An Exclusive Interview with Syed Sameer Qadri ‘Man Behind Sameer Photography’

1) Hi Sameer! For those who don’t know about you and your work, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I am Syed Sameer Qadri from Karachi . I have done Graduation in Graphic Design from Karachi University in 2011 . I took photography as a minor subject in my degree program . Well, Photography is not like I have ever wished or dreamed for. It just started like that and I kept polishing my skills my self. I am a self-made person. I struggled hard to achieve and make my name without any support and help. Thanks to my Grandfather ( Abbu ) who taught me all this. Now I’m working as an Art director in an advertisement company. Along that I do wedding, fashion and commercial Photography as well.

2) How would you describe your work to someone who has never seen it?

Its all about faded colors, black and whites, Retro theme, I started photography with normal and simple colors but as time passed I realized I’m not satisfied with the way of photography I was doing so I changed my genre to Retro and Vintage colors. I am very bad in reading books but for this I used to read books on daily basis. And yes, hardship pays you very well so did happened to me. If you like Vintage and Retro colors then you will see a lot of variety of faded colors in my photography from weddings to Fashion.

3) We’ll start off easy – what sparked your initial interest in photography?

My anger and passion to create something new.

4) You’re more into ‘Fashion Photography,’ describe what is like to always be working with new stylists, models, and designers. What does fashion mean to you?

I only work with creative people (from designers, MUA to models) but unfortunately sorry to say in Pakistan there is no space for a Creative Person. Here, people are divided in classes in this media field. You want to get some work you must be part of that class, that’s the reason most of the creative people in this field leave this country. It’s a cruel reality that we know but most of us deny. For me Fashion is more about Attitude, the way you pick your dresses, your expressions.

5) Can you talk about that one defining moment when you knew you wanted to be a photographer?

Well, as I told you I never wished to be a photographer. It started just like that but yes the moment I started photography I decided not to leave it till my death!

6) What are the biggest challenges of working in Karachi City?

No Creativity here, most of the designer they don’t have sense for photography. Plus groups are defined here from A class to B class. Only chamcha people get the work. No respect for a Creative Person. Even some of the big Designers they consider their selves as a good photographer too. This is our media!

7) How much equipment do you typically bring to a photo-shoot? What kind of gear do you use?

I simply use asimple kit lense with my Canon 6D in every shoot. If we are doing outdoor shoot then I take reflectors and an external flash along with me.

8) Do you prefer strobes or natural light if so what kind? How many shots on average do you shoot during a session?

Well only theme and mood of a shoot define what kind of light should we use for the shoot. I prefer both! I usually take a day to shoot but I shoot less as I Believe in Quality not Quantity.

9) A couple days ago you collaborated with Haier for a commercial photography. Tell us about the shoot and how they came about, how was your experience with them?

It was a brilliant experience. The team was pretty helpful and we had a great time together. Obviously a great shoot.

10) What is your mental checklist before a shoot? Do you bring assistants or second shooters with you?

Well I usually gear up one day before the shoot because I’m very restrict to timings. I am a punctual person. Yes I have a proper “Loyal” team with me.. I don’t consider them as my assistants. They are like family to me.

11) What big names in photography field you look to for inspiration, whose work has influenced you most?

Not a single Pakistani Fashion Photographer have ever Inspired me. There are 3 photographers whom I consider as my inspirations.

  1. Dave Hill
  2. Mehmut Turgut
  3. Karl Taylor

But for commercial, my teachers has inspired me a lot:

  1. Shahnawaz Qamar
  2. Siddique Bhai

12) Would you say your approach is more candid or traditional? Have you gotten any assignments through Flickr?

I say my approach is more Creative and Vintage. I used to upload pictures on Flickr but now these days I’m uploading my design+photography portfolio on Behance and getting great response from there.

13) How do you choose which images you ultimately provide to your clients?

I try to shoot the perfect images with good composition and frames. I leave the choice of selecting the pictures in between, on my clients. Then I retouch those pictures.

14) Embarrassing moment ever during the shooting or performance?

I am not much social person so here in Karachites know my name as Sameer Photography. They don’t know me as Syed Sameer Qadri neither they recognize me. So most of the times it keeps me embarrassing to tell the name as Sameer Photography rather then my original name 😛

15) Where would you wish to wake up tomorrow?


16) On a scale from one to 10, rate me as an interviewer.

I must say 10.

17) Of all the images you’ve made so far in your career, which is your favorite and why?

”Your first 1000 pictures are your worst,” a famous quote by a photographer. And so far I haven’t seen any picture as my favorite, this keeps me to work more and more.

18) I know you would say “Shoot, Shoot and keep shooting” to a newbie, but is there something you wish you knew when you started shooting?

The Perspective of thinking and the way of possibilities.

19) For those that would like to consider working with you, what’s the best way to start?

1st of all be yourself. Think creatively and Shoot Creatively!

20) Views about GaibianPost?

GaibianPost is a great Platform for Creative people and talented artists. You guys are doing wonderful job. Hats off to you guys!

21) Anything more you would like to add?

I want to say thanks to my beloved team: Haris, Atif, and Muteeb. I am all because of them!

Thank you ‘Sameer’ for this interview.

Interviewed by: Abdul Rehman Mian

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Abdul Rehman A. Mian

I'm a technical writer, author and professional blogger, making websites since early days of WordPress. I'm also very passionate in interviewing the people who interest me.

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