By Lakhram Bhagirat
If you are an avid social media user or reside in the Cuyuni-Mazaruni Region then the name Malcolm Hinds must be a familiar one or you may have come across one of his breathtaking photos.
The young photographer is talent personified but what makes him more unique is that he is constantly focused on improving his product. Though just entering the world of photography less than two years ago, Yusuf Malcolm Israil Hinds has cemented himself among the go-to photographers in this country.
However, the journey to getting to where he is today has not been a smooth one. He believes all those challenges have somewhat shaped him into the complete being that he is today.
While he enjoys the confidence of his clients whenever they book him, he is always cognisant of what needs to be done and looking for various ways to improve his skillset.
The 25-year-old is currently employed as a Medical Records Clerk apart from being a photographer/visual artist.
He grew up in Second Avenue Bartica with his parents and siblings and was the second child for his father and sixth for his mother. His childhood was the quintessential Guyanese childhood with lots of games and fun times with his siblings and friends.
Things began changing when Malcolm started secondary school.
“I started high school when I was 11 and I never liked my high school, because I was picked on and always made fun of because of my appearance. I didn’t come from a financially stable home so it was very hard for us, but my parents always made sure I was fed,” he remembered.
The young man persevered and eventually graduated from secondary school. He then went on to Essequibo Technical Institute (ETI) where he thought that he would have had a better experience.
“I always made friends easy but they’d always pick on me or made fun of me and I never really liked it so I started to stop hanging out with them. At age 15 I graduated from high school and started ETI. I really thought it would’ve been different from high school but it was really the same experience I got,” he said.
Malcolm never got the opportunity to complete his studies at ETI because of his parents’ financial situation. He came back home on break one term and never returned to complete his studies.
For him, the interest was never in photography. It was something he had no knowledge about or intentions of pursuing. Rather, he loved and still loves music.
“I use to always been into music. I used to record for people as a music producer/sound engineer at Bottom House Records owned by Carlos Prowell. I recorded for many international artists too. I’ve recorded for people such as Natural Black, Duane Stephens and Lil Million among others,” Malcolm told the Sunday Times.
After school, his first job was as a porter at the Bartica Hospital and he also worked as a receptionist at a hotel in the township. The young man, at that time, was already living on his own in the studio so he had to “hustle”.
Malcolm got into photography by what he described as a bizarre incident. He had bought a Samsung Galaxy S8 phone and just started taking what he thought would be regular images and one of his photos was featured on Gordon Moseley’s page which basically introduced him as a photographer.
“What got me into photography was the love people give me for the images I’d take out with my phone. One of my photos even was featured on Gordon Moseley page before and after that I was booked for a wedding by someone in my region. But I had to explain to them that I had a phone not a professional camera but the person said that they loved my photos so much that they’d still pay me to be there. I invited 3 of my close friends and we went together and after the wedding I was paid $5000. I split the money between my friends afterwards,” Malcolm reminisced.
From that point, it instilled the idea that photography was a viable avenue for him so the following year, he bought his first camera. However, he had to make some sacrifices to acquire the funds to purchase a professional camera. He sold his gaming laptop and the very phone that got his photos recognised.
Malcolm then purchased a Nikon D3400 and began the journey as a photographer.
“Right now, photography means everything to me. It has given me a platform where I get to be as creative as I want and I am paid for it. Honestly, I’ve come to love this profession.”
The young photographer’s style encompasses all aspects of photography. While he never received formal training, he is not reluctant to ask for help when needed. His university, right now, is the world of YouTube where he would learn by virtue of trial and error.
“The challenges in this profession I’ve faced are mostly is in the business aspect of it whereas people don’t wanna pay. When I was now starting off, people would call me on short notice to do weddings and always, I’d end up not being paid for my time and service,” he said.
Every photographer gets to be a part of very special moments of people’s lives. They are there to immortalise that moment and over the span of his short career, Malcolm has immortalised a whole lot of moments.
The ambitious young man is hoping to open his own photo studio in the near future as well as the recording studio so he can re-enter the world of sound engineering.
“Don’t expect anything to be handed to you, work smart and hard as possible. Get involved with a lot of online courses and don’t focus on the gears but focus on learning on what you have first,” he advised.
You can connect with Malcolm on Facebook: M.Blitz Photography; Instagram: mblitzphotography; and WhatsApp +592-604-6834.