I'm excited to feature one of my favorite photographers -- Nazir Ekhlass.
Nazir lives in Kabul and uses his camera to capture modern-day life in Afghanistan...
Cendrine Marrouat: What inspired you to become a photographer? Any particular story?
Nazir Ekhlass: I have always been interested in arts and music. I can clearly remember my childhood, making sketches and cartoons, and my parents saying "Outstanding job, you have drawn this house in a perfect way." They always have encouraged me with anything I started.
One day, dad brought a camera home and the moment I held it, it felt amazing.
CM: What is your favorite subject to photograph?
NE: Portraits, they are more meaningful and more attractive than any other subject.
CM: What makes a good photo?
NE: That is a very hard thing to answer for a photographer who has never studied photography professionally. But to the best of my little knowledge, I think photography rules never make a photo perfect. The one which grabs the attention of the viewer, makes them gaze upon it for a while, and lose themselves in the eyes of the person in the image is indeed the best photo.
CM: What is the photo you prefer in your portfolio? Why?
NE: I have many photos that I personally love but the one named (Oblivion) is my favorite of all. Why? Because in a way, it teaches me to be happy. These 3 young sisters are teaching me that we don’t need luxury, money or fame to be happy.
CM: Any photographer you admire?
NE: All the photographers who did war photography during World War II and those who still do it. How can you be in a war zone capturing amazing photos with perfect composition while most of your attention is towards the fact that you should stay alive?
Apart from war photographers, I can say Mr. Steve McCurry is a person I admire.
CM: What piece of advice would you give photographers who are starting with online promotion?
NE: When I first started 8 or 9 years ago, there were very few photographers in my country (Afghanistan). Now we have hundreds of pages. Even though those photographers are new, they are all very good.
I think photographers should get out of their comfort zone and explore new fields of photography. They should stop using cell phones and start using manual. They can also try to shoot portraits if they always have been shooting landscape.