Photographer Born Without Hands and Legs Takes Incredible Photos

What’s stopping you? We all have at least one imperfection that we wish wasn't part of us so that it would be easier to achieve our dreams. I often wonder what my photography and life would be like if my extreme anxiety disappeared, if I had more money, physical strength, and even if I were a man instead of a woman. Our flaws that hinder us are often hard to deal with, but once we embrace them for what they are the outcomes can be surprisingly perfect. 

Achmad Zulkarnain, or as his friends call him, Dzoel, is a 24-year-old Indonesian photographer, retoucher, and educator. A few years ago while working at an Internet cafe, an interest was sparked in him to take photos. He purchased a camera with credit and began to relentlessly teach himself until people knew him as a photographer. While admiring his otherworldly images, you would never guess that Dzoel was born without hands and feet. He has come so far in spite of his deformities by erasing the thought in his mind that he is disabled, he gives us all the same advice to overcome whatever is stopping us. 

Photographer Achmad Zulkarnain

Photographer Achmad Zulkarnain

Dzoel cringes and chuckles as he picks up his heavy 5D, but once his camera is in position between his arms he uses it pretty effortlessly. He never uses a tripod to assist him and he even edits his own images. Dzoel uses his mouth to turn his camera on, the extra skin on his hand to push the shutter. No one expected him to go this far, but he is now running a successful business as well as teaching photography to others.

While looking through Dzoel's dreamy images I found that one of his strongest areas was posing his subjects, especially their hands. I found this incredible since he has never had fingers of his own to practice with.

When you find yourself looking down on your flaws, come back to this story, as a reminder that anything is attainable through hard work and determination. Whether your hindrances are mental, financial or physical like Dzoels, try to erase the thoughts of these so you're able to push as far as you can beyond them. 

Composite photograph by Photographer Achmad Zulkarnain

Composite photograph by Photographer Achmad Zulkarnain

Portrait by Photographer Achmad Zulkarnain

Portrait by Photographer Achmad Zulkarnain

Portrait by Photographer Achmad Zulkarnain

Portrait by Photographer Achmad Zulkarnain

To see more of Dzoel's stunning work you can visit his Instagram and Facebook.

Images used with permission. 

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9 Comments

Elan Govan's picture

Great story...amazing photographs..

ron fya's picture

Now we can put our cameras on ebay if we dare complaining.
Great story and courage.

Linh Nikon's picture

Great !

dimasa sparrow's picture

Really Great!

Jericho Jericho's picture

Sorry but judging from the photos alone the hands look too unnatural and awkwardly placed to me (especially the last one). Great story though of the photographer.

Spy Black's picture

Are you from Indonesia? There may be specific cultural meanings to some of those poses that you may not know of if you're in the western world. Then there's "that other thing"...

Jericho Jericho's picture

I'm not from Indonesia but we are in the same region, as far as I know there is no cultural meaning to them. I'm giving opinion from photography point of view but of course I do respect the story of the photographer here.

Anonymous's picture

If the hands are unnatural (I don't think so), I would be more inclined to attribute it to the photographer's lack of hands. Not that he doesn't know how they should be positioned but rather, he may put more emphasis on them than is typical. Perhaps that's what you were eluding to by "that other thing"!?

Spy Black's picture

That's a good point on your part. What I meant by "that other thing" was simply the monumental achievement of a guy with no hands, forearms, or legs accomplishing what he has. I was cutting him some slack on the whole hand pose thing. ;-)