For Abbas Baig, a successful photographer who was once an engineer, photography is not only his profession, but also his passion and emotion. Believing that ‘only dead fish go with the flow’, he refused to be a part of the herd and decided to swim against the tide and pursue his calling
In an interview with Bizzfed,he talks about his journey, transition, and his love for self expression that made him what he is today.
1)What was your career path? How did you get from being an engineering student to an established photographer?
What you’ve seen till now is that photographers begin their journey when they get their first camera, but my story is a little different. I didn’t have a camera when the enthusiasm for photography took over me.
I was used to seeing the world in a different way. I used to look at people’s feet, observe faces in the crowd. Never really understanding what this world is about, I wrote about it so that it would make sense to me. When it finally did, there was so much more to it than just inked letters. So I started capturing it on film rather than on paper.
People borrowed cool stuff from their friends but I borrowed a camera.
After completing my engineering I gave an entrance exam for Photography in Jamia Millia Islamia Delhi. I got in and then pursued photography for a year, even though I didn’t have a camera during that period too. Soon,I started working commercially by renting equipment and got a different set of eyes i.e my very own camera in 2015.
Well, I won’t call myself very established yet, because for me establishment isn’t something that I can find just next door. I’ve to work hard, give my best, and let’s see how much forward I can take my ideas in RGB.
2)When/how did you discover your calling?Was the transition easy?
It was second year of my engineering when I started taking photography very seriously. Not many people knew about this at that time but photograpny was brimming curiosity in me.
I don’t know what was in this art that i couldn’t resist.
The transition wasn’t easy at all. I faced so many issues, I’ve gone through so many ups and downs that I can’t share here. My parents never wanted me to be a photographer. The most difficult part for me was to convince them, though later they understood me and started supporting me.
Whatever it is now, I’m totally satisfied with my life and with what I’ve chosen.
3)What influenced you the most?
Influenced me? Well, what influences me the most is “Myself”. I compete with my own self. I always seek to capture a better click than the previous one and thereby, I continue challenging my own skills.
Though there are some great photographers and when you look at their clicks, you don’t want to go back to speaking again. Some of them are Sir Steve McCurry, He does travel photography and Sir Vneet Vohra who does street photography, which is another popular genre that photographers from urban areas follow. Then there is Michael Shainblum for Landscape photography who sweeps you into a different world of green, blue and yellow.
4)Exactly what it is you want to say with your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that?
I roam into places and observe surroundings, people and their emotions. I always try to connect elements with each other in my pictures, whether they’re humans, birds, animals, trees ,or even simle objects. My simple funda is to bring out emotions from every element that comes in the scope of my camera lens.
5)What kind of gear do you use? (Camera body –
Camera bag –
Mention others, if any.)
Though cameras and other gears don’t matter much in the genres of photography which I do most but if you need to get technical-
Camera body – Canon 70d.
Lenses -Canon 18-13mm, canon 50mm f/1.8
Tripod – I use tripod of manfrotto.
Flash – I use simplex VT531 flash..
Filters – I don’t use any filter for now
Bag – I carry my equipments inside the bag of Jealiot brand.
6)Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?
There is a photograph of a Father and a child which I captured after a few days of buying my first camera. It was captured on Alvida Juma at Firoz shah, New Delhi. It is my all time favorite photograph and I’m very attached to that one. The story behind the photograph is very touching and the emotions captured in that picture remind me of my relationship with my Father who means the world to me
This picture is not something I clicked just for my collection. I’m glad because in this ever-changing world, I caught this moment still and captured what’s in it.
7)What are your future plans?
My heart is filled with really fascinating dreams after overcoming the things I’ve faced in my life but for now, my only goal is to work hard selflessly and give in my best behind my camera. Whatever the result will be, knowing that it came from me, I’ll be totally satisfied with that.
I would say to my fellow mates that carry your camera and step of your home and wallk, explore, and capture while you can. You have no idea what this clock is ticking away from you. Those little emotions, the people around, they are trying their best to be their best selves and it wouldn’t hurt to capture this in a frame.
Don’t run and catch up with the sun, catch up with what you are missing, catch up on those little moments that make up your life. A day at a time.
Remember, a picture in your camera’s storage is better than a moment long gone in your heart.
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