Baday Rayhan: Documenting Spontaneity Through Photography

Jakarta-based Baday Rayhan is a creative multitasker. A cinematographer, short film director, and photographer, Baday uses both digital and analogue in his craft. When he’s not shooting music and stage photography, he likes to explore the streets to capture urban scenes. Get to know more about him in this quick Q&A.

What was your earliest photographic memory?

Hello. Ah, I find it hard to pin it into one particular moment, to be honest, there were so many memorable moments! But I remember being so astonished by the view of Mount Bromo. As a city kid, seeing that kind of natural majestic was just... breathtaking. I couldn’t even take out my camera because I was so drawn into the scenery, I think I’d remember that forever.

© Baday Rayhan

What inspired you to pursue photography?

I’ve always enjoyed traveling and exploring my surroundings so I wanted to create some sort of sketches from my travels. Unfortunately, I cannot draw, at all! I tried, but the truth is I really suck at it. Haha. So initially, photography started as my way to visualize the things I found interesting.

I was working as a multimedia designer at that time, spending most of my office hours confined in a cubicle and I thought,... I couldn’t do this forever. I have to get out, experience things. That was when I decided to make the leap. Photography has become my way of meditations and experiments. I switch between digital, analogue, Lomography, instant cams, polaroids... I like trying different things and see how it affects the pictures.

© Baday Rayhan

What inspires you visually?

This is going to sound so cliche, but I have to admit that I find inspiration in daily life. I’m not so much of an organized visual planner, I enjoy the spontaneity and the pure wonder of discovering something new around us. This is not to say media references aren’t important - of course, they are. But personally, what works for me is what I see happening before my eyes. The real world will always have ways to surprise and inspire me.

How would you describe your visual style?

Spontaneous, childlike, with a tinge of nostalgia.

© Baday Rayhan

How is the analogue photography scene in Jakarta?

It’s definitely making a comeback! It never really died, but it after digital photography took off, analogue became a very niche thing since most labs closed down and film rolls were harder to get. Then Lomography became a very big thing in Jakarta and slowly so did vintage, analogue photography. Instagram helped too, I think because now people can post stuff online and connect with similar minds. The communities’ been growing larger in the past 2-3 years I think. We have routine analogue photography market organized by Jellyplayground (one of the pioneers of analogue scene in the city) where they sell film rolls, cameras, accessories, and merchandise. It’s a good time to return to analogue in Jakarta.

To see more of Baday’s work, visit his website or follow him on Instagram.


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