Interview with Danial Hakim | GBPW Episode 152

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Danial Hakim.

As a sports photographer, as a documentary photographer, it’s important to be really honest in your work.

Danial Hakim

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high angle shot of car racing location

In this episode, I speak with Danial Hakim, an artist who specialises in many interesting genres. In addition to taking photos, Danial produces and directs videos. You’ll find striking photos of food, people, architecture, and sports in his portfolio.

We talk about:

  • What it takes to be a successful sports photographer
  • How to take stunning documentary photographs
  • General lighting tips and tricks

& much more!

If you’re interested in sports, food, or documentary photography, you’ll enjoy listening to this episode. Danial opens up about his experiences in these genres and provides helpful tips for anyone who wants to get better at taking photographs in high-pressure environments.

Here is a preview of our conversation with Danial Hakim.

wide aperture sports photo of cyclists in Paris

Q: What technical advice would you give to people who want to work in sports photography?

Danial Hakim: This is something that I picked up from a mentor. He told me, “Be in the present.” It sounds so metaphorical and wishy washy. I couldn’t really understand what he was trying to say.

When we’re trying to document something, we need to be in the present. You’ve got to be sincere and you’ve got to be there, instead of of not being there. That’s something I’d like to pass on.

wide angle shot of cyclists in the mountains by Danial Hakim

Q: What lighting advice would you give to food photographers?

Danial Hakim: I’m actually a sucker for natural lighting. I think the sun is your best friend. Learn to read light. That’s the basis of a lot of things that we do. If you don’t understand light, you’ll never be able to understand aperture and everything else. Realise that light travels in a straight line.

Also, I like food, so I want to be able to portray my food as something that I’d eat.

photo of cyclist in the rain by Danial Hakim

Q: What is something that you wish everyone knew about sports photography?

Danial Hakim: It’s not only physically demanding, but it’s actually a very mental game as well. It can be mentally taxing. Sports photographers are probably some of the fastest people that I know when it comes to workflow and making sure that their images come up to life.

As a sports photographer, you don’t get second chances most of the time, and it can be frustrating, especially if you miss your frame. A lot of sports photographers are very calm, cool, and collected people. It comes with the nature of the job.


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Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.
Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.

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