What is your name and where are you from? My name is Ansa Gohar and I’m from Pakistan but have lived in London for the last 7 years.
How long have you been taking pictures? About 3-4 years.
When did you get into photography and why? It was something I was always interested in but never really tried until I came to London. I started after university when I was taking a gap year and trying to figure out what to do next. I loved the city and would just roam around trying to capture some of its beauty. This prompted me to get an Instagram account, through which I met other photographers who I would often link up with for shoots. Early on, I was interested in landscape and dance photography, but recently I have been experimenting with portrait photography, and I intend to carry on with this, as I enjoy it the most.
What would you say your style is and has it changed throughout the years? If so why?
I started with landscape photography and particularly loved very vibrant images. This transferred over to my dance photography and portraits but now my favourite thing is to capture emotion and I think nothing does that better than black and white photography.
How do you approach a shoot ? Do you pre plan or is it a click and run? It varies. I usually just have a vague location in mind and like to walk around and shoot spontaneously. I might plan makeup/clothing in advance. However, I will usually plan more extensively when doing editorials or when I have particular concept in mind.
Is there an end goal you’re trying to achieve with your images, be it an aesthetic or story?
I think my main goal is usually to try and capture some emotion, whether this involves revealing something about the models distinctive personality, or something about my own inner state of mind.
Do you have any influences you can share? Most recently Peter Lindbergh’s work has influenced me a lot. I love the moody, cinematic, raw and emotive feel he obtains in his black and white photos.
What inspires you? Beautiful cinematography in movies, architecture, fashion, music, art in all its forms really.
Is there such a thing as a bad photograph? I think photography is such a subjective medium, a photograph taken with a true passion for the medium can never be bad.
Are you looking for a career in photography or are you just having fun?
At the moment, it’s just something I really love. It would be great to one day have it become a career but only if I can still continue to enjoy it as much as I do now.
Which social media platforms do you use and why? I only use Instagram at the moment. I find it a great platform to share photos and to view other peoples’ work. The environment has been so supportive and lovely and I’ve met some wonderful people through it who have now become close friends. I also find it to be a great resource to connect with other creatives and use it to plan most of my shoots.
Which photographers do you mainly follow on social media? Too many to name but mostly London based portrait photographers.
What are your thoughts on mobile photography versus DSLR / mirrorless? I think both are great but I have a personal preference DSLR. (Still really want to try mirrorless).
What’s your main go to camera, lenses and how did you make that choice? I mainly shoot with my Nikon D810 and an 85mm f1.4 lens. This lens honestly changed my life, haven’t used anything else for portraits since I bought it although I am hoping to purchase a 50mm lens soon.
What is your dream location to shoot at? I think more than a particular city, my dream locations to shoot at are abandoned locations.
Describe your favourite picture and how you captured it? I don’t know why but I always go back to this photo I took of Jazz, the first image of my ‘A Ghost Story’ set on Instagram. It was during a spontaneous shoot where we stumbled upon this amazing location and I love how the composition turned out and also the eerie mood of it.
In three words how would you describe your photography? Soft, emotive, evolving.
How do you feel about better quality cameras being put into smart phones? I think it’s great that better quality cameras are being put into smartphones. It provides a more accessible/convenient option to people.
What are your thoughts on expensive cameras? Do you think they create better images? I think they definitely help create better images but mostly, the image depends on a person’s vision, story, composition and creativity.