Interview with Babak Fatholahi

Babak Fatholahi is a Portrait Photographer. Born in 1990 in tehran-Iran,

Babak moved to Europe and after couple of years of practicing and working internationally, he started to work as a solo portrait photographer in 2013.

Since then his work has been published in countless art and fashion magazines.
For Babak, Photography is a crucial part of his life. In fact, a strong innate passion of his life, hence, he looks at it as a communication tool rather than considering it as a profession.Babak Fatholahi currently lives in Kiev- Ukraine.

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Babak Fathollahi

ZH: Tell us, when and how did you become interested in photography?

I went to the university when I was 18 like all my peers. Having passed several years of my life at the university I realized that this is not something that I love to do and I got no plans for future. The only thing that I loved to do was taking pictures with Nokia Cellphone which my family had recently bought it for me. But back then I only took a self-portrait and this was the beginning of a new chapter of my life. I gradually became fascinated by photography than ever before and I bought my first SLR camera with all my savings and my first attempt to become a photographer had begun. After a while, in my small studio which in fact was my room I began photographing with limited equipment and uploading my first works on photographic websites. I received admiration from a lot of people and photographers from around the world. Therefore, I have continued until this moment.

ZH: Before photography, did you do any other types of art to express yourself?

No, before shooting I was interested in movie and literature and I had not done any specific artistic activities prior to that. I remember from time to time that I used to collect a series of paintings and old photographs and archiving them for myself.

ZH: How would you describe your style?

Well, it is really hard to describe, but each picture represents a different story, different stories with different people, various emotions that are interwoven with light and color and eventually become a picture frame and a story that I make in my own way.

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Photo by Babak Fathollahi

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Photo by Babak Fathollahi

ZH: What inspires you and your work?

Most of my work inspiration comes from music, movie, worldwide photography masters, old paintings and anything that makes me get involved with a new topic.

ZH: The emotions that comes from your portraits is very strong. Where do you find your models? Are they fashion models, friends, total strangers or a mix of all?

I usually use ordinary people for portrait photography who are often friends and it has rarely occurred that I use professional models for portrait photo shoot.

ZH: How much do you see yourself through these portraits? 

Well, I would say the portraits I take are my inner sense and energy that exists and exchanges between me and the model at that moment in which I record and share it with my audience.

ZH: How important is Post-Processing to your works? How much technology do you use on your work?

We live in a period  that technology is advancing at such a fast pace. Obviously, part of my job is being done with computer and in my opinion post processing should be considered as an art and profession by itself.

ZH: Who is your role model photographer?

There are a few but Helmut Newton is the photographer who has always been a role model for me since I have a strong connection with his work and style. Other names are Richard Avedon, Paolo Roversi, Annie Leibovitz, Peter Lindbergh.

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Photo by Babak Fathollahi

ZH: When conceptualizing ideas for new photos, what is your creative process like?

Well, when I come up with a new idea, I will attempt to record it first, deliberate it for a few days, then examine it and once the final decision has been made I choose the proportional model, and then I begin the photo shoot. In fact, it is a multi-day process.

ZH: As a self taught photographer, if you want to give some advice to aspiring Photographers, what would you tell them?

I would recommend them first to have a good understanding of themselves and their abilities and find their own style and never give up.

ZH: Thank you for being with us at ZH.

Thank you, it was a pleasure chatting with you as well.

 

Interview by Ali Shahrokhi 

Special Thanks to Medea Mahmoudian

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