A coffee table book is 70% photos and 30% text. So who is taking the pictures is crucial. Apart from working professionals, every photographer has his or her own style. Iran is a country of semi-professional photographers with a sometimes quite tacky taste. Bright colors, flowers, high contrasts…
A special style
But for my book I wanted someone who had worked with architecture but also could do lifestyle photography. The style should resemble more Berlin than Tehran. Not an easy person to find. I asked some friends and checked young photographers catalogues. But my biggest source was Instagram. Still as Instagram does not allow a proper search function is was hard to use for this. But it is a good validation method.
How I finally found my photographer? I checked every photographer’s name under an architecture picture on Iranian websites or in magazines. Especially their Instagram feed. Because Instagram has become kind of a portfolio for a lot of art related jobs and it shows that a person is keeping track of new trends.
The golden shot
And then I saw work by Hamed Farhangi aka tehrantracker on the Iranian Architect website and when I checked his Instagram feed I knew he was the right guy. He has worked on architecture but also has an artistic and documentary view on photography. See these examples:
So I just sent him an email:
How are you? My name is Lena and I am currently producing the first book on Interior Design in Iran. It will portrait houses all over the country which belong to actual people (so no historic ones) and combine the traditional Iranian with a modern style.
I saw some pics you took for Iranian Architect online outlet and also checked your Instagram feed. Have to say I like your style and its not easy to find in Iran. For the book, I am looking for a photographer to take the pictures of the houses (inside/outside) and general ones along the road. Style wise it will be a mix between lifestyle and architecture. Can also send you my mood board later on. It would be a 2-3 weeks road trip in January 2017. Are you working as a freelancer? Sounds the project interesting to you? In case so it would be nice to hear back from you. I am currently on the research trip all over Iran but you can reach me via email or phone/telegram.
Aga inglesi sakhte barat, ham mitunam hamasho be farsi behet tusi bedam.
He replied one day later and after some phone calls and meetings he was on board. Crucial for me was also his work attitude. From minute one he was as excited about the idea of the book as me and thought about how he could contribute to it and how we could create the best product. Check out his pictures here or contact him via email if you are looking for someone with his distinct style in Iran. Or buy our book when it’s out for sale, it’s 70% his work 🙂