Moving on to the capital, Instagram Pakistan Series is featuring Usman or more popularly known as TotallyTrashed today on Instagram from Islamabad. A very talkative guy who lacks at formal interviews as he puts it himself, but we still managed to bug him. Thank you for keeping up Usman.
Instagram Username: @TotallyTrashed
Tell us about yourself, Usman.
Trust me, you wouldn’t want to know. Kidding.
I’m 28 years old, with an undergrad degree in psychology. I wanted to do PhD in Physics but life had other plans for me and I ended up becoming a photographer. I’m currently pursuing photography and cinematography as a career. I also work as a fixer for International documentary and news crews.
When I was a student, my teachers would have this issue with me where I would be the most talkative kid, would participate in debates, speeches and anything that involves talking but my answer sheets would have the most precise to-the-point answers. If this was a verbal interview, I could have spoken non-stop for an hour about each and every question but when i’m typing, I feel like i’m needlessly elaborating an answer.
As a person, I am humble, down to earth, friendly, fun loving and simple. I am argumentative, straightforward and blunt and that doesn’t earn me a lot of friends but the ones who are okay with all this, I try to stay sincere and loyal to them. I don’t try to complicate life and live it one day at a time, trying not to worry about the future too much. Oh, and I don’t drink tea or coffee, and I don’t like chocolates.
What inclines you towards Instagram and what do you prefer to the capture the most?
To begin with, what I love the most is the community that developed over such a short period of time. I have gotten to know some amazing people through Instagram and the bonds I’ve made are incomparable. I love nature and scenic beauty. My personal preference is capturing landscapes, architecture and nature. Occasionally, I post portraits on Instagram.
Has Instagram made any impact on your daily personal life?
It has. In a big way. Before I joined Instagram, I barely ever took any photos. In fact, three years ago, I was incapable of taking a good picture, had no interest in photography and to some extent, would even make fun of the “wannabe photographers with a DSLR”. And now, I’m earning my bread and butter through it. It’s all because of the few likes that I got on my initial few phone photos that I posted on Instagram three years ago, that encouraged me to keep doing this, and with time, this hobby turned into a profession, and now, its a passion. The money I earn through photography allows me to travel which is something I never got to do as a kid. On the downside, I don’t get to savor the moment when i’m out visiting a new place because i’m too busy trying to capture it.
In view of your travel shots, what’s your favorite getaway place? Both, that you’ve already been to and would love to in the future.
There are many places that I love visiting. Fatima Jinnah Park in Islamabad, Fairy Meadows/Nanga Parbat basecamp, Sethi House in Peshawar and Masjid Wazir Khan would rank among my most favorite. About the places I want to visit, K2 basecamp would be at the top one.
What’s your greatest fear?
To die of old age. I would prefer dying young, in my youth, when I am physically not dependent on anyone. People find it weird when I say this and ask me to be grateful for the life I have. I am grateful and would love to live a happy and peaceful life, but only if I can keep doing what I am doing right now, which is travel as much as possible. The day I can’t do that, due to physical limitation of human body, I would want my life to end.
Do you participate in competitions and hashtag projects on Instagram and what’s your opinion about them?
I rarely participate in competitions. My posts on Instagram are quite erratic. As far as the hashtag projects are concerned, I feel that these “challenges” push one to think outside the box, to be creative and unique. So I find it all very interesting. However, I am too lazy and rarely follow the hashtag projects.
What’s your take on processing/editing pictures and your most go to tools?
Editing is part of photography. I’m against photo manipulation though. My go-to tools for PC based editing is Adobe Lightroom. On phone, I use Lightroom Mobile, Photoshop Express, Snapseed, VSCO and Instagram.
How different or real is uber cool TotallyTrashed from Instagram to the common man Usman from Islamabad?
I would say I’m the same, but then again, this is something that I believe other people would have a better answer to. I’ve been told I come off as arrogant/proud and reserved on Instagram which is not true and is the complete opposite of the real life me. Because I am a lazy person and rarely reply to comments, people mistake it for attitude. That is not the case. I get to travel a lot because of work or road trips with friends, others get the impression that my life is ever exciting and entertaining. Again, that is not the case.
Since you’re from Islamabad, what would be your top 3 picked places to suggest to anyone who’s visiting your town?
Umm, my personal favorite place is Fatimah Jinnah park in the F9 sector. I go there a lot and always return with new shots from a different perspective. Other than that, one can go to Monal Restaurant in the Margalla hills, and the hiking trails are worth visiting as well.
Any message that you’d like to put across to your friends and Instagram family who are reading this through Twittistaan?
I would like to thank them for supporting me and liking my work. And I would encourage everyone to follow their heart and pursue their passions, to live life one day at a time and try being happy in any and all circumstances.
Also, don’t take Instagram too seriously. Likes, followers, follows-to-following ratio, none of this matters. In the end, it’s just a social network and your life does not depend on it.
Interviewed by: @PahujaPriyanka