At 500px amazing photography is at our core, but these photos would not be possible without the talented people behind the lens. The 500px Spotlight series highlights the global and diverse photographers that are part of the 500px Community.

This week we are excited to introduce you to portrait photographer, Babak Fatholahi.

Hi Babak, please introduce yourself!

My name is Babak, and I was born in 1990 in Tehran. I’m a self-taught photographer, director, and visual storyteller. Light and colors play a central role in all of my works.

As a photographer, how did you come to own your first camera, and were there any integral people that shaped your practice in the early days?

I entered the world of photography by accident. I started by taking self-portraits on my mobile phone, I did not know what I was doing exactly, but I felt a strong interest in doing it. Then, I decided to buy my first camera in 2012. I took pictures for my family, but the main inspiration for me were the pictures in magazines—I wanted to take pictures like them.

You’re a self-taught photographer, what do you consider the fundamental elements of photography you must learn?

Well, we should all learn the basics of photography, but the things that were most attractive to me on this path, were the concepts of light and color. I learned about these concepts from the cinema, and from paintings I learned lessons about emotions and composition.

What are your favorite compositional rules to break?

Honestly, I do not adhere to any specific law in my work, and try to go with the feel of the image that I learned about from movies and paintings.

The team at 500px always finds it a smart strategic decision for photographers to specialize. How did you, as a visual storyteller, come to love portraiture and choose it as your method of creative expression?

I have a simple and clear inner world. I always loved the things that I feel, and can turn those feelings into pictures in my mind. For me, human beings and human relationships are the most attractive subjects. The medium of photography is the easiest way to express feelings about the world in my mind.

When creating portraits what are your tips to prepare? (As a photographer what would you suggest and what do you expect from your models)?

I want the models to be real and comfortable with me, and take off their everyday masks, which humans always have. I try to show the beauty inside my subjects. Most of the time, I try to be like a close friend to them, so they feel comfortable and calm.

The image Mother and Daughter is captivating and shows a relationship between the sitters. What message were you trying to convey with this series?

I have tried to show the experience that I felt between the mother and her child, and the beautiful connection that was there—things that you cannot express well with words.

The world of NFTs is shaking up the art scene and you’ve already created several. What are your thoughts on making your work into a collectible digital asset?

I think the NFT world is a future that is coming fast, and I’m new to this world. It is a good opportunity for me to share with more digital artists and those who are interested in art.

What advice do you have for other creatives to get their work in front of more eyes and overcome any imposter syndrome they may experience?

I only recommend that they practice, attempt to work, and never give up. They should know that the map of the artist is their beautiful heart and mind.

What is your favorite image on your 500px profile and why?

The third photo of the Natalia collection. I feel like I’ve illustrated the soul, the eyes are well defined.

Do you have any exciting new projects in the works that you feel comfortable sharing with the 500px community?

Yes, I’m busy working on my new projects. I am happy that 500px created a perfect space so that photographers can share their work.

Check out past 500px Spotlights:
Edward Grant
Andrés López
Dannie Brown
Roberto Di Patrizi
Michal Zahornacky
Sara Zanini

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