"I am not really a photographer, all I do is take pictures of my surroundings" : Nayeem Kalam

Updated: Dec 16, 2020

Nayeem Kalam was from Chittagong, Bangladesh, one of the most underrated photographers of Bangladesh. A photographer who always kept himself out of the spotlight. He captured each and every moment he lived and seen, unfortunately in 2019, Aug he passed away in his 40s.

"Once I asked Nayeem Bhai to send a small biography and some photos to be feature in one of the online photographer Magazines, he sent 2 line biography of himself

First of all I must tell you guys that I am not really a photographer, never had any formal education on photography, never read any books on it as well. All I do is take pictures of my surroundings wherever I may be and it gives me such great pleasure which I simply cannot describe. And one more thing....I like a bit of entertainment. Thank you.

Then after a year of his sad demise, I thought to share some of his works which all are available in his flickr account. To me, it felt like i am just in an ocean of a visual story, thousand of photos, millions of stories. He just used his camera to write down his personal diary. Very open about his personal life and viewer can feel each and every emotion he has gone through. I gave up going though his photos and I really want to see a proper archive of this great light collector."

-- Saud Al Faisal, Freelance photographer, Bangladesh.

Ata M Adnan , a professional photographer based in Chittagong, Bangladesh, who was also very close of Nayeem Kalam, remembers this great photographer is his own words:

"NAYEEM Kalam, a photographer that I call my favorite. A photographer that has made a name for himself in the hearts of hundreds if not thousands of his viewers on Flickr.
Nayeem Kalam, who passed away in his 40s, has been taking photos for more than two decades. I was fortunate enough to know him closely since the inception of my interest in photography in 2011. It was a blessing for me to find my favorite photographer in the world in my own hometown. We spoke for endless hours, always meeting on the streets where we would wait and shoot people.
For him, taking photos was instinctive. He would carry his camera all the time, even inside his house. He would never go traveling for photos, but would insist on photographing whatever he was upto.
With no formal education in photography, he had his own ideas and principles about the discipline. His peculiarities and traits made him special. For instance, he would only shoot at ISO-50 and ISO-3200 on his digital cameras, and would prefer to use the first generation of DSLRs for their film like colors. He would only shoot with prime lenses, and hardly used any post processing software.
Everyone who followed his work knew his love for portraits- little did people know that his love for portraits came from his love for mankind. I’ve never seen anyone in my life who is able to treat people equally, giving so much dignity to streetside beggars and rickshaw pullers. It was even more surprising since he comes from one of the wealthiest families of the city but never took pride in materialistic belongings. I am always astounded by how warm and affectionate he was to me as a young photographer.
The camera was his pen, and his photos are his stories that he has shared with the world. Like a true author, his stories were from the real world, his characters real, his photos drenched in true emotions. For people viewing his Flickr profile, his life was an open book- a life of suffering of the soul in many aspects, but also a life full of love and admiration for the world.
Nayeem Kalam had an episode of stroke before passing away in August 2019."

All Photos Copy Righted by the photographer (C)

Text by Saud Al Faisal and Ata Adnan

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