Many photographers, both professional and amateur, believe in the saying: “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.”
Photography is an art that can be improved with constant guidance and practice.
For Shamama Fatima, a young artist and photographer, photography is capturing imaginative ideas and experiences around a photographer.
The 16-year-old student recently won first prize at a photography competition – ‘Embrace the Spirit of Ramadan’ – organised by Gulf Times.
Hailing from Hyderabad in India, Fatima has been living with her parents in Qatar since 2009. A student of science and art, she recently completed Year-11 at Newton International School, Lagoon. She is passionate about art and photography.
Speaking on how she was drawn to photography and art, the young student said: “As a child I had the opportunity to watch and interact many a times with the most prolific Indian-Qatari artist, the late M F Husain, in Qatar. He also took a liking towards my drawings, frequently appreciating and encouraging me.
“I guess that made a huge initial impact on my artistic journey into photography, film making, painting, sketching, sculptures, digital arts, and digital painting. Occasionally, I visit museums in Qatar for my artistic inspirations and especially enjoy photo walks at Souq Waqif, Katara, Doha Corniche, Museum of Islamic Art etc. with my father as we share a common love for photography.”
The young artist has taken part in many competitions and exhibitions.
“I have been fortunate to participate in many art and photography contests and win a few awards. I won the first prize in the recent ‘Embrace Ramadan’ competition.”
The other contests that Fatima has won include: Instagram Nature Photography Competition 2020, My Climate Action Green City – photography competition – organised by the embassy of Poland, Katara and Earthlanka 2018, and Al Faisal without Borders Educational Festival 2018.
“I participated and represented Qatar at the World Finals of the Odyssey of the Mind Talent Competition in Iowa State University, US in 2018. I have also won the Primary Healthcare Corporation Drawing Competition, 2016, the Selfie Day Contest by Museum of Islamic Art, the Regency Travels Children’s Drawing contest in 2011.”
Fatima has also been taking part in different art and filmmaking contests and workshops in Doha.
Speaking about her success in the ‘Embrace Ramadan’ contest, the young student said: “This competition had a very good theme. My photo expressed the spirit of the holy month by showing a mosque and the Holy Qur’an, both are important part of Ramadan as the holy book was revealed in the month. The pigeons show the freedom of spirit.
“Such competitions are a kind of encouragement for new and young photographers.”
Further appreciating the idea of having photography competitions, Shamama said: “To me competitions and participation are a way of learning and taking my passions to the next level. It does not matter if I win or lose. I like the fact that I at least tried my best.”
For Fatima, photography is a means of capturing imaginative idea and experiences. “As long as I can recall, photography and arts have always been a huge part of life. In my view, photography and art are like capturing imaginative ideas and experiences around us. I hope to bring different cultures together with my photography and art. For now, I am giving my best to my studies and taking out time for my passion – photography and arts.”
Fatima can be reached on Instagram (@sfm_sham15).