This year’s winner of the IMAGO photography scholarship - an open call for emerging photographers and students from around the world, Hafsa Javed talks about her street photography from her home in Pakistan.
The Pakistan-based, student photographer, awarded for her natural ability to offer a window into the streets of home says that she entered the scholarship to further her career. Her work, with its ability to immediately catch the viewer’s attention and distill daily life in striking tones – alongside her testimonial and reason for entering landed her the winning position.
We spoke to Hafsa about her work, her dreams for the future and the inspiration behind her photography in a little more detail.
Do you already have plans for what you will do with the scholarship?
I’ve been using a beginner’s camera for a very long time so I’ll buy a professional camera & get enrolled in a course that will enhance my skills as a photographer.
What excites you about photography?
The fact that it encapsulates moments like a treasure and the only thing that remains constant while the world keeps changing, is quite exciting and fascinating.
How did you start out in photography?
I got a camera with no passion for photography, honestly, but the more I used it, the more I understood how powerful and versatile of a tool it is.
What would you like to achieve with your photography?
I have seen how when stories are documented and presented we’ll have the ability to change lives, if not others then at least ours. I aim to bring that change through my work.
What topics are you most interested in?
Documentaries, portraits of all sorts, film. In general, I would say, anything that’s even slightly related to art or culture.
Do you have a favourite motif in front of the camera?
People and animals, places that are culturally concentrated. Sometimes I wish I had a camera instead of eyes so I was able to capture everything in the world.
Your photos give an impressive insight into the life around you and create a vibrant atmosphere through a play of colors and compositions. How would you describe your creative style in your own words?
I have never limited myself to one specific genre, I like to learn whatever there is to learn about photography, so my style is quite experimental and creative.
What influence do your environment and the people around you have on your work?
We all know how the photography side of the world has always been heavily male-dominated and it still is, so to be surrounded by family, friends, and followers who not only support me but believe in my success and talent has motivated me to constantly improve and strive for more!
What do you want to express with your pictures?
I want it to express things as they are, just through my eyes, sometimes loud, sometimes vibrant, sometimes entangled, confusing, unfinished, etc.
Do you have a source of inspiration for your photography?
I think I’m someone who is quite observant so I find inspiration everywhere ie: life experiences, emotions, stories of others, etc.
Is there anyone in the field of photography that you look up to?
My fellow women photographers. This field has been heavily dominated by men for years, so it’s the women in this field who I look up to – not just because of their gender but because their work is commendable and they have worked twice as hard to make it to the top.
What does social media mean for your photography and does it have an influence on your work?
I’m not just a photographer but a multi-disciplinary artist as well, so I knew I had to create a platform for myself to put all my skills/ talents out there, and luckily I’ve mostly only received love and appreciation.
How would you like your photography to develop in the coming years?
I want to create things, present stories that people remember, stories that change lives. I’d also want myself to be confident enough in my work that I’m able to teach others.