The Zaidi Studio

Zaidis Photographers, Masson Narsingdas Building, The Mall, Lahore in 1959
Photo by: Shahid Zaidi (Zaidis Photographers)


Dyal Singh Building, The Mall – Lahore c. 1959
The story of Zaidis Photographers starts in 1904, when two brothers, Syed Wazir Ali Zaidi and Syed Nazir Ali Zaidi, formerly students of Mayo School of Arts (now NCA) left Lahore in search of improving their photographic skills and become portrait painters and photographers.
The second generation spread all over the sub-continent after growig up learning and practicing photography, opening studios in Ooticomand, Conoor, Kolkata, Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna, Murree, Rawalpindi, Karachi, Abottabad and Peshawar.
In 1928, Syed Muhammad Ali Zaidi, the eldest of the second generation migrated back to Lahore and established his studio on The Mall where it still exists and is a proud landmark.
In 1962, Syed Shahid Ali Zaidi, from third generation of the Zaidis, took over the family business from his father and brought a lot of changes from the Back & White era to colour portraits and film making. Beside this he also started a new studio in Gulberg. Joining by his son, Syed Usman Zaidi, they have launched the fourth generation of Photography in the family.
Thanks to Isa Daudpota for forwarding this piece.
Old photos from their albums……………

Dinga Singh Building, The Mall of Lahore in 1959








Lawyer Raza Kazim

Salman Shahid



Ghulam Ali


Ashfaq Ahmed

Feryal Gohar

S. M. Zafar

Bano Qudsia






Muhammad Ali Jinnah

Author: Shahidul Alam

Time Magazine Person of the Year 2018. A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry before switching to photography. His seminal work “The Struggle for Democracy” contributed to the removal of General Ershad. Former president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set up the Drik agency, Chobi Mela festival and Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world. Shown in MOMA New York, Centre Georges Pompidou, Royal Albert Hall and Tate Modern, Alam has been guest curator of Whitechapel Gallery, Winterthur Gallery and Musee de Quai Branly. His awards include Mother Jones, Shilpakala Award and Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dali International Festival of Photography. Speaker at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Oxford and Cambridge universities, TEDx, POPTech and National Geographic, Alam chaired the international jury of the prestigious World Press Photo contest. Honorary Fellow of Royal Photographic Society, Alam is visiting professor of Sunderland University in UK and advisory board member of National Geographic Society. John Morris, the former picture editor of Life Magazine describes his book “My journey as a witness”, (listed in “Best Photo Books of 2011” by American Photo), as “The most important book ever written by a photographer.” His recent book “The Tide Will Turn” published by Steidl in 2020, is listed in New York Time’s ‘Best Art Books of 2020’. Alam received the “International Press Freedom Award” for 2020 from ‘The Committee to Protect Journalists’.

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