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International Women’s Day Interview: Nurhana's Empowering Journey in Photography

In a world where every click tells a story, Nurhana, a talented photographer, breaks stereotypes and empowers women to pursue their dreams fearlessly. As we celebrate International Women's Day, Nurhana's journey unfolds, proving that the lens of determination can capture the different important life's moments.


1. What inspires you to join the industry?

My journey began with a fascination for visual storytelling on Instagram, where individuals portrayed their daily lives through photography. The art of editing, especially using apps like VSCO, had since then become my passion. What started as a simple admiration of photos then slowly evolved into a deep-seated interest that would eventually shape my future in photography.


2. Can you share a brief overview of your journey as a photographer and how you entered the field?

“Push it till you make it.”

I actually majored in HR, and was not very confident in pursuing a career in the photography industry. However, encouragement from my husband, coupled with the fortuitous opportunity to acquire a second-hand professional camera, served as the turning point for me. Three years ago, I received an opportunity to get a second-hand professional camera offered by my husband’s friend, which was a professional full-time photographer. I felt that everything seemed to start aligning, and I decided to take the opportunity to buy over the camera and started the journey of being a female photographer. I was also then mentored by my husband's friend, a seasoned photographer, my photography career unfolded, overcoming doubts as an introverted young woman to grow into where I am now.


3. Do you think your unique perspective as a woman influenced your approach to being an entrepreneur?

I do believe my unique perspective as a woman enhances my ability to connect with the emotions. As a female photographer, I think I am able to adeptly convey genuine emotions, as I often shed tears behind the camera. I feel that as a woman, I was born with this aptitude to be more emotional and sensitive to other people’s feelings, and to be able to understand the different emotions that people are going through, which will help me to take better and more impactful photos. Furthermore, I mostly take wedding photos, in which there will be a lot of different emotions flowing through the event. Specializing in wedding photography, my approach in photography is to embrace the emotional tapestry of life, and I really appreciate this attribute of me. 


4. How long have you been in the industry? What are some of the key milestones in your career that you're particularly proud of?

I have been in this industry for around 3 years. I would say the key milestones which I have achieved are acquiring my own professional camera and embarking on a sacred journey to Mecca for umrah photography. These achievements, especially the recognition of my work from the public which took me to Mecca, has served as very great milestone for me as a woman photographer. As a muslim, this is very special to me, as I feel that to be able to take photos for such a holy event at such a holy place is a very honorable task to be given to.


5. Have you faced any specific challenges as a woman in the photography journey, and how did you overcome them?

In the realm of my work, a persistent challenge surfaces as individuals consistently assume a male origin behind my photos. The meticulous thought process, thorough preparation, and skills are all attributed to a male, when in reality, they are the product of my efforts as a woman. This poses a challenge, as receiving due credit for my hard work, skills, and talent becomes a struggle when people automatically associate these accomplishments with a male creator.


6. What advice would you give to young women aspiring to enter the field of photography, especially those facing gender-related challenges?

"Quite does not necessarily mean powerless."
"We don't always have to be loud; quiet is also powerful."

To young women navigating gender-related challenges, I urge them to overcome self-doubt, acknowledge small victories, and stay true to themselves. I believe in the strength in quiet perseverance. I feel that sometimes being too loud will not really help with the situation and may even hinder individuals from embracing a woman's voice.


7. Are there specific types of apparel or shoes that you find essential or particularly comfortable during your photography sessions?

For me, comfort is key during photography sessions. I normally opt for comfortable sneakers and oversized t-shirts, for easier movement and also for the carriage of equipment. When it comes to the colour of the attire, I think black colour attire will complement my work, to aid in light absorption during photography.


8. Describe your journey in three words.

Quiet. Fulfilling. Redeeming.  

As we honor International Women's Day, Nurhana's journey serves as a testament to the power of determination, and the pursuit of dreams against all odds. Through her lens, she captures not only images but also the spirit of empowerment, inspiring women to embrace their passions and break through societal barriers.

How about you? What’s your story? Join us on Instagram to share with us about your story.

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