• Thursday, Dec 12, 2019
  • Last Update : 12:42 am

There’s more to the image than meets the eye

  • Published at 03:55 pm July 15th, 2019

Shedding light on the fashion-concept photography with LenZKraft

Skimming through social media, a series of intriguing pictures pop up that are sure to catch the eye. LenZKraft is such a photography page which presents a new take on fashion advertisements of Bangladesh. We sat down with Sheikh Suraiya Rehnuma, the sole owner of the page, over a cup of coffee to understand the work that goes behind concept photography on fashion.  

Walk us through your journey of LenZKraft. How did the idea develop? 

It was years ago, when I was a student of Architecture. Being a person who loved taking photographs, I didn’t really have the exposure to pursue street photography, which was taking over at that time. Whenever I saw a location, I just didn’t want to take a landscape picture - I wanted to do more with it. I always had a preconceived idea about what and how I wanted to produce an image. I enjoyed fashion photography more, and since I always had an auto symmetrical idea framed in my mind, I thought of merging the two together. Initially I didn’t understand the depth of it, but as I continued exploring for places, buying props and dressing up my friends for aesthetically pleasing pictures, in 2015, I figured LenZKraft could be the prompt to jumpstart my photography career. 

From what we understand, the idea of concept photography is all about illustrating an idea by manipulating an image. Tell us about the layers of these pictures. 

There’s more to the image than meets the eye. For the production of any project, I think of the theme first, and then find the suitable location, props, models and makeup artists. After taking pictures of the physical objects comes the most crucial part of the whole project – editing. From brushing off any unnecessary part of the picture, to color correcting, to creating illusions in the picture for the aesthetics – the whole picture is finally brought to life. Editing is what takes up most of my time. 

Have you received any work from any clients?

I did. A few of them were my personal projects, while most of them were client-based. Since the beginning of 2015, I have been working with a few organizations. I have also done some collaborative projects. LenZKraft has worked with brands such as Wearhouse, Menka, Kazi Fashion, Neelabh, Koral Klauset, 6 Yards Story and Sparkly Closet. Besides these projects, we have also done make-up based projects with Farzana Shakil, Luminoso Makeup Artistry by Lazina Elma. 

As you’ve mentioned, you always think of the theme for individual projects and, of course, it takes up so much of your time, since you are doing everything single handedly. How do you cope up with so many projects? Does it ever come a point when you feel exhausted and you face a creative block?

I never do several projects in one day. I remain focused on one project at a time. The idea is to fully dedicate my creativity and energy on one single project. Within a week, I try to wrap up an entire project. Then, when I move on to the next one, I give myself the head space to think clearly about it. That is when I let my creativity to flow on the pre-production of the next project. Talking about exhaustion, photography is my passion, which is why I started it in the first place. While I’m spending time with my friends and family, I always end up shopping and taking pictures. This has become a formidable part of my life, and it can never exhaust me. 

Have you faced any difficulties to come to a mutual agreement with your clients about the projects?

Most clients approach LenZKraft considering marketing demands. There are some who give me the freedom to work in my own way, and on some days there are others who have their own, specific vision of how it should be done. As this is a long process, and we are a small organization where I’m the sole contributor, I am yet not fully fit to support every bit of the projects financially. In such cases, I convince myself that compromising is the way to progress and satisfy my clients. While it has its pros, the only thing exhausting about the work is the process of the project, which most clients fail to understand. They do not want to acknowledge the necessity of hiring a makeup-artist, and at times they want the edited pictures the day after the shoot. I have to go that extra mile to show them the comparison of how a project can totally change with a makeup artist, and how it can save enough time by not having to re-touch the pictures. I try to send them at least one or two edited versions right after the shoot, when they insist on seeing a glimpse of the pictures. In such cases, I would say compromising makes the journey with my clients more conductive. 

Any advice you want to give to the fresh minds who are interested in this genre of photography?

In my personal opinion, photography is something that can’t be taught by someone. Self teaching and self guidance are very important to understand different concepts, and learn through different experiments. One thing I would highly suggest is that if you want to do the thing that you love, do not think of the immediate growth and the money. Go slow if you have to. If you make peace with the fact that what you produce will be the best possible outcome, only then will you be satisfied with your work in the long run.