THE WOMAN BEHIND THE LENS
Photography is such a beautiful art. It captures moments in an instant and can last a life time. When I was younger, everyone took pictures with either a regular camera or a disposal one. It would take me weeks to go through a whole film and sometimes when I was really in a hurry to get my pictures, I would start taking pictures of any and everything just so I could finish up the film and have my pictures developed. If that was not long enough, you then had to wait another few days while they printed your images; alhamdulillah for technology. Now our days almost every gadget is capable to taking pictures, and with social media, images are shared in the flash of an eye. One thing however that remains untouched is good photography. Even though you can apply filters on Instagram and Facebook to give your images the appearance of professional photographs, just like real and faux leather, you can always tell the difference.
Aisha Dapchi is young mother, wife and photographer who I had to pleasure of meeting at an Islamic conference this year. In our interview I asked whether she had always known that she wanted to go into photography and to my surprise, she told me that she didn’t. In fact, she actually wanted to pursue a career in either science or computers and ended up getting her first degree in networking and computer systems. She does confess that she has been interested in photography since she was younger and was blessed to be surrounded by a family who loved the art as well, but for the early part of her life it was more of a hobby. After she was done with her first degree, her inner passion for photography led her to take a few courses which she says immediately made her fall in love with the world of photography. She continued to nurture her talent and eventually decided to take on a degree course in visual communications with a major in photography.
I was eager to ask her what inspires her to take pictures and capture moments and she told me that being a Muslim woman has a lot to do with who she is as a photographer and added that she is inspired by “anything and everything. The world around me, from the people, to the streets, nature, objects and every passing moment in time that most people neglect is a photograph. One of the main reasons why I love photography is because Allah SWT has blessed us with so much beauty in this world/life and I can express that through photography. I can communicate stories that will help people see the beauty or pain or emotions through my pictures”. Aisha always tries to have some form of
camera with her; either her DSLR, a small compact camera or her iPhone to ensure that she does not miss out on a precious moment.
As a mother, Aisha confesses that sometimes she does have a natural urge to want to capture
every moment in her 10 months old son’s life and that now she can take all the baby pictures she’s always been dreaming about taking. It was fitting that I also ask her whether she had the urge to take pictures during her wedding. If I were a professional photographer I would and I was glad to hear that she did indeed take a few shots during her wedding. However, since her younger sister Hauwa and her very good friend and namesake Aisha Augie-Kuta were her main photographers, she felt more at ease and trusted their talent and eye to capture the best. Aisha is specialised in portraiture which is very fitting of her love to photograph people, share their stories or simply just to learn about them. Other than photography, she does love to cook, read and do charity work. She also enjoys travelling to see the many cultures, cities and people, whom she says Allah swt has blessed us with. Her final words during our interview were these: “I am also a mother, a wife, a daughter and a photographer who lives and cherishes each day and I thank Allah SWT for all the blessings that I have”.