As part of our partnership with Huawei and its global smartphone photography competition Next-Image awards 2020, May Tahmina Akhtar responds to the ‘Faces’ category as she invites us into her world of portraiture and helps us understand what goes on behind the scenes of capturing a captivating portrait using a smartphone.
British-Bengali Akhtar, a Manchester-based creative, content creator and makeup artist, uses her face as a canvas as she experiments with her own history and upbringing—unafraid to show her true self in a whole new way, while unpacking what the Positive Power of Creativity means to her.
“I loved the freedom of the category and being able to express myself. My inspiration was me. I’m really working towards having a type of work that screams me and I really think the look I did is a combination of the overall looks I love doing. It shows technique but also paints a picture of my culture and heritage!”
For Akhtar, photography has become an integral part of her work. By using the Huawei P40 Pro to film and photograph her makeup look, she draws from past experiences to inspire others in finding their own identity and to highlight the power creativity can have. Documenting her styles allows Akhtar to not only better her craft but also share her talent with the world. Using the phone’s camera features, such capturing her images using the 32MP Dual View selfie camera and in the Super Resolution RAW format, Akhtar was able to depict her face and the makeup look she created for her submitted images in a resolution like no other, showcasing the intricate little details that make her face; her identity unique: “I was able to highlight the details that made this look so special for who I am, and for my identity.”
Do you have a powerful portrait to share? Submit pictures of your creations taken on your Huawei smartphone to the Huawei Next-Image awards 2020 for a chance to win a creation fund of up to $10,000 USD.
After dropping out of her integrated masters and while waiting for different courses to start, Akhtar focused her attention on makeup, amassing over 40,000 followers across social media by posting simple and aesthetically pleasing makeup videos and photographs that encouraged more people to reflect on their heritage, their individualism and their creativity in unique ways. Akhtar sent out a clear message to her followers: you can do this too.
Akhtar saw her opportunity to further her approach to makeup while also redefining her British-Bengali origins: “I used to think makeup was boring and everyone did the same thing. But since finding the editorial side of it on social media and seeing the artistry behind it and how different people’s style of makeup was, I began to do simple but graphic liner looks to express my style in a way modest clothing sometimes couldn’t!”
With the power of photography at our fingertips, capturing unique portraits is something each and every one of us can do. As Akhtar says, “Makeup is so free—you can do whatever you feel like doing.”
To achieve and capture makeup looks as cheerful and fun as Akhtar’s, experimentation is key. Faces are unique to each and every one of us, and the real power lies in the ability to celebrate our differences. “Don’t be afraid to make mistakes as you can make a look out of it or run it out—it’s not the end of the world!” explains Akhtar. Using the Huawei P40 Pro’s Field-of-view fusion zoom has allowed Akhtar to capture her own interpretation of self-portraiture, adding her own mark on her ideas of faces, beauty and portraiture.
Last tip from the pro? Always remember that, whatever you decide to create, it is by capturing your creativity that you will make it stand out. Whether in makeup or in photography, “use your face as a canvas.”
Akhtar uses makeup to share her culture and heritage through captivating portraits. What will you share about you? We want to know! Create your own narrative using your Huawei smartphone and submit your image to the Huawei Next-Image awards 2020 for a chance to win a creation fund of up to $10,000 USD.
As part of our partnership with Huawei and its global smartphone photography competition Next-Image awards 2020, we spoke to Joey Yu about her craft of storytelling and her ability to capture the Positive Power of Creativity to depict fascinating narratives using a Huawei P40 Pro.
The London-based illustrator can turn the simple action of people-watching into a spectacular experience of vibrant colours and storytelling. For Yu, it doesn’t matter what time of year it is or where she is, there’s always a reason to create—and always a reason to inspire others, too. In order to understand the thought process behind capturing the art of storytelling through illustration, we spoke to Yu about what it takes to capture a powerful narrative into a series of images.
Are you also a storyteller? We want to see your series of photographs! Capture a story on your Huawei smartphone and submit it to the Huawei Next-Image awards 2020 for the chance to win a creation fund of up to $10,000 USD.
For her participation in the Huawei Next-Image awards 2020, Yu picked the ‘Storyteller’ category. After all, providing a narrative and expressing emotions through a series of images is what Yu does best. “For the ‘Storyteller’ category, which is all about creating narratives I thought I would make a world inside of a world—just like a paper inception. I made a really big paper landscape, put myself inside of it while making a smaller drawing inside of it.”
Creating an immersive narrative, Yu captured a story within a story by using her smartphone in a captivating way. “Obviously, there was a lot of information I wanted to capture, preferably with a wide-angle camera lens, which the Huawei P40 Pro has. It just let me fit everything into the image—the details, the colours, the sharpness, all of that information is just packed into one image.”
Taking the meaning of storytelling as a means to record a sequence of moments in time, Yu chose to put herself within her work, and quite literally step into her own narrative as it subtly develops, one pencil stroke at a time.
Immersive art is part of Yu’s main inspiration, “I love that feeling of immersive art and being able to step into a painting.” Keeping this inspiration in mind in her submission for the Huawei Next-Image awards 2020, Yu wanted to highlight how important it is as an artist to be able to narrate a story using drawings and images, “I’ve taken that quite literally in what I’ve created—hopefully, it communicates.”
“I think storytelling is the reason why I do what I do today. When I was little, I would read a lot and I would take those words and those images that I was looking at. Using those to just daydream was the biggest form of magic you could get—it still is today. And being able to get so many emotions from just a few bits of paper, a single image is what I decided would be my life,” Yu told us.
As an artist, being able to tell someone’s story through illustration, film, photography—you name it—does more than captivating your audience; it allows you to express and share with the world something that would otherwise stay untold. Capturing these feelings and expressing them through whichever medium you pick is what creativity truly is about.
Over time, Yu started using her daydreaming nature into her craft as a tool of its own. Illustration became the perfect way of telling stories, be that her own story or any she’s created from just looking at strangers on the street. Yu elevates these familiar, seemingly ordinary aspects of life and transforms them into magical and poetic moments.
Know which creative approach you would pick to tell your story in a series of photographs? Capture a story on your Huawei smartphone and share it with the world by submitting it to the Huawei Next-Image awards 2020 for the chance to win a creation fund of up to $10,000 USD.