Nabil Rosman: The Boy of Few Words Speaks


From the Desk of the Festival Director: the boy of few words speaks


In October 2017, Nabil Rosman received an email from Hasselblad, one of the most renowned camera brands, enquiring about his age. He had just turned 18.

A few months later, by 9 January 2018, Nabil Rosman from Kota Bharu, Kelantan, was to be awarded the prestigious Hasselblad Masters prize in photography from over 30,000 entries.

Just four years earlier, when he was 13 years old, he was taken aside by his Kelantanese father, Rosman bin Majid, also a teacher, who asked him what he thought of one particular photo by Pete Souza of former President of the United States, Barack Obama standing by the window, in silhouette, looking out.

Rosman had always appreciated the beautiful scenery of his country Malaysia and felt strongly enough about the evocative photos to buy his young son a camera, casually suggesting it would be nice if someone captured memories of their family in such a way.

Their home in Kelantan did not have any big windows but Nabil was inspired.

Last year, he came across an abandoned house and thought it might be an interesting location to shoot, working with shadows and in the context of the life of a drug addict, a soul trapped.

He was pleased with his shots and later, while editing, he suddenly thought, what am I going to do with these photos. So he started to search for a competition he could take part in and came across the Hasselblad Masters.

Nabil barely knew about this competition as Hasselblad was not a camera within his budget, but after reading all the terms, he decided to give it a try. The rest, as they say, is history.

Well done, Nabil! We’re proud to be able to support you.

Take a look at how we’re bringing a new series of his images to the streets of Kuala Lumpur, courtesy of Sky Blue, our Media Partner.


“I am that type of person who doesn’t talk very much as I have problems communicating with people especially strangers, and I love to be alone. By taking photos, I am able to get out of my comfort zone and talk to people, but I also love having the time to myself when I do post-processing. The vital part in photography is I get to tell a story to people, a story from my very own perspective.”

  • Nabil Rosman

Links to Nabil Rosman’s website and Instagram

Nabil Rosman Photography

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