When we compromise and we fail, it hurts. It hurts even more than failing at what you love. But, to accomplish the target, we have to continue our hustle and keep showing up despite our disappointment. The people who have achieved success in their lifetime understand that failure is nothing more than an opportunity to learn. To rise up again from failure and disappointment is what distinguishes successful people from normal individuals. Discipline, persistence, and continuous struggle despite failure are the hallmarks for success. A handful of individuals possess these characteristics necessary for success. These individuals have worked throughout the day, burnt the midnight oil, failed multiple times, learnt their lesson from disappointment and remained consistent in their journey to accomplish their ambitions. The photographer Fatimah Haroon is among them.
Photography is a non-traditional profession in Pakistan. In Pakistan, it is not common for young people to pursue photography and filmmaking as career choices. Also, there are little opportunities in these professions in Pakistan. This situation is extremely troublesome for people who are passionate about photography and filmmaking. Fatimah Haroon, when starting on her journey to become a professional photographer, understood the ground reality in Pakistan. She realized that in order to become an excellent photographer, she would have to work harder than her peers in traditional careers. But she loved photography and filmmaking above everything else and took the difficult and uncommon road to achieve success. She hustled day and night, faced every challenge with valor and succeeded in her dream to become an excellent globally recognized photographer. But the biggest obstructions she faced in her path to greatness was her gender. Fatimah Haroon was a woman. In the male dominant society of Pakistan, women not only lack career opportunities but also, are subjected to widespread discrimination in every walk of life. Women are not allowed to pursue education; they are not allowed to leave home and work. Women face discrimination in their public and private life. Almost 70 percent women in Pakistan cannot even read and write. They live their lives as subordinate to men and looking after their children. Fatimah Haroon was immensely dissatisfied with the plight of women and girls in Pakistan. She knew that women need a role model who they could use as a guide in lives. Fatimah Haroon filled the gap and provided her as an inspiration to the young girls not only in Pakistan but also, to girls all around the world. She made them realize and apprehend their self-worth. Fatimah Haroon tirelessly fought patriarchy in Pakistan, and battled her way up to her destination. She understood that there is no difference in ability and competence between men and women in the respective professions they are pursuing.
Fatimah Haroon spent her early life in Karachi. She relocated to Islamabad with her family in her teenage years. After she completed her schooling, she went abroad to pursue higher education, apprehending that education is the only way for women to improve their financial and social standing. She studied Psychology, Media, and International Relations in United Kingdom. She studied at the University of Arts, London and Birmingham City University. After graduation, she moved back to Pakistan and again got involved with photography. She did not achieve overnight success but worked her way up to success taking small but meaningful steps. At first, she used to take photographs of her friends and family with her professional DSLR camera. After years of developing her skills in photo shooting and filmmaking, she started getting recognition from the media. She began covering for renowned magazines and newspapers in Pakistan and became known by her stage name “Fatography”. Fatimah Haroon’s uniqueness and talent can be observed by the fact that she is one of the few Pakistanis who have been able to achieve recognition for her work not only in her home country, Pakistan but also, abroad. She has worked with various industries and influential celebrities all around the world. She worked in Hollywood and Bollywood. In Bollywood, Fatimah worked with legendary actors like Deepika Padukone and Aishwarya Rai. Her photographic excellence is appreciated by anyone who has got an understanding of the occupation. She has brought global recognition to Pakistan and made the world aware of the photographic talent of the country. Fatimah Haroon is the youngest Pakistan female to achieve international recognition in the field of filmmaking. In 2009, she claimed the title of the youngest Pakistani female photographer. Also, she became the youngest Pakistani woman who has ever walked on the red carpet in Cannes when she attended the Cannes Film Festival in 2018.
Fatimah Haroon started small on her journey. She improved her skills and tarnished her talents little by little. Eventually, she was able to achieve what she was destined to accomplish by hard work and determination. She made wonderful mistakes throughout her journey and learned from them equally to become the person she is today. Her life and conscientiousness are an inspiration to girls and women throughout the world.