Big & Bright Photographers Part 2: Nadirah Zakariya

In this four-part series of Big & Bright Photographers, four shutter masters reveal the exact ways they evoke emotion in just one shot.

Introducing Nadirah Zakariya, Photographer.

Image: Nadirah Zakariya

When it comes to photography, what is your personal definition of “big and bright”?

Ideas! Before taking a photograph or beginning any project, the most essential part of image-making for me is getting inspired and thinking of new ideas. However, inspirations or fresh ideas do not come easy, therefore it can be toughest part of the process but I absolutely love it. I hope to always be inspired by the world around me.

You have quite personal projects like Thirty-two, GIRLHOOD and forget you not. How does the responses to such personal projects affect your approach to commissioned work?

The responses have been positive — which are very motivating! Through my personal projects, I have gotten offers to do commissioned works that fall under the similar themes such as sisterhood and women empowerment. I approach each project, commissioned or personal,  as a new challenge and strive to find new ideas to explore.

What are the fundamental differences of working on passion projects and commissioned work? Can you give us a little insight on where your headspace is, for different projects?

The main difference is when I am working on a personal project, it is about my own personal journey and growth, not only as an individual but also as an artist. The process is more organic as there isn’t a specific deadline. I will explore the topic until I feel ready to move on from it. Commissioned projects usually involves many people, so I have to find a middle ground and try to problem-solve so I do not have to compromise my creativity while delivering client’s expectations.

What are the other hobbies and passions of yours that keeps you continuously creative and inspired?

I love films! Whenever I get uninspired, I like to watch some of my favorite films to remind me why I love visual arts so much. Some of my favorite films include Heavenly Creatures, Happy Together, In The Mood For Love, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly, and Blue is The Warmest Color.

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