Pictures and Words: Insight Collective

Tyler SimpsonCan you guys start by telling me a little bit about your collective? When did you guys decide to join forces?

Faisal Bin Rahman ShuvoWell, we have been planning for making street photography collective since 2015. In january 2016 we have finally established this collective. Me, Imam and Enamul were the three founding members. We three have been known to each other more two years and we call ourselves three street idiots of Bangladesh.

Md Enamul KabirAs Faisal said we were talking several times before formed this collective. a fear always knocked in our mind “How people react with collective, where SP is not much popular here in Dhaka” But finally we decided that we can take the steps. Who knows new generation will start liking SP. Truly saying a few young people doing well here.

Muhammad Imam Hasan: We are together for 1 year and we know each other by our photographs and then we met each other on streets of Dhaka. As Faisal and Enamul said at the end of 2015 we decided for Insight collective for spreading actual beauty of street photography and also for collection and showcase from common interest towards the community.

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Tyler Simpson: Haha, so did you guys know each other before photography or was that the common bond that brought you all together?

Md Enamul KabirWe know each other by photography.  I met Imam 1st time in FB as well as with Faisal.

Faisal Bin Rahman Shuvo: Well, we have bumped into each other through photography, then we found our interests in street photography. that is when we started going out together, which we still do. We found our interests are common that’s what kept us together.

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Tyler SimpsonIs there a lot of people doing street photography in Bangladesh?How do people respond to the three of you out together snapping away?

Faisal Bin Rahman Shuvo: Hmm! good question. No, street photography is very unpopular genre in Bangladesh. Here people do travel,documentary or lifestyle photography. So we haven’t met ourselves coincidentally, we have seen each other’s work before we met.

In Bangladesh, people are very friendly and they don’t complain if you shoot them without permission. so it’s not a big problem for us to go out and shoot in the streets.

Md Enamul KabirMaximum people think taking photo on street is a street photography. They mixed up SP and documentary.

Muhammad Imam Hasan: In bangladesh Documentary photography taken the leading  position and we got many international awards. Here people like to or habituated to capture lifestyle in documentary approach. What we 3 people is doing here is bit new to them but well accepted by the community. Now many young stars coming and SP is  becoming a larger community.

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Tyler SimpsonEven with Flash? I see you guys have started lighting it up recently!

Faisal Bin Rahman Shuvo: Yes, with flash too. Most of the time people don’t confront us at all. They usually will give you a nice smile if you shoot them, but sometimes we are confronted and asked why we are shooting like this, then we give them a smile and explain a little bit of why.

Md Enamul KabirWe found flash is interesting. People of Dhaka is not habituated with flash on street. It’s very fun when we shoot on street with flash. Their eyes become big and they always surprised what we are doing.

Muhammad Imam Hasan: Now It’s very foggy and low light all around the city. No hope for good light upto end of February. So we thought why we not try flash. We are enjoying flash. People here are habituated to flash or light setup in Weeding or in event. But sudden Harsh flash on them in street!!!!… ha ha ha.. they just jump out from scene with big eyes with wide open jaws. I did not face any serious talk with people till now. A sweet smile is my protector.

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Tyler SimpsonSounds like a Flashers heaven, I will have to go to bangladesh and shoot with you guys one day! Have any of you taken workshops in street photography?

Muhammad Imam Hasan: Flashers’ heaven!! Ha Ha Ha… yes you can say that. You are most welcome to come here and wish a photowalk with you.

No dear we did not took any workshop from our collective. We did Photo Talk, Showcase our works, Portfolio presentation in different University photography clubs.

 

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Tyler SimpsonAre you guys coffee Drinkers?

Md Enamul Kabir: Coffee is expressive we drink lot of tea hahaahha. but yes we love coffee

Tyler SimpsonHow often do you get a chance to photograph? Are you working on any projects collectively?

Muhammad Imam Hasan: We are all service holder, so it’s difficult to shoot without weekend and holidays.

Faisal Bin Rahman Shuvo: e go out together in weekends and other holidays. we are planning for a joint project, haven’t decided it finally.

Md Enamul KabirI shoot 6 days in a month. We are thinking for joint project from collective. Beside that individually we are working on projects.

 

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Tyler SimpsonWhat photographers do you look up to? What got you interested in street photography to begin with?

Faisal Bin Rahman ShuvoWe generally look at the masters of Street Photographers on Magnum such as, Henri Cartier Bresson, Elliott Erwitt , Richard Kalvar, Alex Webb, Bruce Gilden.

