Nihab Rahman, a multi-talented Bangladeshi documentary filmmaker and travel photographer, known for his ability to capture the essence of the places he visits and the people he encounters. His passion for storytelling through the medium of photography has taken him on innumerous adventures. Nihab’s work focuses on documenting the diverse cultures and traditions of the regions he explores, with a particular interest in capturing the beauty and resilience of the people he meets. Through his lens, Nihab brings to life the stories of the places he visits, leaving a lasting impression on all those who view his work. During an exclusive interview with TINDS, Nihab shared his story of coming this far and making a name for himself in the industry.
TINDS: Tell us a little about your childhood.
NIHAB: I was born and raised in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. I spent my entire childhood there. Like every other child I was into my studies but it was cricket that I was more interested in. I used to play a lot during my school days. I continued playing cricket for a very long time of almost 8 years and I intended to pursue this professionally.
TINDS: Words that describe you the best.
NIHAB: A traveler and a very good friend.
TINDS: How’d you get interested in photography? Tell us a little about the start.
NIHAB: I am very introverted as a person. Since I am from Cox’s Bazar, I always had access to the beaches and I loved watching the sunsets. Back then having a smartphone or a mobile with a camera wasn’t as normal as it is today, however I got my hands on one which I used to take photos of the sunsets. I posted them on Instagram. It was because of the hashtags that random people from around the world started commenting on my photos. It was back in 2015 when this started and I loved taking photos and posting them. Later in 2017, I took this very seriously and I guess decided to pursue this full-time.
TINDS: How’d you suddenly decide to pursue photography full-time?
NIHAB: Going back to 2015 when I just started doing photography till today, it wasn’t any single reason or person who has been an inspiration. It is instead a lot of photographers around the world whose works inspired me. Instagram, as a platform, inspired me a lot and helped me to meet and know so many people from different corners of the world and interact with them. I spent innumerous hours scrolling through Instagram, I saw travelers around the world doing what they love and thought to myself that I could perhaps do the same. It is definitely easier said than done, so I started documenting Cox’s Bazar in a different way that people haven’t witnessed before.
TINDS: Given the known South Asian culture, was your family supportive of what you do?
NIHAB: I could probably go on for hours if I am to talk about this particular issue. Keeping it short, the answer is a no and it’s still a no. Parents around Dhaka and other cities may have advanced a little knowing whatever that’s going on over the internet, and how social media is a huge thing right now. In comparison, people around a little less developed areas aren’t aware as much. My parents never stopped me from doing what I do, but there’s always been worries. I am grateful for everything they’ve done for me and provided me with.
TINDS: Which genre of photography are you most interested in?
NIHAB: I am a nature lover and I like to spend time with or around nature. My specific genre involves finding beautiful landscapes that visually attract other people. I like to explore landscapes and visually represent them through my lens.
TINDS: Tell us a little about your work experiences.
NIHAB: I worked for several humanitarian organizations and I have had the opportunity to work with Non-Profit organizations as well. I shared through my work how people benefited from different organizations and their projects. I have also had the opportunity to work with Samsung Bangladesh and Grameenphone. I have also had the amazing opportunity to work with dji, which has been great.
TINDS: Coming this far, what would you say your struggles have been?
NIHAB: Every individual has to go through different phases of struggles and one thing that’s for sure is that it’s never easy. Money is always an issue. People often see others and hope to be successful overnight. There are no specific guidelines to become a successful photographer and there’s nothing written about it anywhere that one might follow. Wanting to be a professional is okay, it is rather important to communicate. It is important to know about the community and be in touch with people who have been at it longer than they have been. There’s no harm in trying and no end to learning.
TINDS: What would be your advice to younger photographers?
NIHAB: There are a lot of controversies that beginners should avoid. It is always wise to not pay heed to anyone saying you can not do it. Being in the profession of art is never easy and there’s always going to be someone pulling you down. Everybody should deeply love what they do and believe in themselves. It is also important to not compare with others, a true artist is never in a competition. If you are focused on improving what you do, money will eventually come. It is absolutely important to love what you do to your fullest.
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