What advice would you give yourself if you started photography from scratch again?
If I were to give a hearty advice to someone who’s starting from scratch, I would tell them to photograph out of pure passion and only passion. Money always follows passionate people. But, if one were to photograph because they’re after the money, then well they’ll never really lead a fulfilling career in photography. My advice is to photograph everything and everyday.
What do you think are some clichés in photography you tend to avoid?
I don’t believe in clichés on an absolute plane. What’s cliché to one client is not to another and surely is not to a third; once they see themselves in the photo. And since my purpose is to give a client what pleases them, I tend to allow some ‘clichés’ to take place because to the client. It will always be new to see themselves in that photograph they once admired.
What would you want your viewers to take away from your work?
Its positive energy.
What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started taking photos?
A better understanding in business as a study and a better understanding about life. That life doesn’t have to be all about work no matter how passionate one is.
Whose work has influenced you most?
A Master Painter: Rembrandt.
Among your works, which one is your favourite? Why?
My favourite photograph is one I haven’t taken yet. I keep focusing on the next creative shoot until it happens. It’s what excites me; to grab that photograph and enjoy a blissful state as my heart celebrates the excitement of what I did, but only for a short while, so I can re-experience that again in the next one.
How do you prepare or work on taking better pictures?
To constantly inspire myself with other photographers work, of course; but it’s of the utmost importance to work on freeing my mind from do’s and don’ts. Every moment can present me with new opportunities and creative thoughts if my mind is clear enough to see them.
How much of your shooting is instinctual vs. planned?
10% planning – 90% instinctual. Some of the most amazing masterpieces I’ve ever created were truly the birth of the moment. I prefer planning to be ready with an open mental state as I engage into a limitless creative process.
What tools do you use for post processing? Explain your workflow.
The common softwares; I’d start with Adobe Lightroom for basic level editing, proceed to Adobe Photoshop for some retouches and more complex manipulations, and in some cases a final touch with Adobe Lightroom again.
How do you generally deem black and white vs. colour? Do you find them to be separate techniques or interdependent?
Black and white photography will always carry a stronger and deeper impact when used with the right photos, in my opinion. In some photos, colour seems to be more of a distraction from the photo’s form and content. In those cases, black and white photographs can trance the viewer to different places.
Did you study photography or did it start as a hobby?
I graduated from the American University in Dubai back in 2003 with a BFA in Visual Communication and a Double Major in Photography and Graphic Design.
What were the difficulties you encountered when you embarked on this career?
Well that’s an extremely long set of stories. However, if I were to speak briefly about it, I would say that changing the Egyptian culture towards wedding photography and the resistance of old minds was the most difficult aspect in beginning this career in Egypt back in 2006.
How has social media played a role in today’s photo standards and expectations?
I believe the social media helped us to raise the bar openly, influence healthy competition between photographers (if they choose to see it that way) and has of course created good awareness of what can be achieved in our field of photography and other fields as well.
Who are your favourite photographers, and how do they influence you?
Well I don’t usually hook up on a single photographer, I allow myself to be influenced by a vast amount of photographers along with master painters and their works. This puts me in a place to constantly search for inspiring work instead of focusing and a handful of artists.
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