Saving a vibrant history, one frame at a time

Saving a vibrant history, one frame at a time

Before Shahid Zaidi was born, before his home was an independent country, his father opened a portrait studio and captured the nation’s emerging history. His father, Syed Mohammad Ali Zaidi, captured a Hindu couple in 1939. The man wore a conservative double-breasted suit, hair slicked, while the woman sported a sari, with earrings dangling and bangles on her wrists, the exact colors eluding the black-and-white negative. The next year he captured a Muslim couple, listed as Mr. and Mrs. Mohammad Abbas, the bride in a shimmer-trimmed shalwar kameez and a matha patti, an ornamental headpiece, and the groom resplendent in a qulla, a wedding turban. Word spread about his studio, and Syed Mohammed Ali Zaidi’s customers began to include the elite of the new nation of Pakistan. He photographed Muhammad Ali Jinnah, a lawyer turned separatist who became the modern country’s founder. He photographed Liaquat Ali Khan,
Before Shahid Zaidi was born, before his home was an independent country, his father opened a portrait studio and captured the nation’s emerging history. His father, Syed Mohammad Ali Zaidi, captured a Hindu couple in 1939. The man wore a conservative double-breasted suit, hair slicked, while the woman sported a sari, with earrings dangling and bangles on her wrists, the exact colors eluding the black-and-white negative. The next year he captured a Muslim couple, listed as Mr. and Mrs. Mohammad Abbas, the bride in a shimmer-trimmed shalwar kameez and a matha patti, an ornamental headpiece, and the groom resplendent in a qulla, a wedding turban. Word spread about his studio, and Syed Mohammed Ali Zaidi’s customers began to include the elite of the new nation of Pakistan. He photographed Muhammad Ali Jinnah, a lawyer turned separatist who became the modern country’s founder. He photographed Liaquat Ali Khan,