My full name is A B M Nayeem Siddiquee but people know me as Nayeem Jabaz. I am a very lazy person who is always late everywhere, loves to eat a lot and is happily single. I am 26 years old and was born from a middle class family in Chittagong, Bangladesh, where I grew up. My family members are directly and indirectly involved in corporate jobs, especially in the textile industry. I too have studied Textile Engineering at University, but while doing a corporate job like others, I realized that I am not the right person to do it, or that I do not want to waste the rest of my life in a profession that I do not enjoy at all.
So I moved on from it and started to learn art, design and photography. And right now I am working as a freelance graphic designer. And I believe I am happy now. Although photography is not my profession, it is something that helps me define who I am. Photography is not even my hobby or passion, it is a part of my life which I do not like to dishonor by saying it’s my part-time hobby, or that I do not care at all. It was not an easy path for being an artist from a middle class family in a developing country, but somehow I was able to manage it and I have a plan to earn more than corporate jobs and continue photography at the same time.
My father is an ex lieutenant of the Bangladesh Navy, he had traveled many countries with his film cameras where he used to shoot photos of different places. When he would come back from his trip, I was a bit surprised to see how the world looked through his photos. Although I was not allowed to touch his camera, I used to imagine what I would do if I got the camera. I believe my journey in photography started from that time in childhood.
In 2016 after recovering from a health issue at a hospital I fell into a depression for many reasons. I did not have a camera at that time, but every time after my classes at my university I used to walk with my phone and shoot interesting things or incidents, or something that related to my emotions or depressions. And that’s how I have started being serious about photography.
In 2018, I started doing street photography more seriously and started publishing my images on social media and fortunately was overwhelmed by people who asked me If I sell prints or not. I believe that was another step of my journey because I bought my first camera with the money of my photos and never needed to ask money from my parents for photography. I bought a Canon 1300D. Like I said before, I am a lazy guy so I do not want to wake up in the morning and shoot in the evening when the golden light falls on people until the sun sets and the sky turns red in my city.
This lazy guy believes the best pictures remain closer to the places where I live. My home is at the end of the city and close to the beach. I have to waste most of my shutter in this place and the cattle market near my home. I’m used to going in the evening and continuing to explore the places till the sun sets, when the sky turns bloody red.
Living in a coastal area, everyday we are being affected by climate change and pollution, plus I live in one of the most highly populated countries. So my eyes are looking for the candid moments of the people of my city who still have managed to live happily like me.
Tough question. I believe I try to capture moments that reflect my own mental conditions that I face in my everyday life. Most of the time my eyes feel surreal moments and I shoot the candid moments around me. I am not a big fan of juxtapositions, layers or color matching things in my photos, except if it has some story to be remembered for a long time. But I respect them and believe it is everyone’s own choice. I try to go deeper into human emotions and try to find out the weird mysterious feeling of life around me or the feelings hidden behind faces.
I believe I can understand animals pretty well. That’s why I am closer to animals than humans and strongly believe street photography not only consists of only cats and dogs, since there are so many animals who have lost their homes and are trying to live closer to humans these days. Maybe in the future they will be part of the society like cats or dogs, or maybe they will be extinct, so I am trying to photograph the moments of the coexistence of humans and animals at the same time.
The answer is temporary to me. If you ask me after one year maybe I will give a different answer. It’s been four years, yet I do not know why I photograph. I shoot myself, the people I meet, or the places I go and try to publish the photograph that reflects me. I am learning art and designing at the same time and the benefit of this is that I am applying my photography experience in my work and my design knowledge in photography.
Also, I am not a big fan of the rules of photography, they are made to be broken perfectly. No one is hiring me for photography, so I am not interested in following the rules for the pleasure of any specific society. All I know is that my photos are candid and taken in public places most of the time. People may call them street photos or not. I really do not care about this to be honest. If my photos do not satisfy me at the end of the day it’s the biggest failure for me.