Changing Perspectives One Photo At A Time ft. Rumki Rahman

A simplistic yet bold digital content creator and photographer, Rumki Rahman is an uprising talent in the field of Product, Portrait and Lifestyle photography. Raised in Bangladesh and currently based in London she has developed an aesthetic, minimal and to the point palette while showcasing the simplicity of day-to-day life from a different point of view.

Through this conversation Rumki takes us through her professional and personal journey, the struggles of rebranding her social media identity, the multicultural effect and some Pohela Boishak stories from her memory bank.

She began the conversation by speaking about her upbringing and how it shaped her as a person. She said "Being born in Bangladesh, raised in the UK for the first 9 years of my childhood, and then going back to Bangladesh, and that too to Bogra, has made my upbringing very multicultural. Both the UK and Bangladesh have taught me the importance of being free, independent, and open minded. I remember how schooling in London always encouraged my creative side. I loved reading, writing, drawing, and painting. Not to sound like a nerd, but unlike most kids who would play in their free time, I would snuggle up with a book and a hot chocolate.If you knew me now you would think I'm lying" She added "My lifestyle in Bangladesh wasn’t exactly as conventional as a girl living in Bangladesh would have. I moved away from my parents from Bogra and went to live in Dhaka when I was in class 8. I have been blessed with a lot of support from my extended family who allowed my life in Dhaka as a student to be safe and sound. I moved into a girl’s Hostel right after I started University and I rented my own flat and lived alone after getting my first job. I believe these phases of my life really shaped my personality into whom I am today."

While taking us through her journey of figuring things out for herself she recalled "Being a student of Marketing and Communications, it was an odd fit for me to start my career in Banking. But as the job was buying me the lifestyle and independence I prioritised most, it stopped me from stepping out of the field I wasn’t meant to be in, into the one I dreamt of being in. In 2017, I got married and moved to the UK permanently. It was only last year when I was in the middle of blogging when I started to consider taking up photography as a profession. Back story, after coming to London, I had started to blog on healthy lifestyle, giving out tips and tricks for good health, fitness and providing bespoke cooking recipes for many. It was the mid of the second lockdown when my blog hit its peak. My recipes, photographs and writing had managed to spread over 10-12 countries. My blog page kept growing which forced me to learn about social media algorithms and digital marketing.

She described her professional metamorphosis as a photographer while saying "My passion in photography grew simultaneously with my passion for blogging. I noticed how much time, energy, and effort I used to give, unknowingly, to get the perfect shot to go with my writeups. I experimented with different lighting, angles, and aesthetics, to bring out variations of the same subject. What I love about photography is the way a creator can play with the viewer’s perspective. There’s something beyond brilliant in being able to make someone feel the senses of touch, taste and smell through a photograph. I decided to start my own solo business in digital content creation after getting appreciated and known for ‘having an eye’ in showcasing lifestyle content. I reached out to small businesses who wanted to showcase their products through aesthetic photos, and started to grow my business from there, through collaborations."

She took us through some of the struggles she faced in her professional route as she said "One of the difficulties I faced as a digital creator was marketing myself as a photographer from a blogger. It took some time to establish and re-brand myself which included me doing lots and lots of free work. Also given the current global pandemic, it has been a challenge to find potential customers willing to pay a worthy price for digital content."

We asked her about her experience while working in Bangladesh and for some advice on photography that would help new creators aid their hardships and she mentioned "In a recent trip to Bangladesh, I worked with some amazing brands and people, and am so happy to see how advanced and high-quality content is being so appreciated and properly acknowledged. I consider myself to be an aspiring photographer but from whatever experience I’ve gathered while working, I would advise anyone who wants to start photography to learn their phone camera settings first. There are so many tools right on your phone with which you can enhance your current photoshoot. Experiment with angles and lighting. Take the same shot with different settings. Study and observe why one click is better than the other. Ask people for feedback. Most importantly, embrace feedback. That’s how you’ll grow. As a content creator, our time and energy is mostly spent on the post shoot than during the shoot. So, knowing how to edit like a pro is what will benefit you more than taking that perfect shot."

In the glory of the festive season, she also shared some of her Pohela Boishakh (Bengali New Year) experiences while saying "I feel Pohela Boishakh is a day to reflect upon our Bangali culture in our own modern ways. Dressing up, eating panta and having our close friends and family is a lovely way to celebrate the culture that we come from. I’m embarrassed to admit that while I was living in Bangladesh, I never took Pohela Boishakh seriously. I mean, buying the perfect red and white saree and then matching it with the perfect red teep and a bunch of colourful kacher churi, wasn’t my thing. But now, living abroad has made me appreciate the Boishakh culture more than anything. I know I speak for every Deshi person living abroad. Since moving to London, I’ve celebrated Pohela Boishakh more than I’ve celebrated it back in Bangladesh. I’m lucky to have extended family here who throw the most Deshi dawats and put so much effort in making the day feel like we’re closer to our roots."

Moreover she talked about her future goals as she mentioned "In the next year, I plan on expanding my services further to videography, branding and graphics designing. Ultimately, my goal is to create impactful content which helps and encourages people to lead a mindful and positive lifestyle."

In the last part of the conversation we ask Rumki 10 Quick Questions about herself and the world of lights, camera and concepts.

1. How would you describe yourself?

A generally quiet person who loves her own company and addicted to coffee and khichuri! I am the last person to walk in a room and introduce myself, but the first person to tell someone if they are wrong.

2. When you arrive at a location, what is the first thing you look for to kick of the shoot?

The perfect ray of sunlight.

3. A piece of advice for your younger self.

Don’t be selfish and lazy to expect someone else to come and make you happy. Do that yourself.

4. How did you learn photography?

I started with learning the tools of the camera setting on my phone and backed it up with watching lots and lots of YouTube videos and some online courses.

5. A piece of advice for aspiring photographers.

Stop playing around with the saturation and learn the curve tool in Lightroom. Game changer!

6. If not a photographer, what would you be?

I would still be in the digital content creation field. Deep down I’ve always wanted to be a YouTuber who makes kickass videos, but never say never. If not a youtuber, I’m yet to become a great Videographer.

7. What is on your bucket list as a photographer?

Covering an Epic Fashion Show.

8. How can someone earn a good living being a photographer?

It takes time. Landing clients can be difficult. If your work shows something a little different than the photographers around you, there’s a chance you’ll get noticed by high end potential clients.

9. What do you enjoy capturing the most?

Action shots! Moving people, running vehicles, blown candles, steamed food, dripping water…. anything that has action has my attention.

10. What is it that you want to convey through your photographs?

I want people to be able to change their perspective in seeing things. Literally and metaphorically.