Adnan Hanif is a fashion and portrait photographer who aims to capture the moods and emotions of each individual story. Hanif is a perfectionist who likes combining an artist’s vision with a technician’s mastery of craft.
Hanif always likes experimenting with lights and shades. He feels like the more you shoot, the more experienced you become. He loves photographing people. When he first started photography, he tried a bit of everything but people have always been his favorite subjects to capture.
“I love how each person has unique features, every face tells its own story and makes each image unique,” Hanif says. He currently lives in Dubai and works worldwide. He is a member of PhotoShelter, a leading company specialising in portfolio websites, photo sales, marketing and archiving tools for photographers.
How did you get started in photography?
Artists are influenced by all their experiences and surroundings. I have loved images and movies since I was a kid. I used to collect posters and always make cut-outs from fashion magazines. The walls of my room were full of posters, and small adverts and editorials from magazines. My favourite ones were Guess by Marciano, the black & white images, and as I loved Claudia Schiffer in the iconic campaigns by Guess. My house is still full of all types of fashion magazines & I have tear sheets on the walls.
To cut the story short, I never thought I would become a photographer. After I finished my MA in Computer Science and specialized in graphics and animation, I bought my first camera. I worked as a graphic designer for almost four years.
When I got to hold the camera, I just felt comfortable with it, and I became quite obsessive about it. I thought about photography all the time. It was one of those things where as you love it so much, then you start thinking: “maybe I should do it. I used to shoot images for my friends. Everyone loved it as I captured them in a very different way and they told me it was really good.”
I never really planned it, it just sort of happened. I think the reason I ended up in fashion & portraits is that I love every aspect of them, from the clothing to modeling and makeup. What differentiates a really good fashion photographer from the rest is that they are people who are artists, which is what all the great fashion photographers are.
Tell us about your most memorable shoot
I have lots of them, I can’t pick just one. I’ve shot so many images in my 15-year photography career, but still I hope for more to come.
Where do you get inspiration to make each portrait special?
I find inspiration everywhere. In life, from friends, experiences, the movies I watch, and the things that I see everyday. You need to have the ability to make the subject relax and reveal a candid side of them through your photography.
For portraits it's just person to person. I don’t have big inspirations in my mind, I do plan a little bit beforehand but you never really know what’s going to happen on set. It’s so much fun.
A good photographer is one who is able to make people look their very best! Everybody has a great angle in which they look great and to find this angle takes a sharp eye.
What do you enjoy the most about fashion photography?
In fashion photography, the word ‘fashion’ is as big as the word ‘photographer’. It’s very important for a fashion photographer to have a point of view on fashion.
I have always been somewhat interested in fashion, even though at the beginning I didn’t really do typical fashion photography. I was fascinated by it.
I’ve always been inspired by clothes, materials, lighting, colors, and locations and finding more subtle ways to incorporate those elements.