September ‘16

September ‘16
Mahmoud Ashour
Mahmoud Ashour


If you haven’t heard of Mahmoud Ashour, you’ve surely seen his stunning work. Ashour is known to take some staggeringly unconventional photoshoots of our favourite stars including Dolly Shaine, Randa El Behery, Rania Farid Shawki, and many more. With hard work and wholehearted devotion, he managed to go from talented amateur to one of Egypt’s most famous photographers.

Did you go to school to study photography?

No, I never actually studied it theoretically. My uncle, however, was a photographer as well as a painter so I’ve managed to practically learn a lot from him through my childhood.

How long have you been a photographer?

I’ve been taking shoots as a hobby and for a living for as long as I can remember. But you could say that it started professionally since I was a teenager in high school.

How would you describe your style?

I always like to venture on to various styles every now and then. I never stick to only abstract or still life photography for instance, I just shoot whenever I see an opportunity. But you could say that I photograph whatever I deem different and creative, so that would be my style.

What type of cameras do you use?

I use a Canon EOS 5D mark III. It takes stunningly detailed shots and has all the superb capabilities every professional needs.

If you had to use one kind of camera lens, which one would it be and why?

The Canon EF 70-200mm, of course. Wouldn’t go anywhere without this beast. It has fluorite and ultra-Low dispersion capabilities,two mode optical image stabilization, an ultrasonic focus motor, dust and moisture resistant sealing and a manual focus override, I never really need any other lens unless I’m packing a spare of the same kind.

What lighting equipment do you use on a shoot?

It depends on the shoot, but I always use Hensel. Be it eflash compact moonlight kits, or Integra Pro light strobes or the like.

Do you always edit your pictures? What software do you use?

I think every photographer does, and I do as well. I mainly use Adobe Photoshop to retouch and edit my shoots.

Which do you prefer and why?

• Colour or black and white: I prefer colour because I like variety.
• MAC or Microsoft for editing: I use Microsoft because I feel like it supports more programs and tools than the former.
• Team work or solo work: Team Work, of course. The master of everything is master of none!

• Indoor or outdoor shooting: I enjoy both,but I guess I prefer indoors because it givesme more space to create what I want rather than adapt my shoots to whatever is already there.

What famous photographers do you look up to?

A lot! I’d rather not mention any names because I’m sure I’ll end up dropping out some important ones that don’t happen  to be on top of my head right now, but I love Indian photography because it usually features some gorgeous colours, as well as Portuguese because I find it to be the epitome of diversity.

How do you find inspiration?

I have to know who I’ll be shooting first so I could do my research, read about them, and find an angle that I could portray through a shoot. It’s usually a part of them that would be unconventional to convey.

What is the Egyptian photography industry missing?

We seriously lack creativity in the industry, but I think there are tons of professionals out there trying to change that.

Is there anybody (or anything) you would love to photograph?

I’d love to do a shoot of Myriam fares and Angelina Jolie!

What advice would you give to aspiring young photographers?

You have to grow a passion for what you do before you expect any success. Never follow trends just because they seem popular at the time; many of those are ephemeral and are likely to die quickly. Finally, you must give your business some time and be as patient as you are creative.

By Mayar El-Shamy