Photography Articles

From Khallagh Photography Magazine

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My Portrait’s Story

Javad Mojabi

Iran, 2008

My first Portrait was taken by a photographer without insolence and I didn’t have enough knowledge to know how people look like in their portrait?
My father took me to the Simonian’s studio and asked him 6 x 4 photos for my 6th grade’s report card. I got my portrait with wide eyed which is maybe flashing lights caused that or, my realization to immortalize by this photo! Who knows!
That days every one was looking to eternize them self by their photos. Finally you will go but your photo would be your memorial, I mean your photo can guaranty your eternity. It was our expectation when we’re looking at our ancestor’s photos.

Actually in common attitude, photos had same functional as a sprite. People passed away, but their sprite still thereAnd of course it wasn’t just booboisie attitude.
On my First portrait which was taken by my close friend , I was looking for some aspect of my personality on printed photo! It was my questions, how do I look? If the photographer were not succeed to show my personality with a special posing or may be by lighting , so this photo cannot be artistic and the photographer cannot count as an artist too.
Behind my face there is an active soul that photographer can show one aspect of my social or personal personality by his artistic method. He was my soulmate and we’ve known each other for a long time, but how come he failed to show even one aspect of my personality which was unknown to me with his visual media.
This hope from my artist friends was unfulfilled till famous artist came to my house, after greeting I shared my concern. However within 1-2 hours communication at your first meeting, you won’t expect that he explore your inner and outer identity that sometime they are in conflict. You’d like to memorialize a characteristic photo which shows you as a hero, nobleman, humanistic… to whom that would be looking for our identity.

I gave him an example about Picasso and his trusted friend which was with Picasso everywhere, in his studio, beach, café and bullring to find a situation to show real Picasso. Pablo who was drawing, immigrated from Malaga, Spain to Paris, The person who was audacious to use drugs and drinks and amorist.
Picasso draw a “Peace and Freedom” for Stalin (leader of the Soviet Union) and at the same time he didn’t pay any attention to anything!
Any how my friend didn’t care my points and he gave me some snapshots which were published in a book. Indeed they were my funniest portrait that I ever had and he presented me as an employee who was boring and just sticks in the mud to others.

A photo for rainy day
It was a tradition to photography from famous artists by well-known photographer for a rainy day.
Photography flourished in the late fifties, quantity and quality was remarkable.
One of the reason for uneven growth-compared to other arts- was young generation attention to record unexpected events or even horrific. There were actually a lot of evidences of revolution or life changes which was hidden in different active layers which were valuable to record otherwise they could have missed so this is an axiom of the documentary genre.

The youth find out that many celebrities passed away or have been immigrated and there were not enough visual documents like photos or videos. There is no video from Nima and Hedayat or even any biography by them self.
We have some low quality and dark or blurry photos and some part of their works from renowned celebrities like Nushin, Saba ,Banan, Choobak, Bahram Sadeghi and hundreds artist which they were impressed in our culture.
Recently the new movement has been started by merciful people and government to archive the biography and works from artists and sometime appreciate them awesomely.

Most of the photo which was taken from the artist were never published unless for funeral ceremony and just one time for ever in art magazine.
For sure It wasn’t their goal but for a photographer who wishes to make a name it was better to take a portrait from a famous politician or an artist instead of his/her old aunt or their cat and eventually they were access to the media, exhibitions or at least more connections.

What portrait do I like?
The portrait that I loved to print it was taken by Reza Norbakhtiar, and was published for a few years on my articles by Etelaat newspaper.
My other cool portrait was taken by Javad Montazery which I were French hat and it was a day that I was on my younge friend’s tomb.
I have other photos which were taken by my family (Naastin,Hossein and Poupak)or my amateur friends like Touraj Hamidian the time before becoming famous Or Vousoogh Ahmadi after he became famous.

I find a few photos that I find them more similar to me or fancy about myself.
So what is “own “characteristic? This Own is your idealistic vision that everyone wish to show to others. My ideal vision is looking like as a poet and social thinker which is correlated to my background and this is not big expectancy.
Now up to what extent your facial appearance will let to the camera to look social thinker or poet? This is an issue that you can wish to get it on your photo in which is hundred to one shot.
Some people were use distinguished symbols such a thick mustache, to show them self as a generous, and nowadays wearing beard is a sign of wisdom. Some time they follow some specific manners, fashion for their clothes and hair style (pony tail), goatee or pipe and book shelves for the photo background.
Now I prefer to be an ordinary citizen even on my photos.
I love the picture that I seem a thinker artist and of course more handsome and polished man.
I have some photos that I don’t like them too, like a photo which was taken by Shahriary.
(((The photo shows me as a person who peeped behind the door end of the big lobby like a thief who was came out of his sanctuary.)))
I don’t have a clue that what was his imagination or his vision bout me, anyhow I think he copied this idea and he wasn’t succeeded to show on my photo.
Imagine if Shah Abbass(the 5th Safavi king of Iran) was in my place and the photographer had done this wrong ,he was commanded very serious punishment.
These types of anger and punishment are not just for the past.
Princess Ashraf Pahlavi (is the twin sister of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi,the shah of Iran) had been had specified photos to print that media was allowed to print and for the other photos her permission was required.
I witnessed that Tehran Journal’s editor was received a photo of Shah and Britain ambassador’s meeting, in the photo Shah’s head was bent forward and the editor was awareness about disciplinary commands.
He contacted with other photographer and asked them better photo but they didn’t have then he called to the minister office but it was not success. Finally he published the report with the same picture that he had. They knew that’s not ill will but he got fired.
Any way I know there are some artistic points in my pictures which were taken by fame artists that unfortunately the points were hidden to my view.
I accept this fact that this photo shows physical body which is not my favorite and these is not photographer weaknesses.
However, I think, to take a good portrait from someone, we need to know him/her very well and some people are enough lucky to know the subject at the first sight; then they can match best position with bold subject’s characteristic and it is good to know that all photographer didn’t count themselves such successful in this matter.