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.
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.
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.
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