About the artist

International wedding & lifestyle photographer - Irfan Ahson - Got my schooling from Aitchison, Lahore and hold a Masters from UT Austin in Transport science. Providing high end portraiture for the discerning bride. With years of International experience and training behind us, Kairos Studio provides exceptional high end product with memories to share for the ages to come. 


My interview with The Saturday Post:
Meet Irfan Ahson, a civil engineer working in the US on the Texas Department Transportation projects; not only is he a full time engineer, but also an accomplished photographer. In our exclusive interview, Irfan explains to us a bit about both his professions; on one side explaining what goes into creating transportation infrastructure and on the other side giving some tips on photography!

Please introduce yourself to our readers. Tell us about your background; where you grew up, your family and education.
I am Irfan Ahson, a photographer caught inside the body of Civil Engineer. I am married and have a one year old who is the light of my life. I am from Lahore and had the good fortune of calling Aitchison College my alma mater as well as my home. My dad used to teach there and we lived on the campus staff housing for most of life. I did my O levels from Aitchison, and then went on to study at the University of Engineering and Techology to earn my B.SC in Civil Engineering. I worked at NESPAK for a few years, and then got accepted in UC Berkeley as well as UT Austin for Research Assistantship in the Masters program. I decided to choose UT over UC Berkeley and have been working in Austin, TX since 2003 after graduating.

You are a Civil Engineer by profession tell us why you choose this line of work and where are you currently working.
I had an uncle who was a Civil Engineer and basically it was his influence that made me choose this field. After working in corporate America the first few years, I now work with a small Structural Engineering firm run by a Pakistani. The plan is to expand our services in the transportation engineering sector, which is my specialty.

You work with TxDOT tell us what goes into making huge complex highways, bridges and roads? 

It is a very involved and lengthy process to say the least. An average TxDOT funded project can take up to 15 years from conception to completion. There are numerous public hearings, input from stake holders, countless environmental issues to deal with, and the right of way acquisition. Only then a project gets to the schematics design stage followed by further detailed design, and finally the construction phase. A lot of effort and investment goes in to building safe and quality transportation infrastructure which the public does not always realize.

You have worked on some road projects in Pakistan tell us which ones, and what that experience has been for you.
I worked in NESPAK for few years after I graduated from UET. Even though we followed the same design codes and softwares, the whole design process in Pakistan was much less rigorous as compared to my TxDOT experience. I would attribute this to the "liability and accountability" issue which is nonexistent in Pakistan. If due to a faulty design, stormwater ponds form in a business' driveway, the owner can sue me to claim loss of business which can run in hundreds of thousands of dollars. Unfortunately, even if a bridge collapses in Pakistan, one can still get away with it if you know the right people.
Besides this full time job, you are also an accomplished photographer; tell us what got you interested in photography?

I was always fond of the outdoors, and photography enabled me to appreciate mother nature even more so. After I picked up photography in 2006, I started noticing the little details - magical lighting after a storm, a roadside wild flower, intricate architectural patterns...little things that that can make your day more

Tell us about your camera gear, what do you carry in your camera bag?
I shoot with both Canon and Nikon gear. I don’t believe in zooms and I like to shoot with primes lenses, which means I have way too many lenses than I would like to confess!
My main bodies are Canon 5d Mk2, Nikon D80 and Nikon F100. My main portrait lenses are 85mm f1.2 L, 85mm f1.4 AFD, 135mm f2 L. If I recall correctly, I have over 30 lenses which include all Canon and Nikon f2.8 zooms and some older manual focus Nikon primes lenses.

For people who want to learn photography, what tips or advice would you give them?
My advice would be to pick up the camera and start shooting. Look at the exit data. See what you did and what you could have done to make the shot better. Analyze each and every shot you see on websites like flickr and smugmug. Rub shoulders with pros and pick their brains. Learn to shoot with primes and in manual mode. You will learn a lot faster this way as compared to shooting in "auto" mode.

Your pictures have a lot of color saturation, intensity about them, what techniques can you share with us that will bring out the same effects in our shots?
I use lightroom and Photoshop with selective coloring techniques, this mainly involves masking techniques. One can adjust the color saturation and vibrancy in the post processing but one has to capture the right moment in order to "make" the shot! I always strive to capture the emotions and feelings and I guess that is where the intensity comes from. One has to anticipate certain moments and be ready when they happen.

If you could choose one picture you are especially proud of, what would it be and why?
It was actually my first paid shoot, and the shot is of a little girl who was crying but suddenly when her dad called her name she smiled and covered her face with one hand. I treated it with selective coloring, leaving her eyes blue and trace of her tears on her cheeks and converted rest of the image to BW. That has become my signature baby portrait shot. Have had many requests by moms to create similar shots of their kids but stuff like this just happens...you can not recreate these magical moments.

Lastly your message to the readers of The Saturday Post:
Never ever give up on your dreams! The following words of Roosevelt have always inspired me and I would like to share them with the readers of TSP.
"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
"Citizenship in a Republic,

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About Me

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Award winning USA Wedding & Life style photographer/Engineer now settled in Lahore since Sep 2010. Over a span of barely 8 months, he has become one of the most sought after wedding photographer in Pakistan, covering grandest events from coast to coast. He holds a Masters in Civil Engineering from The Univ. of Texas, Austin but now also accepting very select photography assignments besides engineering consultancy work. You can reach him at kairosphoto@live.com - 0323 4795100 to discuss your big day. By Appointment only.