Garry Winogrand and Joel Meyerowitz also have a great influence on our work. Most probably these guys’ work made us more interested in Street Photography.  

Muhammad Imam Hasan: Yes, for me, Alex Webb is the great master, cause I like to shoot layers and complex framing like he does. Vineet Vohra’s work and direct advice always guide me a lot. Henri Cartier-Bresson, Raghu Rai, Garry Winogrand, Gueorgui Pinkhassov are always my inspiration

Md Enamul KabirAt the very beginning I was inspired by Vineet Vohra. As the time passed many photographer’s work like William Klein, Trent Parke, Vivian Maier, Joel Meyerowitz inspired me.

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Tyler Simpson: All three of you are big into Flickr, is this your main social media platform for your photography? What does Flickr offer you that other sharing sites don’t. Favourite Flickr group?

Faisal Bin Rahman ShuvoAs for a street photographer’s perspective, Flickr is not only a place to share your work but also a great tool to learn new things. Flickr groups are very essential learning place for aspiring street photographers, which you will not find in other social medias. I can name some great flickr groups such as, HCSP, Street Fight, SPNC, S&R. If you follow the instructions and work as they suggest, you will see the improvement in your work.

Md Enamul KabirAt the very beginning we all share our works FB very much. But now a day’s in very selective group in FB and much more active in Flickr.

Flickr is a personal portfolio rather than other Social media like FB.

        Street & Repeat – 105

        Street Fight!

        HCSP (Hardcore Street Photography)

        Urban Picnic Street Photography

        APF Magazine Street Photography Group

        Street about

        Street Decisive Moments

        Concept Street

Muhammad Imam Hasan: At the beginning I was absent in Flickr and newer than Faisal and Enamul. Still I am bit irregular in Flickr. Hope will be regular in flickr because it’s a good place  to learn from aspiring street photographers. I try to follow instruction of Street & Repeat – 105 and SPNC but majority time I failed. Street Fight,HCSP, Urban Picnic Street Photography, APF Magazine Street Photography Group, Street Decisive Moments… the groups I try to follow

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Tyler Simpson: Favourite Photobooks?

Md Enamul Kabir

The Suffering of Light by Alex Webb,

Finding Vivian Maier,

Minutes to Midnight, The Black Rose by Trent Parke,

The Solitude of Ravens by Masahisa Fukase and many more.

Muhammad Imam Hasan:  Raghu Rai’s India Reflections in Black & White, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment, Alex Webb:The Suffering of Light and Magnum Contact Sheets are special books for me.

Tyler Simpson: Can you guys share a not so commonly known fact about Bangladesh?

Md Enamul KabirIn Bangladesh, people are very friendly and well-known for their hospitality. Her countryside will amaze you. The scenic beauty of Bangladesh is marvelous and you will never see such combinations of natural beauty, rivers and people. Bangladesh is a developing country and densely populated. In spite of having a few problems Bangladesh is a beautiful country to visit.

In spite of having a large population, day to day heavy traffic jam especially in Dhaka city, I feel great to be here. People are so friendly, hardly yell at street photographer. I always feel great to visit Old Dhaka; most attractive place of main Dhaka city with multifarious culture will amaze you for sure.

Muhammad Imam Hasan: Though Bangladesh is over populated and heavy traffic jam especially in Dhaka city but it’s a very good place for street photography. People are very friendly.

Tyler Simpson: Dream place to photograph?

Faisal Bin Rahman ShuvoI actually have not think about it yet.

Md Enamul KabirIstanbul would probably my best choice here and I also want to visit Kashmir once in my life.  

Muhammad Imam Hasan: I did not travel any place yet after I started street photography, but I would like to visit my nearby country India. India is an amazing country for street photography.

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Tyler Simpson: What is with all the people in Tiger Masks?

Md Enamul KabirTiger is the national animal of ours, we use the tiger masks in different occasions and in festivals of our country.

Muhammad Imam Hasan: Enamul is right. What we have captured recently is from Dhaka International Trade Fair 2016. A corporate company was distributing Tiger mask for Sharing message “ Save Tigers”

 

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Tyler Simpson: What can we expect from Insight collective in the future? Any plans for publications? art shows? Where do you want to see your photography take you?

Faisal Bin Rahman ShuvoAs we have just started, we don’t have any plan for the near future. However, our main idea is to spread the actual idea of Street Photography in Bangladesh.

Md Enamul KabirRight now we want to spread the actual idea of Street Photography in Bangladesh as faisal said. We want to make some good works that will make us in people’s mind.

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