Most people have a creative idea sitting in their minds, however a lot of them will take these brilliant ideas with them to their graves. It’s a sad reality that the world will not be able to see these potentially world-changing ideas all because of the fear of taking ‘a risk’.
One woman, however, took the ultimate risk. Meet Maryam M. Hassan, 22 based in Leicester, is an innovative go-getter in a town that is not particularly perceived as a creative hub. As a child, she was always fascinated by cameras but of course, could not afford one at the time. Her love for photography purely came from her fascination with cameras.
‘I would just dream about taking pictures and think to myself how good it would be to take pictures. I could just imagine myself having my own camera and taking pictures of things that I thought were beautiful.’
Years later, she let her ideas come to life and captures the beauty in people alongside her surroundings that often goes missed by the public eye. However, reaching where her craft is today required a high amount of trial and error as well as patience.
‘I just started taking pictures using my iPhone 5 at the time and the picture quality was not that great but it was the best for me at the time and it was a great way to practice. You have to make the most of what you’ve got’
During the earlier stages in her journey of photography, she used to draw inspiration from Instagram pages and would try to see if she could create something similar but with her own twist. Now that she has established her own style of photography, she recently discovered Pinterest as a tool where she draws inspiration from mood boards and also creates her own.
‘Because I’m into portrait, fashion, and editorial photography, I draw inspiration from clothes. So I could be In Zara or any other shop or just see people walking across the street with a nice outfit and it will just inspire me so much to take pictures and make my pictures look a certain way all because of an outfit’
But mostly, she says, her inspiration comes from within. She finds inspiration in herself and her life which is very important to her work that she does.
Living in a town that’s far away from all the creative hubs in the UK makes networking quite difficult. Maryam says that she personally knows about two photographers alone in Leicester, who are killing the game. She says being a photographer in Leicester is quite hard because she constantly finds herself reusing certain locations but tries her best to make it look different.
‘Going to different cities can be quite a bit of a hassle because you don’t know if people are willing to travel with you to other cities. My favourite place to shoot is London but it’s like, three hours away and it’s not convenient. So I try to make the most of what I have. The photography scene in Leicester to be honest is just, meh.’
Photography to Maryam is therapeutic. She says that it grounds her and makes her feel calm. It’s her own version of therapy, especially when there’s a lot going on, it’s very hard for her to think clearly. Photography gives her a sense of stillness and silence she needs.
Her advice to aspiring photographers is to know that they should not let their current situations bring them down. She wants people to know that they can start off with anything and not to let the place where you start, dictate where you finish.
Follow her on her socials to see more of her work