People’s ardent passion for capturing memorable moments has been around for as long as one can remember. To this end, photographs have been used for a long time now and they tell amazing stories, evoking a myriad of emotions among viewers as they do so. As ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, one amazing visual storyteller has decided to take up a role in portraying the world’s amazing landscape, architecture, nature, people with their daily emotions and festive celebrations. In this issue, Top 10 of Malaysia speaks to the talented Yaman Ibrahim, a wonderfully inspiring photographer about his inspirations and his works.
Hailing from a large modest family and based in Kuala Lumpur, the talented Yaman Ibrahim started out his career by teaching art subjects to secondary students. “Our parents always encourage us to pursue our passion and interest in life,” says the jovial Yaman. After gathering experience in that field, he became a creative director before becoming a photographer. Yaman has been in the photography industry for 18 years now and every minute of it has been fun and precious for him.
When asked on what inspired him to become a photographer, this Malaysian artist reveals that he has always been inspired by the human condition, especially emotions. “I have time and again been intrigued by the various emotions and reactions displayed by people from all over the world. I remembered the time when I witnessed a child smiling and that inspired me to capture a snapshot. From that moment onwards, I decided to take up photography,” says Yaman with a smile.
Yaman loves travelling and capturing special moments in his photos. One of his most inspiring photos was taken in India. “India is a country with a broad spectrum of colours which could be seen in the daily lives of her people. I’m so inspired by their honest smiles despite their inadequacies and poverty in life. Her majestic architecture is also an amazing subject for photography.”
“I love capturing pictures of people going about their day-to-day activities, and this also includes celebrations. I find much joy in taking their pictures, and even when photos are motionless, I believe they can convey an interesting story like nothing else can do. This is perfect for me,” says Yaman. He is also thankful to his wife, family and friends as they have been his faithful supporters all throughout his journey as a photographer. Nonetheless, his loyal fans also give him the encouragement to continue producing beautiful and inspiring photos.
Yaman has no lack of wonderful moments during his journey as a photographer. One of his unforgettable experiences was during a visit to Mount Bromo, Indonesia. “It was 2010, and I visited this dormant volcano. At that moment the volcano erupted after having been dormant for ages. I felt so privileged as I seized the opportunity to capture the moment together with the facial expressions of the villagers around the area,” Yaman reminisces. “It was for me an experience of a lifetime, a most significant one too.” “People whom I have met during my travels may lack even the basic necessities of life, but their warm, friendly and hospital nature always never fail to touch me deeply,” he adds.
On the other hand, Yaman is also not new to the challenges he faced as a photographer. He had his fair share of them while doing a photoshoot of some company directors and food, and also during the time when he found himself in a restricted zone while doing photography. However, he was none the worse for those experiences and Yaman moved on with much wisdom gained.
Yaman also has several accomplishments to his name. “I’ve published a book and made some appearances on television. My photos have been featured on National Geographic and I’m currently the Fujifilm X Camera spokesperson.” In addition he has also won several awards for the past few years.
As there are many people who only rely on online videos and televisions to look at the world these days, Yaman tries to provide the best with his camera. “I would choose those moments which I myself had witnessed with my own eyes in order to portray their true beauty and essence in the photoshoots I show to the world.” As he is able to connect with the images he captures in various aspects of life, Yaman strives to improve his photo images by capturing the best moments with the help of technology. “That way, I hope to capture ‘immortality’ into the photos in the best possible way I can,” he says.
For the year 2018, Yaman intends to focus on the essence of Malaysian life. “I could accomplish this by capturing the mixture of emotions and day-to-day activities. My ongoing project is ‘Orang Malaysia’ and it covers people from all walks of life. The photos captured will portray their truest self without barriers or pretense.”
When asked for the advice he would give to amateur photographers, Yaman believes that they should be passionate and interested in pursuing photography. “There is no perfect image and in this world what seems to be right can actually be wrong and vice versa. Just persevere in doing good work in your endeavor and one day, you will succeed in realising the goals you have harboured for yourself all along,” says the talented Yaman.