Replay : ‘Seeing Beauty’ with Nadirah Zakariya


Over the span of three weeks, participants from this creative portrait photography workshop were encouraged to create a new body of work, with the theme of “SEEING BEAUTY”.

Nadirah Zakariya worked closely with each photographer to develop their photography series and personal styles. Participants met up as a group, weekly for critique sessions to share work in progress and one-on-one sessions with Nadirah.

At the end of the workshop, participants showcased their new project stories to the public at the Whitebox Gallery, at MAP in Publika in conjunction with the Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards exhibition.

Below are selected images from each participant’s final projects. This workshop was presented by the Kuala Lumpur International Photoawards on the 15 August 2015.

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Photography by: Niesa Jamalulail

Bio: 24 years old, Gombak, Selangor. Bachelor of Photography from University Teknologi MARA (UiTM)

Project Title: ABOUT ZETTY

This series is about discovering the insecurities of one of my closest friends, Zetty.

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Photography by: FAIZ AKHBAR

Project Title: TEN YEARS

A photo series exploring the relationship between the photographer and his muse, taken in a span of a decade.

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Photography by: DAYANG FAZAL


Born and raised in Sabah, I have been living in KL for 4 years and currently working at GIATMARA HQ. In 2011 and 2012, I joined the Kota Kinabalu International Film Festival where my short films made it in the top ten list. I joined this workshop to explore the beauty in portraiture as I believe there is always a great story behind every portrait.

Project Title: SAKINAH

Sakinah is an Arabic word which means “Serenity”. This is a story about Sakinah, my colleague. Unfortunately her life journey is not as “calm “as the meaning of her name”.

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Photography by: PHYLLISIA NG


Phyllisia, 30, a Sarawakian, a cancer survivor, a person who wear sher heart on her sleeves. She takes photographs to help her remember and believe that to create and connect are what keeps her alive.


These are individuals who have hearts bigger than the moon, who have made an impact in the different seasons of my life. I used the projections to portray what they mean to me or how our connections are like.

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Photography by: MAHESH KULKARNI


A corporate executive by profession he earns his living from there. At heart, he is a photographer, an amateur with a passion in wildlife photography wanting to make a headway in this art form.

Project Statement:

Seeing Beauty In Motivation, Pro-environmental Behaviors and Attitude Of Bird Watchers (Birders) & Bird Photographers.

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Back in 2004, my family and I were in Phuket during Christmas and the tragedy that took place left a notable scar on the island. But as a child I was pretty oblivious, until I saw the photographs my stepfather managed to capture during the whole disaster. Especially the before and after shots. Ever since then I’d mess around with my stepfather’s DSLR, I then received my first camera in 2009. Though I only started taking photography seriously after I joined a workshop by Obscura back in 2013.

Project Title: Beacon

Beauty is subjective, and from my point of view, beauty is anything that pushes you to be better. Regardless whether if its for yourself, or for another. Coincidentally in the same year I received my camera, I was going through depression and almost took actions that would not permit me to be where I am now.

My sisters are my beacon, they have given me strength, and purpose to live.


Nadirah Zakariya

Kuala Lumpur-born photographer, Nadirah Zakariya got her foot in the industry assisting fashion photographer Yelena Yemchuk, photojournalist Bruce Davidson and filmmaker Floria Sigismondi while receiving her Bachelor in Fine Arts in New York City. By the time she graduated, Nadirah was already an internationally published photographer. Her works have appeared in numerous magazines such as The New York Times Magazine, NYLON, NYLON Guys, VICE, and W Magazine. Since then, she has been commissioned to photograph musicians, namely OK GO, Au Revoir Simone, Wild Beasts and Nada Surf.

With a passion in photography, Nadirah also focuses on personal projects which have been exhibited in major cities including New York, London, Paris, San Francisco and Kuala Lumpur. In 2011, Nadirah was invited to hold her first solo exhibition, Daughters Ago, at the New York Lomography Gallery on Park Avenue. When Nadirah is not photographing, she enjoys sharing her passion through running workshops.

Companies and brands she has worked with since returning to Kuala Lumpur include Levi’s, Wardrobe, Tall Order Sdn. Bhd., Sime Darby Property, Shell, Freeform Design, The Spacemen, Wayang Works, Whimsigirl Design, The Venopian Solitude, and magazines such as Cleo, HANGER and Milk.

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