This Talented SZABIST Student Narrates Stories Through His Stunning Photography And It's Legit Breathtaking

By Aisha Saeed | 12 May, 2019

Meet Shadab Safdar, currently enrolled as a Media Science student at SZABIST, Karachi.

A budding photographer, Shadab’s talents seem to have no bounds as he also sings in his spare time. He’s traveled the peaks and streets of Pakistan, capturing incredible scenery, architecture, and images of urban bustle, hoping to shine a light on parts of the country that we all may take for granted sometimes.

MangoBaaz caught up with Shadab about his passion for photography and what inspires him to pick up the camera every day.

He spoke about how photography for him is a form of “visual communication” as he doesn’t “interact with many people.” Expanding on this, he described that his “photos are a visual representation of what [he] feels and what [he] wants to say.”

“I mostly like to portray colors through my photography. I feel like there are colors and light in life that we don’t see. I want to make people see it through my photos.” It’s pretty clear that Shadab uses his photography as a medium to connect with people and share his unique perspective on the world around us.

“I feel like I can talk through my photography,” Shadab states. 

Talking about whether he has a vision in mind when capturing a photo, or an idea of how he may like others to feel when they look at them, Shadab stated that his photos are mostly about how he feels. He always wants his photos to have a “less is more” kind of appeal, focusing on simple things, but in a different way.

Shadab also takes inspiration from his own name which he means ‘colorful’ and ‘joy’ in Urdu and how he wants to “reflect that in his photos.”

When it comes to his favorite photo, Shadab described a stunning image that he took in Kashmir.

“There’s a restaurant in Kashmir and there’s a window inside. Through the window, you can see these mountains and houses atop these mountains. People are living there, and I loved it because I dream of having a house in the mountains one day, far away from the city. Just me and a few horses.” There’s no doubt that this particular picture could conjure up that dream for anyone. Pretty mesmerizing!

Photos that provide a sense of escapism aren’t the only common themes in Shadab’s photo library, though.

When deciding what exactly to capture, he articulated that he tries to show “how little space there is in this world and how small we, as human beings, are in comparison to the vast landscapes.” In busier settings, Shadab likes it “when there are a lot of people in the picture in order to illustrate the realism of the scene.”

Having recently moved from Islamabad to Karachi, Shadab shed some light on not only what he misses about his home town, but what he has learned to appreciate during his transition to Pakistan’s commercial hub.

“I miss the calm and peace of Islamabad. You see, in Islamabad, when you look straight, you see mountains and you see trees everywhere. I like that. I like nature. Every weekend we would go for hikes, make chai and have barbecues. In Karachi, you can’t really do that, but here, I’ve loved the diversity of the city. So many different types of people with different dreams and that has been great. When everybody is running after something, it’s inspiring.”

A singer in his spare time, Shadab shared this little anecdote about when he discovered he had a talent for this:

“My mum used to have one of those big radios where you could play cassettes. We called them decks. I used to listen to songs on it and then I discovered I could record songs on the cassettes. I started singing in the bathroom and my parents heard me late at night one time. At first, they weren’t too keen on the idea but then when I got better at it, somewhere around the eighth or ninth grade, they liked it and are now really supportive of me.”

Shadab can be seen posting covers of songs on Instagram as well, alongside his stunning picture.

That said, Shadab had some interesting comments about how supported he feels in Pakistan generally as someone who wants to pursue a career in photography.

“Just three years back, I saw no opportunity. People like us didn’t get a platform but now, I feel safe. We have a future in Pakistan. It is growing and I’ve seen a lot of content creators and musicians do well, so I feel like now that other people are doing it, I can do it. I have the full support of my family and I guess that means the media is doing a good job.”

With this in mind, when asked about how he plans to cultivate his talents, Shadab adamantly narrated his plans to pursue travel photography and filmmaking:

“I’ve traveled a lot in Pakistan and I hope to travel abroad too, create travel vlogs and also make films.”

View this post on Instagram

It's been like 6 days since I left Islamabad but I can't take Islamabad out of my heart and I'm not sure if thats ever gonna happen. So i thought to write this little letter to the Capital City. DEAR ISLAMABAD, I want to thank you for everything, for giving me all these beautiful memories in the last almost 5 years, i was 16 back then when I got there, I'm 21 now. These past years have been a roller coaster ride for me. I want to thank Islamabad for making me the person I am today, for making me understand life and learn each and every single day, I wanna Thankyou for making me let go things which really didnt matter, i want to Thankyou for getting me the best of friends I can ever have, for making me meet such Amazing, beautiful, and super talented people who helped me build confidence and made me much wiser then I ever was. I want to Thankyou for making me realise who I am and what I want to do in my life. I cant ever forget the beautiful mountains and trails I used to go every Weekend. Sitting up there on the top of the city and the cold wind hits you right at the face with the birds chirping at the back, i would want you all to have that experience in your life. The beautiful looking and yummy dhaabaz which are very ecnomical i swear and all the pretty cafes in almost every corner of the city and the choas there, i can never forget all of that. I MISS YOU ISLAMABAD. -SHADAB . . . #islamic_republic_of_pakistan #travelpeacefulpakistan #travelbeautifulpakistan #etribune #dawndotcom #everydaypakistan #picturepakistan #margallahills #travel #trippieredd #passionpassport #travellingthroughtheworld #beautifuldestinations #aesthetic #menfashionpost #streetfashion #streetmobs #lookbook #streetwear #menwithstreetstyle #flashh_pakistan #vscopk #portraitpage #instagram #islamabad

A post shared by Shadab Safdar (@sarsabz_shadab) on

Well, there’s no doubting that Shadab has the talent, relentless optimism and ambition to achieve this! Make sure you check out Shadab’s Instagram page which showcases more of his amazing photography and let us know what you think in the comments below.



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