Behind the lenses of Husaini Mustapha, lies a portrait photographer with an eye for art.
Portraits are his forte, and each photograph he snaps is seen full of emotion that tells you a story.
Hello Husaini! Tell us more about yourself!
Hello, my name is Husaini bin Mustapha. I am turning 25 this year (as of 2017) and currently residing in Kajang, Selangor. I am a portrait photographer, but every now and then I’ve dabbled with other types of photography such as fashion, conceptual, fine art and photojournalism. I am currently pursuing my Master’s degree in visual communication and new media in a local university in Shah Alam. I like to find myself catching up with television series and arthouse film in my spare time. Also, I enjoy doing case studies of things I watched, ranging from film, comics/manga, or any sequential art that I found intriguing, visually compelling and thought provoking.
Any unknown/random facts about you?
I enjoy hearing binaural audios or watching ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) videos to help me fall asleep. Google if you may.
Disclaimer : not everyone enjoys these so listen at your own risk 😉
Describe yourself in 3 words!
Aspiring artsy geek? That sounded pretentious haha!
When did you first discover your passion for photography?
As far as I can remember, I discovered the passion for it back in 2007 when Myspace was the social media people used back then. I saw my online friends from local and international ones posted really nice photos and I thought I could pick up photography. Around the end of 2008, my father saw how I am so passionate about it and he bought me my first DSLR. Throughout my form 5, I was part of the school’s magazine editorial board. After graduated from high school, I enrolled into UiTM and I did my diploma in Photography and Creative Imaging.
Share with us the best highlight of your life as a photographer.
One of the best highlights would probably be working with Hunny Madu on a photoshoot, as a part of her single with Radio3000 Get Money, as I was assisting the official photographer, Nadine Jasmine on the top of Telekom Tower. Both Hunny and Nadine were so easy to work with, and I love the outcome of the shoot as the shooting place was amazing.
Any upcoming projects for you?
My upcoming projects will be carrying out my research as part of my master’s degree. It is basically in using a new method of photography as a marketing tool for the fashion industries in Malaysia. So I will be collaborating with stylists, models, make-up artists and such to make it work.
What is a typical day in your life?
A typical day for me would be attending classes and carrying out my academic research (I know boring lol) but I usually made it up by spending the weekend doing stuff that I love in order to have a balance life (and also to keep me sane haha)
In your own words, what encapsulates the perfect photo?
A perfect photo consists of good composition, with elements and principle of art applied impeccably, with the balance of story and message conveyed, and a hint of aesthetics. All of these are essentials for a perfect photograph. If the photograph is unable to reach out to its targeted audiences, the photographer might not have taken all these essentials into account. And last but not least, good gear does not equal good photo.
Name 3 of your favourite photography essentials that you can’t live without.
My DSLR which is a Nikon D750, a full-frame camera, with a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART lens and Adobe Photoshop CC for editing the photos. If one of these are not with me, I may not either perform well or I would be terribly demotivated.
Any favourite cafes/spots that you find Instaworthy?
Botanica + Co, Breakfast Thieves and Awesome Canteen.
Do you have any photography idols?
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Steve McCurry, and Annie Leibovitz; just to name a few.
Any life mottos?
Never take things for granted, always appreciate what you have. As written in the rule #32 in the movie Zombieland, enjoy the little things.
Who is your all time inspiration in life?
I have a lot but I would pick Keanu Reeves as an all-time inspiration. Firstly, he never seemed to age a day (probably immortal). The fact that he is a philanthropist is wonderful. To be as humble as him is what I aspire to be. Even after what life threw at him, he seemed to keep coming back up (he literally did in the movies he acted in).
What is the perfect weekend for you?
Utilising my weekend with photo shoots, catching up with friends and going to art events, spending some quality time with family, all in the same weekend.
Tell us what makes you smile the most? ☺
Definitely the sight of good food, like salmon sashimis, chicken rice and also seeing my aunt’s cats.
Where do you see yourself in 2 years’ time?
I would probably see myself working in a creative team, be it publication or anything else related to the art industry. In the meantime I would probably doing photography workshops for those who are interested in learning more in depth about it.
Take a look at Husaini’s work on his Instagram!
*all photo credits belong to Husaini Mustapha