Through the camera lens

BY: MARYAM SHAIKH, M.B.B.S., BATCH XXII

With the the advent of social media and technology having massively taken over all our lives over the last decade, it is no surprise that it is used for multiple purposes; one of them being a channel of creativity for anyone and everyone to express themselves however they please. One such platform that we all have heard of, and is popular with most smartphone users, is Instagram – the photo-sharing app that was bought by Facebook back in 2012, and now boasts over 700 million active users.
Though used by most for personal photo sharing with friends and family, or to follow celebrities or businesses, many users also use it for sharing their photography and daily experiences on a public profile for the world to see. While many of us follow multiple such people, we thought it would be interesting to look into our own little community within the Ziauddin University and compile a list of our most creative and popular ‘Instagrammers.’ Though not an exhaustive list, it combines people from different age groups, different walks of life, and different aims behind their profiles, and not to mention those who were kind enough to take the time out to help give us some insight into their thought-provoking profiles.

Natasha Baig – tashabaig

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Natasha Baig describes her Instagram’s theme as one which ‘finds beauty in chaos’.
Her profile consists mainly of daily views she comes across in a perspective different from what an ordinary passerby would see – a corridor, a plant, a scenery; anything and everything that jumps out at her as a visual piece of art is documented for her followers. She also has a particular affinity for things with symmetry, as is visible particularly in her latest series of photographs from a trip to the United States. Places that you and I could cross every day but not look at twice – such as the exterior of Clifton Dolmen Mall – are captured in a manner that stands out of a crowd. Her subtle captions let the picture speak for themselves, and they do.

Haniya Ather – lemonandscotch

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Another avid finder of beauty in daily things, Haniya Ather’s Instagram can be described as both diverse as she does not like to follow a particular theme, yet also recognizable, as they mostly cover moments from her day to day life, such as a scene around the hospital, a desk with chai, as well as common Ziauddin events like a bake sale or the beach trip. Unlike many others, she not only focuses on sceneries and still life but also features a number of candid moments from the lives of different people. Her profile also includes sights around Karachi and Lahore, describing her own Instagram as ‘simply the result of anything (she) finds beauty in.’

Shehryaar Palijo – ipalijo

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Particularly unique of all the profiles I came across in the research for this article, was this one.
A very clear channel for creativity, he plays with VSCO filters and Photoshop, creating art from his imagination. He draws inspiration from things that influence his life, such as Anime, as well as his own thoughts and emotions. His abstract style of expression also often involves himself as the subject of some of his pictures, such as a beloved character perched in the palm of his hand, or the face of a tiger morphed onto his own. He feels motivated by positive responses to his work and constructive criticism from his followers.

Bilal Hassan – mystapaki

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This particular profile, in my eyes, appeared as a simple love letter to Karachi.
Bilal Hassan has a knack for capturing daily scenes in a manner that expresses his own love for the city as well as a realistic view of outsiders of the various aspects of life in Karachi – which appropriately was one of his major motivating factors in creating a public profile with a large outreach. His often detailed captions also provide context and explanations of the locations. Not only does he show you sites and sounds of the city, but also interaction with Karachiites as well as the tourists in Karachi.
Apart from Karachi, this profile also gives you a travel blog vibe, as he continues the photography wherever he goes, retaining his Pakistani perspective. With a deep thought process involved in each post, Bilal likes to stick to his the and does not want to get lost in the crowd, holding him unique and extraordinary.

Nimrah H Sattar – nimskin7

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Strongly inspired by nature, Nimrah H. Sattar’s Instagram page focuses on skies, sunsets and rainy days. Though she does not like to follow any particular theme and describes her own Instagram as slightly all over the place, it is evident that her personal expression of her own feelings and opinions comes from her photography and captions. She features daily moments from her life, such as moments inside Ziauddin, as well as cultural scenes around Karachi such as weddings and markets, fulfilling her goal of wanting people to see the world as she does.

Amenah Jaffery – 47giraffes

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Amenah Jaffery’s Instagram is one that, to say the least, stands out from a crowd.
Though following no specific theme, her photographs encompass a rustic quality that even apart from the bunch, one can identify as her work. Featuring creative compositions of everyday moments, sceneries, and people (including herself), each picture speaks for itself. Another quality setting her apart from the crowd are her captions that tend to offer an insight into her life, as well as sometimes offering recommendations to her followers of books she has been reading. This way she not only gives her followers something to see but also personally interacts with them and involves them in her own journey, making her a memorable part of anyone’s Instagram feed.

Zainab Saeed – zainabness

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Inspired greatly by poetry and Sufi quotes, Zainab Saeed has a real knack for capturing not just moments, but memories.
Also depicting parts of her medical journey, such as revision notes or equipment such as a stethoscope, her profile offers a well-rounded view of her daily life. Like most photographers, she has a preference to be behind a camera rather than in front of it, and that happens to be where she most greatly showcases her talent.

Sidra Khalid Khan – sidra.khalid.khan

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Sidra Khalid Khan has an Instagram heavy in filters and experimentation of editing styles that give a certain depth to her photographs that are not usually seen elsewhere. Not only documenting scenes from Karachi life, she also encompasses her travels and street styles from around the world that she has witnessed on her profile. What stands out though, is that these pictures are not your typical touristy pictures, but capture common sites and sounds making herself seem native to a foreign environment. Inspired by her own progress, she describes her own Instagram as the evolution of her skills and thought process.

Zaid Soomro – helloiamzaid

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A Ziauddin graduate currently based in Houston, Zaid Soomro focuses his work mainly on landscapes, modern architecture and city views. Inspired by light and symmetrical compositions, his Instagram has the vibe of an avid traveler with a creative eye. He started showcasing his work on a Facebook page but made the switch with the advent of Instagram, preferring the seamless photo uploading process, with the opportunity to edit pictures on the spot. He also regularly makes and keeps prints of his pictures.

Baakh Nusrat – baakh

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With a following of over 3000, Baakh Nusrat boasts a long experience in Instagramming as she began her photo sharing hobby back when Instagram was just a small community of iPhone users (when the app was not initially available on Android.) Growing up, she developed a very strong affinity for photography, using and experimenting with various cameras and types of cameras. Also not following a specific theme, she does not photograph just for Instagram, rather posts life as it happens, including her travels, crowded streets, and various forms of art.

About the author: An avid avoider of social interaction and the spectrum of human emotions, Maryam enjoys working out in her free time, a hobby that only comes second to her love of eating.

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