Versatility spilling out of his pores, this week’s ‘Watch Out For’ features a young man who is driven, sharp, and innovative.
Adnan Faraz is a photographer, painter, graphic designer, and animal lover all rolled into a bundle of cheer. Previously studying Computer Engineering, after a University-level painting elective, Adnan quickly realized his heart yearned for more creative pastures.
He boldly made the move from Engineering to Graphic Design, convinced that that is where he would feel at home. And he does. Currently studying at SAE Institute in Dubai, Adnan finally has time for his passion: photography.
We caught up with him for a little tête-à-tête where he tells us what drives him, reveals his favorite 5 shots and gives us an insight into his process.
Here, we share his distinct still photography [since we don’t have enough space to feature all his diverse works], that you’d do well to borrow inspiration from. Take a look:
Who is your favorite photographer? Why?
At the moment, I find inspiration from all the legends out there such as Imogen Cunningham and Henri Cartier-
Bresson, but also from rising stars like Mark Seliger and Decio Araujo. I haven’t yet stopped learning from them and their work inspires me every day.
Each has their own way of bringing their photographs to life, like incorporating nature or mastering portraits or bending reality with abstract shots.
When approaching a photo series/shoot, what are the first things you do?
I have a growing collection of leather sketch books that I carry around with me at all times. Sketching allows me to easily remember the ideas and thoughts of how I’d like my shots to be. Before every shoot I spend a good long day sketching out poses, this makes shooting very quick as I can easily explain my vision to my subjects.
Can you breakdown your top 5 shots for us?
A year ago, I came across the technique of multiple exposure, it is a fascinating form of photography that allows one to create surrealist images – it took me a few attempts, but this is by far my most cherished piece.
Several years ago, I had worked on yet another experimental set of images that I never published called ‘Generation’. This album was my way of studying and portraying how close we are as family; the images are of a father and son, and two sisters meshed together. This combined my love for both photography and graphic design.
Another set I worked on for a rising Middle Eastern break dancer revolved around the most interesting collaboration. We spent the better half of an entire day trying out different locations and poses. This shot shows my love for the abstract while representing the hip-hop break dancing nature of my subject.
A year ago, I took a photography trip to my homeland, Bangladesh – the country where I was born. I spent about 2 weeks moving between states in an attempt to reach out to very distant relatives and friends.
I was surprised to find a man who had served my mum her high school lunch, still living out his days in an old cafeteria while continuing to serve an entirely different generation of students. What was even more surprising was that he recognized me as my mum’s son and even remembered her name. It’s been decades, but he never forgot.
After a warm cup of tea on a cold morning with him I asked to take a photograph of him. He was very happy to be a part of it.
Most recently, I collaborated with a model from New York for whom I took multiple shots with varying styles. This particular shot was a very exciting one as I had to restrain myself to the edge of a pier over fairly deep water, dangling in the wind with all my equipment, just hoping none of it gets wet. This shot gave me chills when it was done.
How would you describe your photography style?
I’d like to think of my style as incorporating both graphic design and photography techniques. Besides the standard work that everyone does, I spend a lot of time on experimental shots – things that you can’t find tutorials on, things that one has to figure out for oneself.
Apart from social media, what do you do to stand out as an artist on digital platforms?
I’m still learning, and that’s the best part, but in order to reach out to a growing audience I have maintained a blog, a Behance portfolio, a Facebook page, an Instagram page and a website where people can easily reach me. It’s become a necessity to maintain a social media presence and I’ve received very positive results from keeping my accounts up to date.
To see more of Adnan’s work, take a look at his Facebook page here.