Photography has becoming popular in the world generally and particularly in Kurdistan. Previously, photography was only used for celebrities and famous actresses and actresses, yet many ordinary people are nowadays willing to take such photos for themselves.
However, despite of having many professional photographers in Kurdistan, society constrains photographers to expose their works to the society.
PUKmedia has conducted an interview with a Kurdish photographer Bawan Ihssan in Sulaimani City.
He has been working as a photographer for three years
Initially, he talked about the date he started working as a photographer and said: "It has been for three years I started working as a photographer, and it took me one year to get used to do the job, and it has been for two years I have officially working as a photographer in Sulaimani."
Society constrains photography advancements
Mr. Ihssan said that photography in Kurdistan is not very sophisticated. He added that social attitudes towards photography halt photography advancement. For example, it happens to take very good photo shoots that have special characteristics in, yet due to the society, you might not be able to publish them. Or, there are times when the person herself wants to take photo shoots in certain ways, yet due to her family and society, she would not choose such ways but rather a simpler ways of taking photos.
Photographers should set standard price for photos
On price matter of photos, Mr. Ihssan said: "we (photographers) are determining the prices of the photos, yet I believe that the photographers should come to an agreement to set standard prices for photo, but it should be in a way that does not undermine our art."
The importance of Social Media
Mr. Ihssan has taken many photos overseas and published them on his personal Facebook page. He says that the difference between abroad and Kurdistan is that if he takes such types of photos in Kurdistan, he cannot publish them due to society. He added that roughly 80% of the bride and groom do not accept to publish their photos on social media, while in Europe people demand to publish their photos as soon as possible.
A portion of Kurds do not have good idea about photography
He also says that in Europe there are positive criticisms and feedback, while in Kurdistan many give negative criticizes to the photographers and write negative comments on their published photos. He believes that the reason why those people write negative comments is due to their limited knowledge on photography.
He works alone
He says that he works alone, and he does not have a team to work with nor does he have an assistant..
In a response to PUKmedia question about whether there are people working with him to advertise for him. For example, PUKmedia asked whether he publishes certain photos to promote people to opt the same styles or not.
Mr. Ihssan said: "No I do not work this way; the people I take photos of are themselves calling me, and we, the photographer and the one who wants to take photos, decide which way the photos should be shot."
Taking photos of kids takes more time
PUKmedia interviewer asked him how he feels working with kids.
He says that that he enjoys working with kids, yet he needs more time to take photos of them than adults.
Photographers should work to promote photography rather than to uphold their reputation
His final comment was that he asked all the photographers to promote photography rather than to work becoming famous. Photographers should also set a standard price for photos so that they can have better statue of photography in Kurdistan.
Translated By Rizgar H. Qasim