Shahnaz Parvin was an Award-Winning Photo Journalist. She was a passionate Bangalee, and used to reside in Bangladesh, until she passed away at the age of 32 on August 14, 2016. She was one of the best photographers of her time, who has been within top 10 of world’s top 100 photographers for last few years. Her real passion was in photography and learning it. Shahnaz mostly loved documentary photography, and loved to represent her country Bangladesh through her lens. With the highest number of Photo of the Month and Photo of the Day Awards, Shahnaz joined Light and Composition as Contributing Photographer from March 2013. Covering upheaval, conflict, places, people, and culture, she was one of the top most contributors from South Asia until 2015.
Shahnaz Parvin: It feels great! I am honored.
L&C: The photograph, “The Paperboy”, which was selected as Photo of the Month, 3rd place is a beautiful documentary photograph with an artistic perspective, correct lighting, with a heart-touching story. Overall, this is a great composition! Tell us more about your experience of taking this photograph.
Shahnaz: I had a very busy day at office and was in need of some inspirations. I went to the Kamalapur Railway Station, the central railway station in Dhaka, where I was attracted to this poor boy selling newspapers. The moment I saw him, I wanted to tell his story, waited for the right moment and clicked.
Shahnaz: It has been my dream to share the rural life of my people, and through photography I can share this, not only to my country but also to the rest of the world.
Shahnaz: I think every culture has its own style and artistic heritage. For portraying the beautiful Bangladesh, I believe there is nothing better than its people, and the life they lead. We are a poor country, over populated; and have so many problems in every sector, regardless of all these; her people live a simple life. And through my photography, as a viewer of every moment, I felt it is the best story to capture and to show rest of world what we are, what we can do with our limited power.
L&C: We see so many documentary photographs in your portfolio. Why do you like this particular genre of photography?
Shahnaz: I believe Documentary segment of photography is the best way to tell the story. I tried to capture the moment, the joy, the sorrow and the struggle my people going through.
Shahnaz: To me the most important part of photography is getting involved with its subject, talking with them, staying few more minutes, or half an hour, making them opened up. You can say, I am a photographer of the very moment, so my visualization is just before the moment I click, especially when the subject accepts my present and started to talk with me, and in between I get their day to day life as natural as they are.
Shahnaz: Some of my photographs were exhibited in Bangladeshi groups and some in online, but they are not worth to mention in international level.
Shahnaz: As a freelance photo journalist, I joined an agency here, named Banglar chockh. It helped me to know what type of photography can cover as news.
Shahnaz: My advice is, take a deep breath and sent your best works to Photo of the Day. It is one the best photography awards in the world, you should participate, and there is nothing to lose.
L&C: Thank you for sharing your feelings and experiences with us Shahnaz.
Shahnaz: You are most welcome. Thank you for the interview and thanks to everyone for reading it.