A Photographer’s Guide to Karachi’s Best Backdrops

For those of us who love to take pictures, it’s a dilemma when it comes to choosing the place where we’re going to take pictures next. Luckily, if you’re in Karachi (or really anywhere in Pakistan, if you ask me) that decision can be fairly easy since you can find all sorts of backgrounds to go with your element, and I really mean it. Inside this one huge metropolis, you’ll find not just urban and modern settings, but rural and colonial, too. You just need to know where to find places, and that’s why this article is here!

So we’re going to break the city down into four different settings, for you to have a hundred different kind of pictures.

1. Urban

This one had to be first in the list because duh! But again, sometimes things are in plain sight but we fail to find them.
So, if you need huge buildings and rushing cars to be in the backdrop, or if you want all of that as an element themselves, I.I Chundrigar Road and Shahrah-e-Faisal are the perfect places! They have all of that and more, for example, Shahrah-e-Faisal which runs for 1.5 kilometers, has most of the buildings Karachi has to offer, so if you manage to catch a spot on one of the rooftops, it’s gonna make for a splendid sight!

Same goes for I.I Chundrigar Road, which has the country’s tallest buildings, and is one of the busiest roads of the city because of being a business central. Don’t worry about the rooftop part though, you can take equally beautiful pictures even if you stay on the ground for an entirely different perspective!


I.I. Chundrigar Road Skyline


Shahrah-e-Faisal // instagram @humzashk

2. Rural

All right, next up, the opposite of urban. Karachi has plenty of places which would offer you the typical rural scene that you’d like, but there’s one on our list which would definitely make your pictures stand out: The KPT Observatory. Built in the last century, and worn out due to time, the structures make for an aesthetically pleasing site. Since the instruments have long been shifted from the site, the locked down buildings provide an amazing backdrop for your rural themed shoots.

Let your red dupatta fly with the wind and get some beautiful pictures taken, and trust me, it’s going to be worth it. But that’s not the only place, there are plenty more, don’t worry!


The KPT Observatory Site// The Karachi Walla

3. Modern

The urban-rural play didn’t work for you? No worries, there are plenty of places where you can have shoots looking all sharp and neat. There are many private spaces which you can use for shoots by permission, but to cut all that hassle, we’d suggest: Port Grand!
Now any Karachiite would be like, what?! But that’s a food street!
Yes, it is. Now here’s how you do it:
The site offers a stunning view of the ocean, and the port nearby with huge ships on the dock, cranes and a lot of sleek metalwork that would make your backgrounds look edgy. Port Grand looks like two different places in day and night, and that works! Also, since this place offers more of whites, blues and blacks, during the day, you can play around with different colors to make your images pop!


Port Grand Central


Port Grand – Street

4. Colonial

Lastly, the beautiful architecture of the British. The old Karachi, or Saddar, is every Instagrammer’s favorite place to be. The apartments, the churches, the shops, they offer an entirely different perspective of the city. Yes, many of the buildings have been renovated, but that still doesn’t make the old feel go away. Again, being all yellow bricked, add reds and blues in your pictures and they’ll stand out like none other.

Other colonial sights can be Quaid-e-Azam House Museum, which, mind you, has a beautiful driveway (and it looks three times more beautiful in autumn with all the yellow/brown crisp leaves scattered everywhere) and a beautiful interior or, Frere Hall which is just a little ahead of the residency, and offers the same yellow/red structures with beautiful parks all around. Inside the hall is the great Sadequain’s last unfinished mural, which also serves as a great photo element.


Frere Hall // instagram: @humzashk


Empress Market – Saddar


Quaid-e-Azam House Museum

These are just a few places you can go to and have great photography sessions, but there are plenty more. You just have to explore, who knows you stumble upon some place even better than these?

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