Remembering F E Chaudhry

Faustin Elmer Chaudhry’s Pakistan from Mazhar Zaidi on Vimeo

Born on 15 March 1909, F E Chaudhry, also known as Chacha Chaudhry, was an acclaimed photojournalist of Pakistan. He passed away at the age of 104 on 15 March 2013. He studied at Forman Christian College, Lahore from 1928-1932.

Acclaimed photographer, Faustin Elmer Chaudhry, colloquially known as Chacha, passed away on his 104th birthday on Friday, March 15th 2013. He met a silent and peaceful death, at the home of his eldest son, Cyril, just a few hours before he was set to meet his friends for birthday celebrations at the Cosmopolitan Club. Regarded as the pioneer of photo journalism in Pakistan, Mr Chaudhry began his career as a freelance photographer while teaching science at St Anthony’s School in Lahore.

He wasn’t just a photographer; he was a historian, a pictorial historian if one could say. Before he photographed some of the most valued historical moments of the Pakistan Movement, he had already worked in such illustrated publishings as Civil and Military Gazette, Illustrated Weekly of India, Statesman, Bombay and others. His works inspired not just one generation of photographers, but a stream of generations that took to his pioneer skills, innovative ideas, and excellent shot capturing mastery. Along with his lasting impressions on the Pakistan Movement, he is also credited to have introduced innovative features to photojournalism. Many would proudly say that his unique style in sports photography, nature shots, including the flora and fauna of his homeland, his artistic captures of cultural scenes and many others have become a yardstick in Pakistan’s photojournalism of today.

He documented important events such as the Muslim League Session in 1940 and Quaid-e-Azam’s visits to Lahore. After contributing to a few periodicals and newspapers and establishing that he was gifted, Mr Chaudhry was invited by Mian Iftikharuddin to join The Pakistan Times. Chaudhry’s photographs mapped the journey and growth of a nation through its highest and lowest points – the times of Jinnah, the political uprisings during Ayub’s military takeover, Bhutto before his execution. He received a number of coveted awards from the government, such as the Tamgha-i-Khidmat, Sitara-i-Imtiaz and Pride of Performance, in recognition for his contribution to Pakistan.

This article was printed in Pakistan Today on 18 March 2013, retrieved from
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