Artist Spotlight: Syed Kazmi
BY Advocate Contributors
May 15 2010 1:00 AM ET
Why are you a photographer?
I cannot imagine doing anything else. Photography has never been a hobby for me; it has always been a passion. I’m an extremely visual person with an active imagination. I have so many ideas, stories, and emotions in my head that need to get out and they do through my photographs.
What catches your eye?
I’m not sure if this is the right answer, but I get inspired a lot by movies. One of my upcoming shoots was inspired by a scene in The Realm of Senses. There is a scene were the geishas have taken off their kimonos and you see that only exposed skin is covered in makeup. I thought that was really interesting and odd, and so it’s turned into inspiration. So I guess that is what catches my eye.
How do you choose your subjects?
It’s really a very difficult process. I do many castings and work with various modeling agencies. I look for models that can express the emotion I’m looking for. I like them to portray a certain amount of unattainability and detachment.
How do you describe your work?
I would say it’s surreal. I definitely incorporate elements of the real world but have situations that you would never find yourself in.
What makes a good photograph to you?
I like work that stirs an emotion in me. I like my work to seduce the viewer in, and I want to be drawn in as well.
Who are your favorite artists? And why?
I am a huge fan of Steven Klein. I think he has mastered the art of taking different styles and merging them into a photograph. I also love Horst P. Horst. His lighting is amazing, and even to this day it is rare to see someone who is as passionate about lighting as he was. And I also love Herb Ritts. His work is classic and timeless. All of them inspire me beyond words.