say no omens
I think the best way to describe Hamza Chaudhry is as a character. He’s a filmmaker and photography with a high energy spirit. He has never-ending jokes. I can’t promise you’d laugh at all of them, but without a doubt, the humor in life’s seriousness is always found. And even with all his wits, he still knows how to hold down a conversation. It’s easy to feel comfortable around him. You don’t have to waste time adjusting and you can be yourself- weight is lifted off.
Hamza grew up in a Muslim household in North Jersey and found his way to Long Island with his family. Because both places are so close to New York City, he ended up spending a lot of time there and developed a fondness for people-watching, fashion, and the diversity of city life. He felt inspired to start shooting streetwear and eventually short films too. The Big Apple is a breeding ground for iconic moments and home to the movies he watched as a kid like; Spiderman, Ghostbusters, American Psycho, etc.. His love for cinema influenced his brand’s name as well. ‘Say No Omens’ is rooted in his belief that some things simply shouldn’t be said or spoken of and a play on words for the Harry Potter villain, “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named”.
The art he produces is to show the world what it doesn’t see. It’s a search for beauty in some of the ugliest places and to create something that shows past that, evoking emotion in the audience. “There are so many reasons for us to unite together, to preserve our Earth and to forget hate.” His hopes are that photography can promote that kind of loving behavior in others. And also to remind everyone that we aren’t bound to our chains or daily responsibilities. We can find freedom in venturing outside of known territory. We can get lost for a little bit and live in the present moment. All photography is, is capturing that moment and being able to share the experience, so you can feel the joy through the photo.
Each time Hamza does a new photoshoot, the angles and natural features are inspected to see what’s most suiting. He looks for things that enhance the moment. Although he has taken some stunning photos of the night sky, he prefers daylight and works with whatever time he has outside. Hamza uses Quick Burst on his camera and about 600 photos are taken on average each shooting day. After uploading everything into Adobe Lightroom, it’s narrowed down to around 90.
Finding a location can be one of the most difficult parts of photography. One place is only good for so long before you get your bucket shot. But the journey to a new place makes it all worth it. And even with that, you could still make a thousand different faces, in a thousand different places and they’d all be unique. It’s up to the person behind the camera. There’s so much to see on this planet and shooting real-life is thrilling to look back at because it’s real life. You have the power to create a jaw-dropping photo that makes people wonder how. Nothing is filled in, photoshopped, or CGI.