Interview With Ahsan Qureshy

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Q: What does photography mean to you?

It’s very hard to construe what photography means to me. Photography is my solace. It’s my escape from the world. Nothing makes me feel calmer and at ease than when I have my camera in my hand. That’s probably why I am such a workaholic; it’s in my work that I find the most contentment. 

Q:Why did you choose to pursue a career as a photographer? Was choosing this path an easy decision to make? 

I’ve been passionate about capturing moments for as long as I can remember.  I remember taking photos with a small digital camera and started developing an interest in photography. Initially I was in a dilemma of whether I wanted to go into production, direction or the limitless other options the media industry has to offer, however my affinity and capability for photography made my decision easy. Raised in a family of Lawyers, Engineers and Doctors, being the first to go towards arts and media was a difficult decision to make however I had complete support and encouragement from my immediate family to follow the path that I was enthusiastic about. 

Q: How would you describe your photography style? 

I don’t believe in having a set pattern or style when it comes to photography. I believe that photography is about creation. Before I sleep I often create images in my head, think about the different compositions, angles, lighting, props I can use to make my photos stand out and am constantly thinking about ways to better myself. While standard patterns aren’t an option, I do have preferences for example when covering events I love to take candid shots. 

Q: Where do you get your creative inspiration?

The whole world is a muse for an artist, with its limitless splendor. Everywhere I look I find creative inspiration. I believe that each person has individuality, which should reflect in his or her work. While being inspired by other people is all right, each person should have their own uniqueness. 

Q: What makes a good picture stand out from an average picture? 

A lot goes into play when taking a perfect photograph. Along with a skilled photographer, ideal lighting, experienced makeup artists, good props, background and so many more things matter when trying to get an ideal photo. 

Q: Amongst your work which one is your favorite? 

I’ve given my heart and soul to every single project I’ve done. It is very difficult for me to choose my favorite. Every picture I have taken is distinctive in its own way and hence meaningful for me.  

Q: How do you educate yourself to take better photos? 

Just like everything else in the world, the dynamics of photography are ceaselessly being upgraded. To keep up, it is highly necessary for me to constantly stay updated. I read books about photography and along with that the Internet is an excellent source of learning; I’ve learnt countless different techniques from the web. An experienced photographer should know how to read photos; the composition, colors and subject matter are studied in depth to gain a better understanding. I regularly practice ‘reading’ photographs, which has assisted me to become proficient at my job. 

Q: What details do you believe make the best photographs? How do you focus them in your work? 

The details are flexible; they change when the subject of photography changes. For instance if I am doing food photography, my main focus is on lighting and textures. 

Q: Tell us about your experiences during wildlife photography.  

I have very limited experience in wildlife photography, however I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each wildlife project that I’ve had a chance to do. Wildlife photography requires immense patience; it can sometimes take days or weeks to get the perfect shot. With all other types of photography we can always tweak things according to our liking and requirements however for wildlife we are completely dependent upon nature. An unforgettable wildlife photography experience was a few years back in the Thar Deserts with a close friend and mentor, Yousaf Fayyaz. Walking in the midst of a jungle in the desert, two horses a mother and its foal, came charging at us, however they stopped mid way and started posing for the camera. The photos of the two horses are still one of my favorites to date. 

Q: What are the most difficult aspects of professional fashion photography? 

The most problematic thing about fashion photography, especially in Karachi, is the lack of locations. A stunning location can be one of the most important aspects when capturing a fashion shoot. We are either restricted to a handful of sites, which is not easy to get access of most of the time or we have to rely on indoor shoots requiring art direction to create a good fashion campaign.   

Q: What is one photography project that you would like to achieve in the near future? 

In a span of around 6-7 years I have been lucky enough to be able to do countless ventures in almost all fields of photography and Alhumdulillah have had a chance to work on all the major projects Pakistan has to offer some of which include Hum Awards, Hum Style Awards, Bridal Couture Week, Miss Veet Pakistan. While I am grateful of all the opportunities I have received in Pakistan, I hope I get a chance to cover an international fashion shoot some day.  

Q: From wildlife, fashion, sports, food and more, you’ve truly explored different forms of photography. Which of these subjects are your favourite to photograph and why? 

My favourite subject to cover has always been food. I have the ability to be as creative as I like. I love playing with the textures and colours. I believe that food photography is the best subject to showcase my capability; it gives me the opportunity to deliver my ingenuity as a photographer efficiently. I constantly challenge to myself to make the food look as tempting and beautiful as I possibly can. 

Q: What is the most challenging part of being a photographer? 

People always assume that photography is child’s play and fail to understand how challenging it is to get the perfect shot. There’s a plethora of different aspects that needed to be controlled in order to get an impeccable photograph. 

Q: Is there any advice you’d like to give aspiring photographers? 

Keep working hard, stay updated and practice constantly. Wholehearted dedication and commitment to your work will lead to success.