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StreetWise – 24HourProject Interview with Mehdi Fazlollahi

This is the seventh of nine interviews that Sheldon Serkin has completed with photographers involved with the incredible 24HourProject, please see his introductory article here. We have put each interview into a separate article so that it’s easier for you to navigate, they can all be found under our new column StreetWise, here.

This one is with Mehdi Fazlollahi

What is your name and instagram username?

My name is Mehdi Fazlollahi and my instagram ID is @mehdi_fazlollahi


Image @mehdi_fazlollahi

Was this the first time you participated in this project, or have you taken part in previous years as well? If you participated previously, how did this year’s experience differ from past experiences?

It’s the second year that I’m taking shots for this project. What was different for me compared to the previous year was that I was taking shots along with my friends.


What city where you able to document?

I managed to document Tehran, Iran.


What inspired you to take part in this project?

In my opinion, this project can show the skills of a photographer.


Did you plan where to go or did you have an idea what you wanted to document, or did you just let fate decide as you wandered through the streets?

I got out of my home and took shots from every scene that I found interesting.


What was the biggest challenge you faced during the 24 hours?

The time was flying by very fast and the clock was ticking faster than usual.


Do you feel like the time pressure was beneficial to your creativity, or did it just make you nervous and diminish the quality of your images slightly?

I believe that this pressure helped me a lot and I believe it can be beneficial for any other photographer as well.


Image @mehdi_fazlollahi

Did you develop a workflow for every hour in order to manage uploading your next image in time?

I usually took my photo and put a little time on editing it before uploading it.


Be honest, did you by any chance cheat a little by processing a few pictures in advance in order to rest a bit?

Maybe it happened once or twice but I usually took the shot in the same hour.

Did you follow the IG feed of other excellent photographers taking part in the project? Why or why not?

Yes I was following it. It was interesting for me to know how others are doing.


What was your secret to staying up so long?

Eating properly to have energy. Along with using energy drinks I spread my rest as well to be more charged.


Would you take part in this again next year?

I’m not sure.


Was there a point when you considered giving up and going home? Did you walk the whole 24 hours?

There wasn’t any moment to feel like giving up but I didn’t walk the entire 24 hours either.


Please share your 3 favorite images from the day and talk about why they are your favorites.

In my opinion, these 3 photos are fine based on composition and creativity and have a good feel in them.


Image @mehdi_fazlollahi


What were some thoughts that ran through your mind when you were finally able to crash into bed?

That I had a good day and I managed to take good shots in it.


Any final thoughts? (Optional)

I think that the 24 hour project is a good project since photographers can practice taking fast and good shots and they understand the shortage of time and it helps them to improve their skills and use it in the future.


Sheldon has been shooting street photography in New York City with an iPhone since 2010. His work has been featured on a number of popular websites, including He is currently preparing Awful Bliss, his first book of street photographs, and posts daily on instagram, eyeem, and flickr as @shelserkin, and on his blog,