The creative process of a dreamy photographer

The creative process of a dreamy photographer

Samira; the calm in chaos, but still a little chaotic. the light in the dark, but still a little darkness. A simple woman who lives in the memories she has collected in the most delicate of ways. Treading the earth with the air of someone in a comfortable and slow search of something. In a constant battle to do better and be better. May we all get to where we need to be, where ever that is.

Tell us about how you got into photography? What has the journey into the visual arts been like for you?

Photography is my safe space. I purchased my first camera in the winter of 2015 and my best friend at the time and I would go out on very long hikes just taking photos of everything; the sun, the water, the dead branches and the leaves that were just about to sprout. I still have those photos.

 

My journey into the visual arts has always been about me finding a way to appreciate and capture the beauty Allah has given us on this earth, including the people I surround myself with. When I see something particularly beautiful while out on my walks, I often think to myself, “subhanAllah if this is what’s in this world, what is Jannah like?” I like to think I’m forming a piece of my relationship with Allah through my photography. I hope that He sees when I smile at His creation, capture it and share it with everyone. And I hope He considers it as acts that weigh heavy on my scale of good deeds.

What has been the most memorable moment you’ve captured?

In January 2021, I went on a 16-hour road trip with my dad and his brother in Somaliland; Hargeisa until Mayd. It was very literally the most beautiful road trip I have ever been on. Every photo I took there was memorable. I still think about the things I saw and I know the photos don’t even begin to cover the beauty Allah hid out there, because there were many moments where I didn’t pick up my camera, and instead began to make dhikr. My favourite pictures from that trip are the ones I took of my dad. May Allah always protect him.

You play a lot with light and it almost gives your photos a dreamy feeling. Is that intentional? Walk us through your creative process.

Yes! Playing with light is very intentional with my photography. I still remember when I discovered what backlighting was through experimenting and realizing this is exactly what I want every photo I ever take to have. Of course there are some photos without the light and dreamy feel, but that’s because my world is light and dreamy only like 80% of the time. It is full of colour and it is calm but it is chaotic. It also shows when I’m sitting down at my computer later that day with Lightroom open. I think my art is exactly what my world looks like to me in that moment.

What does creative wellness mean to you?

Creative wellness to me looks like packing my tote bag with my camera, a book and a water bottle, putting on my very old pair of converse that have seen way too much and heading to that green space on my Apple Map that I haven’t been to yet or that I love so much. It looks like looking at natures beauty through my cameras lens. Creative wellness to me is quiet. It’s me, alone with my thoughts, no external noise or distractions from me being able to sift through my many thoughts. Creative wellness to me is a peaceful unwinding.

 

Samira captured next to a cactus at Joshua Tree

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