Hi, I’m Tarik Ahmet from Oh Brother Creative. I work alongside my brother Hax who deals with the film side of things in our partnership and I’m responsible for the photography.
For me, photography is a privilege – the moment you capture a photograph you’ve frozen an unchangeable, but sometimes forgettable moment, and given it the chance to live on. This might be your child smiling, your father’s last breath or a stranger with an expression that possesses the ability to make you question so many things.
I’m fascinated by people. The way they can smile to themselves in a fleeting moment or look at another stranger wondering what they’re thinking. The chain of intrigue is a wonderful thing when you embrace it.
My journey into street photography has been a very slow and convoluted ride. Having taken my first ever street photo in Paris in 2007, truth be told I didn’t even know why I took the photo, but I had an urge to do so.
I saw a gentleman with a cigarette half hanging from his mouth trying to take a photo of his partner and I just thought he looked cool, so I took his portrait with my Canon 350D DSLR coupled with a Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM.
Over the next seven years following that photo I took a few pictures here and there as a hobbyist, but put more energy into music, as that was the ‘original’ dream. However, what I came to learn is that no matter how hard I practiced on the guitar, I never got to a point that I felt good enough. Street photography on the other hand, felt so natural.
I found myself able to take pictures that people started to comment on. Don’t get me wrong, most of the positive comments came from my Mum and Dad! But they noticed, so I thought it was time I started to work a little harder with my street photography and give it the time and energy it deserved.
My first published street photography project in 2016 had me ride the London Underground for 24 hours straight, with the aim to study the routine and interaction of London commuters, as well as give my newly purchased Fujifilm X-T2 a run for its money.
Following this project, I was hooked, and have since captured frames in various places around the world including Hong Kong, Cambodia, Berlin and Cyprus.
My introduction to photography, as mentioned, was by way of DSLR, but as things evolved, I wanted something smaller and more inconspicuous. So I invested in an Olympus OMD EM10 coupled with a Panasonic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7, which was a fantastic little camera.
However, the low light capabilities were becoming an issue so I moved on to purchasing a Fuji X-T2 and this is where the love for mirrorless really commenced.
I spent two years photographing professionally with the Fuji X-T2 from 2016 and also purchased a Fujifilm X100F for street photography and personal family photography – you really can’t argue with the usability and size of this camera. The X100F is truly magnificent.
I’ve now moved into Sony territory with the advancement of the filming side of my business and found that the A7iii actually makes for a brilliant street photography camera too. In silent shutter mode, the camera becomes fairly inconspicuous and the focus tracking capabilities and image quality is fantastic.
It’s becoming a tough fight between the Sony A7iii and the Fuji X100F for street photography nowadays, so I’ll often carry both and just go with my gut on the day.
However having a flip up screen on the Sony A7iii is really helpful and has started to influence the way I shoot, so I’m considering the idea of purchasing the newly released Fujifilm X100V which now includes a flip-up screen.
Sony A7 III – This camera is brilliant. It started off as a love/hate relationship as it’s such a complicated camera to use, especially when compared to a Fuji. But the amazing focus system and image quality make this a joy to use.
The image stabiliser and ability to use it for film as well as photography was also a business decision that made sense, as my business partner and I could work from one ecosystem.
Fujifilm X100F – Super compact and inconspicuous to use. The leaf shutter is near silent so you can shoot with this camera in so many settings. The image quality is brilliant and the camera is so easy to use.
Zeiss Batis 25mm f/2 – Nice wide angle lens with minimal barrel distortion. I don’t use this lens much but I needed a replacement for the Sony 28mm f2 which, although is a lovely lens, suffers from crazy barrel distortion that renders it nearly useless for me.
Sony Sonnar T* FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA – I purchased this lens before Sony released the 1.8 version. The 1.4 version was never an option for me as it was too big for my setup. This compact little gem is excellent for street photography and even though it’s surplus to requirements for commissioned work, I can’t bring myself to sell it on.
Sony FE 35mm f/1.8 – The much anticipated 35mm was a very welcome addition to my setup and it most certainly hasn’t disappointed. Tack sharp with beautiful character and great for street, documentary and portrait photography.
Sony Sonnar T* FE 55mm f/1.8 ZA – Superb, reliable lens that nails every frame. Great for portraits.
Sony FE 85mm f/1.8 – Beautiful colour rendition and character. Tack sharp and probably my favourite lens from Sony for portraiture.
Benro Incognito B200 Backpack – The thing I like most about this bag is that it doesn’t look much like a camera bag, so I feel pretty safe using it whilst commuting. Also, the compartment that holds your camera sits against your back so no one can get to it when you’re out and about in the city.
Peak Design Leash Camera – I like the Peak straps mainly because you can whip it on and off the camera really quickly with the quick release. I like to shoot street without a neck strap once I get into a flow, and often shoot from the hip using the flip out screen to compose the frame.
Hardware & Software
MacBook Pro 15-inch – They just work so I’ve always stuck with using a MacBook. I edit using Lightroom Room and Photoshop, keeping my setup simple with just a mouse and standard keyboard. I shoot everything in RAW and my preset for Sony is built from scratch using ‘Camera Standard’ and for Fuji based on ‘Classic Chrome’.
BlogCurrator – I use this software to resize my images for blog posts. It’s brilliant at retaining image quality and resizing as required.
Planoly – I use this to manage my Instagram account. I’m on a paid account so I can manage more than one account and also plan for two to three months worth of posts.
Asus PB278Q Professional Monitor – When I’m at my desk I’ll always connect to my external monitor to take advantage of a dual screen setup. I tested three or four monitors and I found this one came closest to the colours on my MacBook.
Portal Black 10″ k- I use this device to stay in contact with my business partner as we video call from our home office at least three times a day. It also works really well with Spotify.
YINEME True Wireless Earbuds, Memory Wire Over Ear Hooks – I love listening to music when I’m shooting street as it helps get me into a zone. I like these earphones mostly because they are Bluetooth, but also because they aren’t completely noise cancelling, which means I’m able to hear sounds and noises around me too.
I think we take for granted how important our other senses are when capturing photos.
www.oh-brother.co.uk | @photogbytarik
Check out these 8 essential tools to help you succeed as a professional photographer.
Includes limited-time discounts.