Riaz Ahmed is a photography enthusiast and learning everyday. He is
constantly searching for improvement. Both in style and ideas. He
does a lot of street photography, travel, photo journalism,
architecture and portraits.
Tell us a little about yourself and your photography.
This is always a tough one!
I just consider my self a down to earth 9-5 working family man. But
always have passion to try different things in life. For example, I
have done a 5 mile Olympic Park run at the Olympics, London. I have
walked on hot coals and walked on broken glass for charity. And
through my photography, I can express my feelings and emotions as to how I see the world. I am very passionate in producing beautiful
images, yet I am far from being a good Photographer. I am always
Why did you start taking photos?
From my school days, I have been very creative and have done well in
Art and Design. It is a passion and really enjoy it.
I have been working with a UK company known as inAcity on a
voluntary basis. My main role was creating designs for business’s
that needed promoting. This ranged from website designs, logos and
flyers etc. My focus changed on 29th April 2011, the day of the
Royal Wedding (Catherine and William). I was asked by the company to go and take photos of the Royal wedding with a group of
photographers. That was the first time I got a taste of photography.
I just simply got hooked!
You seem to be always trying out new challenging projects.
You work a lot with forms and color. How do you aproach new
Going out on a project that is challenging gives me a andrelin rush,
and to come back with a handful of images is a job well done. As you
can see from my portfolio website, I do alot of abstract work. I
like to try different things and try getting involved in real life.
For example, a drunk sleeping on a park bench can paint real picture
or a child jumping in the air.
I try to take the correct equipment out for the project, and always
have ideas and shots in my minds eye as to what I need to capture.
But sometimes you can catch great images through an instant.
You’ve done a lot of street and architectural shots. Tell me
more about that.
I like travelling alot, and one of the reasons I like travelling is
capturing different cultures, people, architecture and lifestyles.
Its challenging to me, as it gives me a real buzz in knowing that
you have come back home with great memories through creative images.
I have been to Budapest beginning of this year and also just come
back from Tunisia. You can see the images from both of these places
on my website and it adds real ambience to your portfolio! Like
people, I think architecture and buildings hold great personalities
and colours. I love taking photos of majestic buildings, as they can
be really appealing to the eye!
How do you capture the true feelings in a portrait?
I use a minimum amount of post production on an image through
PhotoShop or any other software. I always try to avoid this, as I
believe alot of photographers can get a little carried away with
software. It can end up ruining a beautiful photograph, and take
away the natural vibrance from the subject. Light is important as to
where it falls on the subject.
I interact with the subject in a friendly, comfortable and relaxing
way in order the make the subject relaxed. Also, I have studied
quite a few sites on what type of natural poses you can create in a
portrait. And its amazing how a subtle change of posture can change
the entire picture and give it that true natural vibrance.
Other pointers from me are play with eye contact, break the rules of
composition, Shoot Candidly and introduce a prop etc.
What are some other photographic projects you enjoy working
I really enjoy getting involved in event and street photography and
also interacting with people. You can capture so much with these
types of situations, and everything can be so natural. I prefer this
to being stuck in a studio with artificial lighting. I always say,
“The Street is your studio, and you don’t need gadgets and props”.
But thats just my opinion, as there are great photographers who can
create magic in a studio.
Ultimately, I would love to do war, famine & disaster photography. I
know it seems a little morbid, but I like to catch reality and show
my feeling towards such unfortunate circumstances through my
What kind of a camera and lenses do you primarily use and
how do you select your equipment?
Photography can be expensive, and I believe that just because you
have a great camera or lens, it doesn’t mean you will get great
pictures. It’s about creativity and abstract ideas.
I use a Canon 500D with a Tamron 70-300mm tele zoom lens. I use this lens for sports photography and capture great pictures at a
distance. I also have a standard 18-55mm lens that also captures
awesome pictures at events and street photography. I have Canon EF
50mm f/1.8 Mark 2 II lens that I always use for portrait or any
detailed photography at close up. This is a prime lens and worth the
Can you name some tips for those who want to start a
I would take the following in consideration.
1. What type of photographer do you want to be?
2. Do some project photography
3. Bump up your portfolio
4. Have a portfolio on line
5. Brand your business
6. Have a business plan
7. Market research as to what are the demands and prices.
8. Start of with basic equipment and get used to taking good photos,
and not the otherway round.
But most importantly, be yourself and be unique in your photography.
Thanks Riaz for sharing your passion for architecture and
Check out his website for more of his best photos