TPL: Ahsanul please tell us about yourself. When did your journey into photography begin?
AHF: Just call me Fahim! I am currently 25 years of age. I am from Bangladesh, coming from a small town named Brahmanbaria. Talking about the surrounding environment it is not that artist friendly or you can say photographer friendly. It possess kind of conservativeness, religious conservativeness in that sense. So the society here doesn’t provide open window, scope of encouragement for artistic minds.
Obviously you may wonder how I get myself into the field of photography! In fact photography isn’t something that comes by default to me. My family and I didn't have any involvement with camera whatsoever. It never was my first choice. Digging more into my past, back into my teenage years, I wasn’t serious about life and future planning. I aspired to be a cricketer. Cricket was my sole passion. Time passed by, I finished high school and took admission into college. Those were the early years of smartphone evolution in my country. I am talking about early 2014, when the smartphone took over the market by storm. I also had my first smart phone around that time. With the smartphone there comes the camera. There were few friends of mine who were very into mobile photography, and were able to blur the background using just a smartphone camera. I regarded it very cool at that time. They always took those snaps tentatively showing me whether I could capture a few similar to that. It was kind of throwing a challenge to me. That’s how I got involved in taking pictures, with mobile phone snaps.
Yes, you could undoubtedly find tons of flaws in these photos, but those were the images that ignited the fuel inside me. I had found my new interest in this form of photography. Few years passed by, it was 2016 and I completed my college studies. In between that time, an uncle came to visit with his camera and gave it to me for use. The camera was Sony Alpha A330 with a default kit lens. Getting the camera pushed me to uplift my photography level. Now, that I had a dedicated camera, it was time for me to get serious about photography. In order to master the skills in the field of photography, I needed academical knowledge in order to pursue.
Then comes the “Pathshala” chapter in my life. There is a senior brother from the neighborhood that suggested taking admission into “Pathshala South Asian Media Institution”. Based in Dhaka, the country’s capital, this particular institution is renowned to be the finest Photography and Cinematography learning institution of the country. I wasted no time to take admission. At the beginning it was a one month Basic Course in Photography. I wanted to pursue further to dive into the advance knowledge. I decided to take admission into the one year Professional Course in Photography. I submitted my portfolio and underwent face to face interview where thankfully I got selected and that is how my journey into photography began. It wasn’t easy for me considering the fact that I had to cross such long distance from my hometown to Dhaka by train in order to attend the classes. It was three day class in a week, and it was cumbersome, but my passion kept me going. There, I have learnt almost everything from basic to advance, most importantly they have taught me to develop pair of eyes to see stories. So you can conclude the one academic year that I have passed there has shaped my life into photography.