Children of Kashmir

An interview with a Kashmiri photographer

Can you tell the readers a little about yourself? 

–    My name is Yasir Mir and I am 19 years old hobby photographer and tourism student from Kashmir, India.

You are the winner of the photography prize Capturing Kashmiriyat 2018 What is that price?  

–   It is the feature in the highest-selling magazine of Kashmir. 

How was it for you to win that prize? As an individual, and for your career ? 

–    As an individual, it was enthralling for me, and it promoted my career as an artist. 

How old were you when you got your first camera? 

–    When I was 16 years old I was using my phone camera to document my travels. In 2017, one of my images (taken with the phone) was featured as a cover photo for a calendar. After that, my parents gave me a camera as a gift.

What dragged you towards photography? 

–    I love travelling because I get to see a lot of beautiful places. Photography turned out to be the best medium to document my trips. I started taking photos around 4 years ago. My genres of interest include landscapes, portraits & streets. 

How do you look at photography today if you compare it with when you started?

–    It has evolved a lot since I started. I am now documenting places and people with stories & emotions.  I am focusing on images which consist of human interest. In the beginning, it was not like this. 

How is it to see the world through the camera?

–    It is both challenging and fascinating. The challenge is to show an object with an eye-catching perspective and keep the originality of the picture. It is aslo fascinating because I get the opportunity to visit places and meet people and share it with the world. 

How does being a photographer affect your view of the world around you?

–    After photography, I have started observing nature and understanding people more. I present nature in different ways and get closer to people whom I document. 

When you do not have a camera in your hand can you relax without wanting to take a picture? 

–    It depends on what frame I see that time. If I see a beautiful view or an awesome portrait when I don’t have a camera with me, I usually regret or will try to capture it with my phone. 

You were born in Kashmir, is that right? 

–    Yes

If you were going to describe Kashmir in two words what would those two words be? 

–    Heaven and Chaotic. 

 I think unfortunately many people think of Kashmir as a war zone. I have visited Kashmir many times, and know that it is not the reality. Kashmir is so much more than a war zone. For me, Kashmir is the paradise on earth when it comes to beauty and generosity of people. Can you describe Kashmir with your own words for people who have never been there? 

–    Above statement is right. For me, Kashmir is one of the most fascinating and beautiful places on earth and a very chaotic place for tourists as the media is showing it in a contradictory way. To eradicate all these confusions, one needs to visit Kashmir, thereafter their perspective will be changed. 

What makes Kashmir such a special place?

–    Serenity in nature. Beautiful people and their immense hospitality.