Nafise Motlaq

1450865_10152893898214314_2602554994891018621_nI am a documentary photographer and communication lecturer. I worked for newspapers in Iran as a photojournalist before I moved to Malaysia in 2004 to continue my studies in Ph.D. of Mass Communication.

Currently I am based in Istanbul working as a senior lecturer at New Media Department of Nişantaşı University.

Beside my academic activities, I have always been active as a documentary photographer and my photographs, videos and writings have been published is numerous media internationally.

My first photo book titled “A Given Path” was published in Malaysia in 2010 and has been selected as the best 50 titles for international rights. Women issues, interfaith dialogue and human rights are my main interests in photography.



2017: “Hope Investing”, Social Circus Awareness Campaign in Europe, Wasserbillig (Luxembourg), Landsberg (Germany), Copenhagen, Aarhus and Svendborg (Denmark).

2017: “Hope Investing”, Sehir University, Istanbul, Turkey

2016: “Hope Investing”, Fotografevi, Istanbul, Turkey

2016: “Iranian Fathers & Daughters”, City Hall, Dresden, Germany

2011: “Harmonious spiritual practices in Malaysia”, Dewan Besar, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia

2010: “A Given Path”, Leonards’, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


2016: Screen Presentation in Asian Women Photographers, Chennai, India

2016: “Beyond the Borders”, Vallette Gallery, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2015: Top 100 stories for 2015, The Other Hundred Photo Book exhibited, Seoul and London

2015: Screen Presentation in the Yangon Photo Festival, Deitta Gallery,Yangon Myanmar

2015: Screen Presentation in the Just Another Photo Festival, Street Show, Delhi, India

2015: Screen Presentation in the Asian Women Photographers, Objectifs Gallery, Singapore

2014: “Speech”, Kolga Photo Festival, Tbilisi, Georgia

2014: The 50 Top Emerge Talents, Valid Foto Gallery, Barcelona, Spain

2014: “Iranian Fathers & Daughters”, La Quatrieme Image, Paris, France

2014: “Iranian Fathers & Daughters”, Festival Internacional de Fotografia de Cabo Verde, Republic of Cabo Verde

2007: “Ramadan in Islamic Countries”, Artists’ House Gallery, Tehran, Iran

2007: “Iranian Road”, Venice and Rome, Italy

2003: Best Pictures of Iraq War, Artists’ House Gallery, Tehran, Iran

2003: “Iran Children”, Tehran, Iran

2003: Young Iranian Photographers, Tehran, Iran

2002: Best News Photos of the Year, International Book Fair, Tehran, Iran

2002: “Women in Iran”, Honar Gallery, Tehran, Iran


2016: “Joy in War Zone”, Honorable Mentioned, Photo Essay, International Photography Awards

2016: “Water Sellers”, Honorable Mentioned, Childre, International Photography Awards

2015: “Iranian Fathers & Daughters”, 20 best Asian Women Photographers of 2015

2014: “Iranian Fathers & Daughters”, LensCulture 50 Top Emerge Talents

2014: “Iranian Fathers & Daughters”, Third Prize, People, International Photography Awards (IPA)

2014: “I Want to Dance”, Honorable Mentioned, Deeper Perspective, International Photography Awards (IPA)

2014: “Glory in the Dark”, Finalist, The Other Hundred


2010: “A Given Path; Harmonious Spiritual Practices in Malaysia”, RainTree, Kuala Lumpur, 150 pages, here and here 

Talks & Interviews 

2015: “Asian Photographers; interview with Nafise Motlaq”. Asia Paper Camera, here

2014: “This Iranian Photographer is Tired of Explaining Life in Iran”, New Republic, here

2014: “Capturing Everyday Life in Iran”. CNN, here

2014: “Iranian Fathers and the Diverse Daughters They’ve Raised”. The Slate, here

2014: “A Photo Series Defies Stereotypes”, The Feature Shoot, here

2012: “Journalism and Photojournalism Ethics”, Artistists’ House,Tehran, Iran (in Farsi)

2011: “Photojournalism in Iran”, the Annexe Galley, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. here

2011: “What is Journalism Ethics?”, Taylor’s College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2010: “Peace and Interfaith Dialogue”, Taylor’s College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2010: “A lesson on Religious Tolerance”,Malaysiakini Education Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


2016: Documentary Photo-Story, Fotografevi, Istanbul, Turkey- 3 days

2015: Basic Photography, Students of University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia- 1 day

2012: Basic Photography, Burma Refugees students, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia- 9 Sessions

2008: Advance Photography, Staff Photojournalists, Bernama News Agency, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia– 24 Sessions

2005: Basic Photography, Communication Students, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia  – 1 Semester

2007: Intermediate Photography, Staff Journalists, Bernama News Agency, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – 12 Sessions

2006: Photo Editing, Communication Students, University Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Malaysia– 1 Semester