we just walk right by. Instead take a moment to pause, maybe rewind and capture things your may have otherwise ignores. You’ll be surprised by what you see.