Thank you Md. Enamul Kabir for being the honourable Guest Mentor of In-Street Monthly Thematic Contest, November 2018.
We are very happy to publish an exclusive interview with Md. Enamul Kabir to know his view and approach to Street Photography.
– Please tell us a bit about yourself and How did you start in photography?
[Kabir] I am Md. Enamul Kabir from Bangladesh. I grew up in a town called Kotchandpur. It’s a small but beautiful town. Now I live and work in the capital city, Dhaka.
Never have I ever imagined that I’ll be walking around with a camera, stopping at irregular intervals, snapping photos left and right; never had any interest in photography.
At the end of 2012, I was unemployed and struggling to find a job. The local photography club used to make quite lot field trips. I’d tag along, visiting different places, mostly to kill time. I was actually hoping someone will take a good portrait of me and I can use that on my FB profile.
One fine evening on such a photo-walk, I took a snap with my phone, just for fun. The scene was so serene and beautiful that it immediately grabbed my senses. Later, I met a photographer named Imtiaz Alam Beg, whose words inspired me to get behind the lens. Now, I can’t take my eye of the viewfinder, it seems.
– What makes street photography so special for you and what according to you makes a good street shot?
[Kabir] Street photography always attracts me. There is always uncertainty and suspense, which I like most, because I don’t know what will happen in next second. It is not like other photography that anyone can do, because I do not have any preset photo in my mind that I will take, or how my photo will look. For me Street photography is not making a pictorial photo and that is the challenge. Most days I come home with Zero decent photos but Street photography helps me to learn how to be patient, how to be positive and keep smiling, not only in photography but also in my personal life.
– These days we are so much bombarded with information and have masters images we look at on the internet for reference. So how does it affect when we are on the streets, how can we try to be original in our approach?
[Kabir] To be honest what we are taking now-a-days, it’s already done many days back and we are just trying to create replica. For me it’s a positive thing that we are able to see so many works which is of course inspiring. No one can really copy other’s visuals or inner feelings, even if you try to do you will not walk a long way. Masters’ images help us to see things more widely, help to lean & understand many good things. When I saw first time Raghu Rai’s Kolkata book my way of thinking has changed but my approach is still same as I always do. It’s positive for me.
– Tell us about your approach on the streets.
[Kabir] I never worry about my photographs when on the street rather I always worry about my enjoyment. Love to talk, eat and see everything. What I believe I will be there when the moment will happen and if I miss the visual I do smile and tell myself that was not for me. I shoot everything that looks interesting to me: from decisive moments to a portrait of a dog.
– Projects or single images?
[Kabir] Project. Single image is fine but project is great. You will learn a lot of things when you will focus on a long term work. It looks like the TEST CRICKET where lies the beauty of the Game.
– The important lesson you’ve learned being a street photographer.
[Kabir] Never stop DREAMING, never lose HOPE!!
– What advice would you offer any aspiring street photographers?
[Kabir] Just enjoy the walk, forget about the word Street Photography. Do not shoot what and how everyone else shoots. When you have to, shoot the same subjects in such a way that has never seen/done before.
– Your favourite photographers and any reference books?
[Kabir] The favorite list is too big. Imtiaz Alam Beg, Suvomoy Mitra, Raghu Rai, Raghu Bir Singh, Trent Parke, Elliott Erwitt, William Klein, Bruce Gilden, Masahisa Fukase – just to name a few. It is an ‘experience’ to view their works.