Omar Mian is a globe-trotting photographer who uses pictures to tell stories about the amazing things he sees on his travels. Introduced to Winterbourne by his sister, he has been visiting since he was 11 years old and never misses a chance to photograph his favourite spots in the garden. We asked Omar how he gets such amazing shots and what motivates him to keep coming back for more.
“I started off as a dentist but soon realised that there were other things in life that were a bit more fun. Time is precious so it’s important to fill it with what the heart desires. My love is with travel, art and design. Also important to me is spending time with friends and family. Life has a lot of twists, turns, ups and downs, all making new memories and teaching me new things. Photography is my aid to storytelling. It is a personal journey of little moments in time.”
“I spent a lot of time abroad and my photography fast became my way of helping me to capture scenes I may or may not see again. For me it’s all about capturing a moment and the memories that surround it. A photo can remind you of conversations, sites, smells and sounds. Sometimes a photo can evoke emotions. Some make me wonder, laugh and cry. If it does any of these things, then I think it’s a good photo.”
“My absolute favourite camera would be my 1951 Rolleiflex TLR camera. It’s a camera that still gets my heart rate going. I often wonder who used the camera before me and what images it has seen. Using it just feels so soulful. I’m very respectful of it. One roll of 120 film only gives me 12 shots so I have to slow down and think that bit more. It’s by no means a perfect camera. I’ve learnt to love the imperfections!”
“That’s not to say I don’t enjoy using other cameras too. I just like to try and make the most of whatever camera I happen to have on me. Often it’s film and sometimes it’s digital or even just my phone. It’s not just about the camera you use. More important than the camera is being at the right place at the right time.”
“I nearly forgot to mention my sister Dr Rubina Mian! She used to work at the University of Birmingham and introduced me to Winterbourne. It felt like a little secret garden that only she knew about. She first took me there when I was 11 years old and I have been visiting with her ever since. It’s a great way to get rid of stress.”
“I’m certainly not a good gardener, but that doesn’t stop me appreciating nature’s beauty. There’s always something new to photograph in Winterbourne. There is a wonderful beauty to all the seasons. I always head towards the bridge. When the lights right, the reflection of the trees in the water is just beautiful. At times to me it just looks like a painting. It reminds me a lot of my travels especially when it’s quiet. It gives me time to think, reflect and gain some perspective on life. And then there’s also the scones…”