Ahmar Zaman's photography will be shown at a number of venues this summer. Zaman is a local photographer who classifies his interest in photography as a hobby, but is finding an impressive measure of success as a local artist.
Zaman said that he first started taking pictures seriously last summer when he finally saved up enough money to buy a nice digital camera.
His only formal training was a course in digital photography that he took in high school, specifically to learn to use Photoshop. He remarked with surprise that he discovered that he actually enjoys taking photographs, and reminisced about his dad's old Kodak Polaroid cameras that he played with as a child. He credits these cameras with "first putting the idea into [his] head."
APRIL LINE/Sun-Gazette Correspondent
He won a photography contest online at "Je'taime, j'adore" with a fanciful candid photograph of three people.
As a naturally ambitious person, when he started to think about photography as a serious hobby he created a website and started to pursue local exhibition opportunities.
But, he said, "I don't think of myself as a professional photographer."
He is entirely self-promoted and exhibited for the first time at June's First Friday downtown. The show went well, according to Zaman.
"I honestly didn't think I'd sell a single thing," he said. "I used to think I'd be ecstatic if I broke even. Now I'm really close to breaking even - I just want to make enough money that I can keep doing it."
On the whole, however, he views his achievements as an artist with incredulity. He remarked often about how flattered he was by the compliments he got from the show at First Friday and about the surprise opportunity to do some commissioned work.
Zaman spoke with amusement about a particular quandary: The disconnect between what he prefers to photograph and what both circumstances of his endeavors and those of saleable art will allow.
He said he likes to photograph people the most, but he finds that people don't want to buy photographs of other people and that people generally don't want to be photographed, or if they do, they are displeased with the print.
He chuckled a bit when he said, "I had to resort to taking a lot of landscape photos and sadly, people like my landscape photos."
When pressed, he admits that he'd be ecstatic if his photography became successful enough that he could make it his profession, but he said, "people ask me why I don't take classes - I don't know, I want it to be separate from what I study. I think the reason I enjoy it is that I don't have to spend all my time learning about it; it's like an escape."
Officially, Zaman studies psychology and will be entering his senior year at Lycoming College in the fall. He is presently doing an internship in neuropsychology there.
The show at Community Theater League, 100 W. Third St., runs through June 27. In July, he'll be showing at Alabaster Coffee Roaster and Tea Co., 410 Pine St.
His show at the Community Arts Center, 220 W. Fourth St, in will begin on First Friday in August and will continue in the lobby for the rest of the month.
He welcomes traffic at his website, www.studio-az.info, and emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.