Hello Farah. Thank you for taking time to give us an interview.
As I know there was an exhibition where your work was featured. Can you please tell us a little bit about this exhibition?
Hello. The exhibition named “Zive” (“Clothesline” from Azeri) was arrange by VitArt group- a community of photographers founded in 2013. Being a founding member of this group, I took part in organization process as well. Zive is a photo-project, known worldwide, with an aim to unite photographer, both professionals and amateurs. Everyone was welcome to participate and to “dry” their photographs along with works of VitArt group members. The photographs were hang on a clothesline, clipped with clothes pin. It was a great fun when guests were allowed to pick and keep a photo they like most of all. Not a single photograph was left hanging on the clothesline.
How old were you when you first touched the camera?
I was fifteen years-old teenager when I was consciously holding a camera in my hands. It may sound strange, but before, I’ve never even thought about being a photographer and would have never imagined myself to become one.
Have you ever worked with a non-digital camera?
Yes! Moreover, I started using film camera a month ago and have just developed my first roll of film. My film camera is 14 years my senior! It is very exciting as you never know how the photographs look like until you have them developed.
What was your career path? How did you get from being an aspiring photographer to actually doing it full time, for a living?
I started as an event photographer in Gymboree Play and Music Baku when I was 17. It’s a lovely center for children from 0 to 5 years old. First time I did it for free, but then one of the parents suggested to pay for a print. This is how I started to sell my first photographs. During that time, i started to learn more about photography and was enrolled to some photography courses online. As my knowledge and experience grew, I was invited for interesting projects for different companies and magazines. Currently, I’m doing several projects for Silkway Group.
What technology/software/camera gear do you use to keep focused on what you do best, as you photograph?
Good question. Firstly, i’d love to point out that technology or equipment is just a mean of getting an image that was noticed by photographer’s eyes and enhanced in his/her mind. The more I photograph, the more i understand that the photo should be done right in the moment when you shoot, not afterwards during time-consuming processing. Surely, there are thing that you cannot change or eliminate during the shooting, and you have to retouch photographs to achieve the desired result.
What motivates you to continue taking pictures economically, politically, intellectually or emotionally?
I simply love doing it. Surely, it’s a pleasure to get paid doing the things you like, bu i believe that it’s emotional part that motivates me most of all. It is something that pushes me off my comfort zone. For the last 5 years, i’ve met a lot of different inspiring people and i’ve been to places i’d never imagine i could be in ordinary life.
There are so many photographers in Baku in now days. Every since person who holds a camera calls himself/herself a photographer. How are you different?
Every human being is unique, and I believe that every person sees the life differently. Photography is all about expressing your point of view by taking the photographs. Personal life experience plays an important role in photographer’s life. As regards me, i still continue my education in this field and i believe that i’d never stop learning photography. Some people say, that my photographs are recognizable and I’ve got a style.
How do you get the person, place or thing that is in front of the camera onto the film, chip or paper in just the way you want?
Couple of years ago I’ve learnt a trick that really works for me: making sketches of each frame you plan to take. Though i’m the only one who understands what these doodles stand for, it saves lots of my time when you have to take everything and everyone in front of camera under control.
Which photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, photographing, and career path?
I’m lucky to say that I’ve got so many tutors in this field. It all started with Fotoshkola.net online photography school. I’ve finished seven courses and have attended plenty of workshops arranged by this school, both online and offline. The other wonderful school is New York Institute of Photography. At present, I’m doing Complete Course in Professional Photography. For the last 5 years, I’ve met so many professionals, including mature photographers in Baku. I try to learn anything I can from each of them, and this name list is very long J
Exactly what it is you want to say with your photographs, and how do you actually get your photographs to do that?
Sharing love through photographs – this is how it sounds like. I love to capture happiness, smiles, love and sunlight.
What camera do you use? Which Brand and why? Do you think it plays a big role on the photos which brand you use?
I use several cameras from different brands at once. I use Nikon, Fujifilm and Olympus cameras. Honestly, it doesn’t really matters which brand you use, but once you’ve made a decision regarding the camera model, you are forces to purchase all other equipment suitable for this particular brand.
What would you suggest to the people who take photos and who want to become professional photographers?
Photography will take plenty of your time, good gear is usually costy, but it’s worth investing you time and money into it. First of all, you’ll need to invest it all into your education. Take experiments, find your own style and have a good time. You’ll start to think differently, and it will definitely change your life and bring lots of surprises. It’s really worth trying.
Thank you so much for your time. Good Luck to you in all of your beginnings.