Winds of Affection


How this creative couple collaborated on a unique project

Ayman Anika

Haven’t we all dreamt of travelling with a partner who would let us make ordinary moments extraordinarily special? Who would make us want to capture every moment together? What if we told you about a couple – united in marriage and passion for over 18 years – who have transcended the conventional boundaries of travel and travel photography and frozen moments with just a camera??

KM Rifatuzzaman, the Managing Director of Akhtar Group, and his muse and wife, Shaznin Khan have created an inventive project that combines the beauty of exotic destinations with the elegance of flying dress.

In a world where the breeze carries whispers of love and the sun paints portraits of adventure, there exists a tale of passion woven into the fabric of travel and photography. Meet Shaznin Khan, the visionary behind a whimsical project that marries the allure of exotic destinations with the grace of flying dresses. As the sun kisses the horizon, casting hues of gold upon the tranquil waters, Shaznin Khan with a heart full of dreams and eyes brimming with wonder, embarks on a journey to redefine the essence of travel photography. It was her vision and passion to catch memories into each frame.

And as the journey unfolds, their vision becomes a beacon of inspiration for lovers of wanderlust and romance alike. Through their lens, we are reminded that the greatest adventures are those shared with a kindred spirit, where love and exploration intertwine to create moments that last a lifetime.

“But behind the enchanting facade lies a tale of dedication and perseverance,” reflects KM Rifatuzzaman. “Through scorching sands and towering heights, Shaznin and I brave the elements to capture fleeting moments of beauty. With every click of the camera, we etch our love story onto the sands of time.”

Yet, amidst the challenges and triumphs, one thing remains constant – Shaznin’s unwavering spirit, as she is the one who took the first step into the journey of capturing their memories. “It takes a lot of planning before going for a destination,” Rifatuzzaman shares. “We plan how the photos will be, the frame, the sun position, timing, the crowds, and how we could complement each other. There’s always proper planning behind every single click.”

In an era where the concept of travel has become more than just visiting landmarks, couples across the globe are redefining the essence of journeying together with travel photography. We initially started doing this only for ourselves and for our passion. My wife was the one who planned for it and encouraged and pushed me to do this. “As time goes on, I enjoy it doing,” said KM Rifatuzzaman.

The beauty of taking photographs in flying dresses lies in its simplicity. There are no elaborate setups or complicated things, just the natural flow of fabric in sync with the wind. It’s an accessible form of art that encourages spontaneity and celebrates the beauty found in the ordinary moments of travel. After all, not every captivating photograph requires extensive planning, sometimes it’s about embracing the spontaneity of the journey.

Each photograph in their collection is a marriage of planning and effort. Rifatuzzaman elaborates on the meticulous process behind their shoots, particularly highlighting a session in Santorini, Greece. There was the blue sea, the rugged landscape, and the whitewashed cubiform structures, he describes, underscoring the challenge of coordinating colors, timing the sunlight perfectly, and avoiding the crowd in a location swarming with hundreds of other photographers.

The dedication extends to waking up at the crack of dawn to capture the soft, magical light of the morning, carrying heavy camera gear, and sometimes climbing to precarious positions just to get the perfect shot. “It wasn’t easy to manage the crowd, light, and our outfits properly,” recalls Rifatuzzaman of their adventures. “But our love for traveling and photography always shines through. It’s a labor of love that we wouldn’t trade for anything.”

And amidst the chaos and challenges, there exists a quiet beauty in the simplicity of their craft. Shaznin’s flying dresses, caught in the gentle embrace of the wind, become symbols of freedom and grace. It is a form of art that celebrates spontaneity and the beauty found in the ordinary moments of travel.

Nevertheless, one cannot deny the sheer joy emanating from these photographs. The dresses are chosen with care for their flowy fabric and vibrant hues, becoming an extension of Shaznin Khan’s spirit, catching the wind and adding a touch of whimsy to each frame. The result is a collection of images that encapsulate the joy of travel, the thrill of exploration, and the freedom of expression.

“As we explore new places and create lasting memories together, we hope to inspire others to view the world through the lens of love and adventure,” shares Shaznin Khan. “For us, travel photography is more than just capturing images – it’s about forging connections, embracing spontaneity, and celebrating the beauty of life’s journey.”

A significant aspect of their project is the visual harmony of their photographs, achieved through careful planning. Shaznin Khan who curates the dresses for their shoot, puts immense effort into ensuring that each piece complements the location’s color palette and ambiance. If you look at the pictures, you will see the color tones are finely arranged and appealing, points out Rifatuzzaman, highlighting the collaborative nature of their planning process.

Their journey has not been without challenges. From the physical strain and logistical hurdles of shooting in Egypt under the scorching sun to climbing 10 feet above the ground in Milan to catch fleeting sunlight, Rifatuzzaman and Shaznin have faced it all. “It was extremely hot! My wife’s makeup was melting and we felt dehydrated,” Rifatuzzaman recounts their Egypt adventure. Yet for them, the experience is priceless, offering a unique opportunity to create in places where few can.

Sometimes the challenge of capturing the perfect shot requires innovative solutions. Without traditional gear or an extra pair of hands, Rifatuzzaman has had to create the airflow to achieve the iconic billowing effect of the dresses. On occasion, their three children join the effort, making the photoshoot a family affair, where teamwork and love for Shaznin and their mother shine through.

We can see the beautiful photos but there is always hard work and lots of pain behind the scenes. Because of the weather, time, sweat, and heat, it wasn’t easy to manage the crowd light and their outfit properly. But they never gave up. Their love for traveling and photography is always visible.

So let us raise our glasses to Shaznin Khan and KM Rifatuzzaman, whose passion and creativity know no bounds. In their photographs, we find inspiration to chase our dreams, explore new horizons, and create memories that will last a lifetime. For in the world of travel photography, their love story unfolds – a testament to the transformative power of love, adventure, and the boundless beauty of the world around us.

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