A passion for photography

Baqibillah Nouri whips out his phone and shows off his Instagram profile. The 18-year-old is a talented photographer who has been showcasing his city and life on the social media platform for the past couple of years.

"I can put emotion into the photos."
Photo: Baqibillah Nouri

Baqibillah came to New Zealand as a refugee 13 years ago. He's originally from Afghanistan, a country his family was forced to flee when he was only a few months old. He has no memory of the country he was born in but recalls landing in Auckland as a 6-year-old.

"I remember it was the middle of the night and my parents were telling me to get off the plane," he says.

"The sad thing about photography is that you don't really get many photos of yourself."
Photo: Baqibillah Nouri

These days Baqibillah is studying photography at university. It's a passion that was sparked in 2011 when a visiting Uncle gave him a camera.

"I just started experimenting from there," he says. “At the start it was just flower and nature photography but now I’m more into landscapes and cityscapes.”

“The thing I like about photography is that I can show people stuff that I see through my own eyes. I can put emotion into the photos as opposed to it just being a look and shoot photo.”

"Now I'm more into landscapes and cityscapes." 
Photo: Baqibillah Nouri

Word has gotten around Hamilton that he's a skilled photographer and Baqibillah has already been commissioned to do a few events and weddings. His friends also often pester him for a free photoshoot or two when they’re just hanging out.

"They always get me to take photos of them," he says. “The sad thing about photography is that you don’t really get many photos of yourself.”

"I can show people stuff that I see through my own eyes."
Photo: Baqibillah Nouri

Although there's been demand for his work locally and a positive reaction from people on Instagram, Baqibillah in unsure whether he’ll pursue a fulltime gig as a photographer.

"I think of photography as a hobby or a side job but I haven’t really thought about what I want to do for a career."

If you'd like to find out more about the awesome things people from refugee backgrounds are doing in our community, why not check out these stories.