Twenty-two year old Hafsa started taking pictures early in 2012, when her parents gave her her first digital camera. At first she took photos of everyone and everything, but it wasn't long before the street became her passion and inspiration; capturing the raw human elements and revealing an extra layer of the personality of her subjects.
Thanks for taking time out from your studies Hafsa. How and when did you start taking photographs?
My love for photography started in early 2012, when my mum and dad got me my first digital camera. At first I took pictures of anything and everything, from coffee mugs to embarrassing mirror pictures, and my initial passion for photography even waned for a while as I jumped onto other hobbies such as art and writing. But one summer I picked up the camera again, started snapping and quickly became extremely inspired by the streets and street photography.
Why street photography in particular?
Street photography just feels right. Street photography shows the real personality of someone; the strong exterior that most people portray often cracks when photographs are taken of them, and it often captures raw human elements that we wouldn't generally see. With street photography you notice details; minute details of everyday streets that would normally go unnoticed, for example patterns on a wall or how shadows fall on buildings, or little details of everyday people and the everyday hustle and bustle of the city. Street photography catches people's raw emotions, the kindness of strangers, or the most unpredictable moments that can perfect a photograph.
How did this develop?
I initially started very easyily and just roamed around small area of a particular location trying to find subjects, patterns or something that catched my eye. As I developed so I became more and more creative, looking around and saying to myself; “this would be such a good photograph.” I also came up with ideas for photo-shoots, set ups for photographs, costumes and themes that I wouldn’t have even thought of before. Each moment on the street is different and there are endless opportunities and possibilities with street photography; it lets me jump into my creative zone and now all I think about is how to get the perfect shot, and how I can improve. Photography is constant learning and improving and experimenting. It is also challenging, humbling and frustrating.
Do you plan a shoot?
Yes, sometimes! Sometimes if I have specific ideas and shots in my head, then I try and plan everything days before a shoot and consider factors including location, subject, setting. But other days it’s very spontaneous; I'll just decide to take a walk somewhere and then I find I am often surprised with a shot or something that catches my eye. I love the unpredictability, which is often the beauty of street photography.
Do you have a favourite location?
The images I mostly enjoy taking are of people during their daily lives walking around in a market or casually strolling the streets.
What else do you love about photography?
I love seeing the expressions of the people I shoot. I love seeing how different people react to having their picture taken, how their emotions differ and how they feel about their picture. Also, I love going through my old photographs and seeing how far I have come and how I have changed creatively. This really motivates me.
Have you exhibited any of your images?
Even though I haven't been a photographer for very long, I find it surreal that three of my photographs have been posted at the Muharraq Heritage Festival, 2018, one was selected for the Bait Al Salmaniya Iftar exhibition, 2018 and three of my photographs were selected at the Manama Through The Lens exhibition held at Bab Al Bahrain, 2018, Also, a lot of photographs are reposted by sekkamag and fotobh on Instagram.
What are your plans for the future with regards to photography?
My goals and plans for the future are to learn, develop and grow as a photographer, and to travel the world photographing different cultures and people!!
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