sumaya portrait

It has been over a year since I bought my camera. I’ve been interested in photography for a couple of years. But my dedication to really learning photography and knowing the technical tidbits to figure out how an image comes together didn’t start before I had bought my first digital SLR.

Sadly, lately I’ve noticed, I haven’t practiced photography as much as I’d like to. I’ve spent countless hours, day and night, reading photography books, watching videos, learning the camera gear, actually investing into buying a number of lenses (I own four as of now), and whatnot.

But I haven’t taken as many pictures.

The other day I sat down and started thinking hard, why have I not taken a lot of pictures? The answers came almost immediately. There are a number of reasons why I haven’t. Biggest of them being the simple fact that I don’t know a lot of people.

Before you start wondering why I need to know people to shoot photos, I should tell you again that I’m not good at photographing nature, street, landscape or anything. I have given a lot of tries to shoot those stuff but I really failed. People photography is the only thing I’ve tried and actually enjoyed (despite some frustrations, like when I like one type of editing and they like another). The only photographs that people around me enjoyed are the portrait ones, too; leading me to believe that that is what I should pursue.

Except that I don’t know a lot of people.

I don’t see any immediate change happening to that, but I plan on trying to shoot a lot of people anyway. I like to shoot strangers, but you can probably guess the bravery it takes to walk up to a stranger and ask to take a photo (and then explain why so) does not exist in me. Plus it’s more terrifying to do that in Bangladesh because people here aren’t that approachable and very privacy-aware, and for good reason.

How I’m going to execute my plans in the new year to shoot more portraits of people is still a mystery to me. I just hope that I don’t spend the entire 2015 trying to come up with ways. I’ve got enough lenses and a good enough camera. The next year, I want to shoot photos so that I don’t regret not taking pictures next December.

In the meantime, I’ve opened a Facebook page called AIS Pictures for my photographs following the trend. I haven’t created one until recently because I wanted to get better at it before opening up Facebook. But some friends told me I needed to have a Facebook presence as most people check out Facebook pages and not Flickr or 500px.

Plus, I don’t upload all the pictures on Flickr and 500px. So I guess I could try the page and upload every picture that I like. If you’re reading this, you’re very much invited to Like my new page and inspire me to reach my goal. 🙂

And if you’re into photography as well, do let me know what are your photographic goals for the new year?

7 thoughts

  1. Hi Aminul,

    Thanks for stopping by my blog the Diced Imagery Project. I think you are being pretty hard on yourself considering you have only been doing this for a year. I have been at this for over thirty years and I still learn new things! I hope the following comments can get you making the images you are seeking.

    Failing sucks but if you know you failed you probably also know why and how to do better next time, so keep failing and getting better, image after image.

    People are going to say no when you approach them with a camera, even if you know them well. They are also going to say yes but you will never know unless you ask. Keep asking and remember that “no” is not about you.

    Start with one very patient person and photograph them again and again with each of your lenses, at different angles, with different lighting. Take your time, make it a year long project and incorporate the seasons. You will have two things at the end, a diverse folio of images and an understanding of that very patient person that goes beyond their role as your subject. It will teach you more than having 100 people just sit for you.

    Finally, with portraiture, observation comes first, then the connection with the subject. The camera always comes last. When you see someone, think about what is drawing your attention to them. Is it their appearance or curiosity about what they are doing? Is it the light falling where they are sitting or standing? Those may act as cues for when you introduce yourself and engage with the person you want to photograph. Once you have that connection, then introduce the camera into the conversation you are having with your subject.

    All the best in you endeavours for 2015



    1. Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for your comment. It was really helpful. I haven’t thought of having one person and photograph them from all possible compositions! It could really work!

      Occasionally I feel frustrated not because I haven’t figured out photography yet, I know it’s an eternal thing! Nobody can ever be master of photography. What frustrates me is when I see I’m not doing or not able to do anything with photography. That often happens simply because I do not have anyone to photograph.

      Let’s just hope I can find that one person to carry on my experiment in 2015. 😀


      1. Hi Aminul, glad I could help!

        Reading some of your other posts I’m thinking that your writing could play an important part in developing you photography. What if you incorporated more photography into the journalism work you do? Or use writing rather than photography to engage with people?

        By the way, there is no rule to say that patient person I mentioned cannot be you. Nothing wrong with self portraits…




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