To capture a moment in time in a manner that is more than just eye-catching is a different kind of talent. To bring about conversations, to let people to in on its story, and to have the capacity to incite a new feeling — that’s what photography is capable of doing.
Beyond the seemingly simple portraits and sceneries, there is a lot more to discover and understand, and photographer Imdad Barbhuyan encapsulates just that. With a subtle sense of calmness in his works, Imdad also succeeds in presenting things in their most beautiful form. The process to reach that stage, however, is quite different from what one would imagine. “The starting point is always a clear enough vision of how I want the final imagery to look like, but photography always comes last because what I derive the most pleasure from is the process of getting ready,” Imdad elaborates.
An important characteristic of Imdad’s photography is the bevy of emotions it brings about. It is owed to the importance he places on it himself — “When I’m shooting people, I try to bring out their most natural instincts and emotions – aspects of our personality that consciously and sometimes unconsciously hide beneath the surface, or are lost with time.” Clearly, a photograph means more than the physical copy of a moment in time — it is the replication of the sentiments experienced, the reiteration of the motivation behind it, and maybe most importantly, it is the proliferation and growth of art.
One of what we believe to be Imdad’s standout series is ‘Benu & Janu’ where his mother and her sister seem to be recreating their tight childhood bond. Braiding each other’s hair, dancing together, and embracing each other in a much-needed hug may not be activities they indulge in together anymore. However, the series aptly captures what it once looked like. Needless to say, the photographs in the series must have surely brought about immense nostalgia for Benu and Janu, but, somehow, we feel it too.
“I am not interested in mastering the techniques or equipment of the photographic medium, I’m happy as long as people understand what the work is about and get a sense of the mood conveyed,” Imdad admits. This series, among his other work, is a testament to this, and quite honestly, we wouldn’t have it any other way!
Photography as a form of art that is undeniably powerful, and hence must be used mindfully. “Art, film, photography and music have always been the mirrors that reflect society and the culture of a certain time. It is imperative to be mindful about the kind of messages we are communicating because there’s always someone who wants to learn,” Imdad concurs. Art and expression are closely tied, indeed, and this relationship must be explored and not exploited. Having a medium available to you to narrate stories without saying a word is a gift the keeps on giving. Each picture that is put out to the world increases the potential for another being to experience a new feeling, learn an additional lesson or unlearn an outdated one.
“Of all those who encounter and engage with the work, if even one person seems to have the faintest idea of what the artist might have felt while making that work, that is a very humbling experience for the artist,” says Imdad as he sheds light on his perspective.
Looking at products of responsible and meaningful photography is a calming experience for most. Maybe it is so because our desire to witness certain things are only fulfilled through photography, or maybe the message embedded in the pictures strikes more than one chord in multiple people. Imdad Barbhuyan’s photography is the kind that does both. He believes that as humans, we all feel a lot of things and that making art is an act of putting some of that out in the world. His outlook, perspective, and incentives all stem from a place of love and positivity, and God knows we need some of that.
Describing the art of today, Imdad says, “Art is anything that inspires humans to feel and the artist is someone who facilitates this through their creation.” If the art created is anything like his photography, we would allow ourselves to simply feel all day.
You can find Imdad’s work here.
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