By: Liam & Jeila
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that are gone forever, impossible to reproduce.” ― Karl Lagerfeld
Dorothea Lange once said that “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.” Indeed so true. Nowadays photography is the hip profession. Every person who has the desire to take photos and has a little bit of money to buy a camera jumps onto this profession. But let’s admit, photography is a genuine art. It’s the art of keeping lost and gone moments. And if you really want to gain the title of a good photographer you really need to work hard and put all your passion and desire into this craft. You have to understand your subject well.
We rapidly become familiar with those photographers that mesmerize us with their work. This art touches our heart in profound ways; I wanted to introduce you to the 27 year old Farshad Abubakar, who is a self-taught photographer from India and pursued this dream since he was 16. Using his dad’s camera he began in the most humble of ways. Today an official photographer of the famous football team in Dubai – Al Shabab as well as the Mercedez Benz Fashion Week Doha, Farshad has turned ripples into waves!
In speaking to him, passion to photography is undeniable. Hard to stay indifferent to his love of photography, my inner journalist woke up, and I turned our conversation into an interview.
Farshad, do you remember what was your first camera?
– Oh, how can I forget? I still remember the first camera that fascinated me every time I held it into my hands. It was my dad’s camera, Yashika film camera. And I have always volunteered to be our family photographer on all occasions. There’s real emotion that comes into photos, people trying to give their best smile, look, pose, etc. And I thought that this is the most genuine moment you can capture.
As a photographer what/who do you like to photograph most?
- I am a sports lover. And my favorite sport is football. So I love sports photography. But fashion photography is intriguing me as well. Currently I am a photographer in Al Shabab football team of Dubai.
As the players are constantly in motion, does that present challenges for you?
- I must admit, it is hard. As they are moving fast and you have to take sharp photos. But I like it very much. As I am observing them (players) during the game through the lens, I am witnessing the changing experiences on their faces. Angry, excited, happy, nervous, sad emotions… And that inspires me to work hard and to do my best and do them justice.
What is your biggest challenge in photography?
- In fashion photography I am free as a bird and everyday I have different characters, locations or occasions to capture. But in sports photography I have limitations, I have to try hard to put my creativity on to my work. And usually I am taking photos of the players during the game and after the game, taking their portrait photos. But how could you expect to be an accomplished and successful photographer or a person, without facing the challenges?
A portrait photo describes a person’s character. When you take portrait photos, how do you prepare to fully describe the subject’s character?
- Portrait photography is really important. It’s not only taking a good picture of the person. It’s to gather every detail about that person on a single picture. And I think that portrait photos are the ideal when they are being captured in black and white. One of my favorite photographers Ted Grant has a perfect quote that I think should be a motto to any photographer: “When you photograph people in color, you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in Black and white, you photograph their souls!”. For taking a portrait photo you have to be really patient. You have to wait for the right moment and focus on your target. And that right moment is, when the person feels him or herself the most comfortable and confident. Then you can catch the right moment and to make that moment immortal with a simple click. 🙂
As photographers are the best observers, do you think they read people easier?
- To a certain point yes. I mean, when you are photographing someone, and the person is aware of this action, you are receiving what she or he gives to you. That’s why I love to take photos without being noticed. Not in a stalking way of course, LOL. But I love to observe people from afar. To see their feelings in their eyes. To make assumptions about their lives. That way, I am teaching myself to read people. Trying to reveal their hidden emotions and to transfer these emotions into my work.
Tell us a bit about the gear you use.
- Currently I use Nikon D4 and 300 + 24-70 and 70 200 lens
I know that working with a football team, requires a lot of travelling as well. So when you are travelling along with the team, what are your must haves?
- Of course a camera is a must, I also take my tripod, lens, cables and a memory card along with my camera.
Which is your favorite lens and why?
- 70-200. It’s sharp and I use it almost for any situation. And there is 24-70 lens that I carry everywhere with me. It’s awesome.
Among the gadgets that you own, is there something that you wish you hadn’t bought?
- To be honest, no. Because I am doing a lot of research and development before I decide to buy anything. It’s an investment.
What is the biggest component that affects your work?
– Actually everything depends on light. But I usually go with F4 1000 Iso, 1500 shutter speed
white balance auto, auto focus, Jpg for sports, raw for fashion and portrait.
Are your friends always hitting you up for cool photos of them?
- Oh yes, Always! I love to take their photos though 🙂
How do you keep learning your field?
- I have never attended any courses. I have and I am practising a lot. And I am educating myself with the critics of people and I always ask for advices from the successful photographers.
Whose work has influenced you most?
- I am really being fascinated by the work of Robert Beck and Dave Black. They are both well-known sports photographers.
What is your goal?
- My goal is to photograph the players of my favorite club, the FCB, Barcelona football club.
Among your works, which one is your favorite?
- Some photographer (unfortunately I don’t remember the name) once said that “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.” Believe me it’s true. And any photo that I can express the true feelings of my let’s say hero is my favorite. 🙂
Since you are a fashion photographer as well, do you love fashion? Who is your favorite designer? And which brands do you like most?
- As you can guess I love sports style and my favorite brands are Nike and Jack and Jones and I always prefer to shop from that brands. Albeit I am not into high-end fashion, but I do love any design that Karl Lagerfeld does. He is really a true inspiration.
And the last question, what fascinates you in photography?
- Beauty and the immortality of the moment. I think that photography is magic. You can forget everything, but not the feelings. So even after the years passed, when you look at the picture, you remember every single detail of that day, and every ounce of your emotion.