Photography and travel are among the most sought-after professions of the day. They have all the makings of a thrilling adventure and renewed experience. However, for UAE-based professional photographer Shareena Ghassab Alameri, they have much more to offer. Here is an exclusive interview with her.
Q. Shareena, what excites you the most about photography?
A. I think of photography as capturing my feelings. The oldest records, after painting and writing, are photographs. It’s the way a photograph tells a story. Without a beginning or an end, it gives your imagination ample room to play with. But of course, that’s the reason why I shoot to share. For myself, photography is a way of finding my now, my here, and I am hoping to connect with life as it unfolds right in front of my eyes.
Q. And what about travel?
A. I travel to new places outside so I can discover new places within me. It’s really a process of knowing yourself better. As I wander, it’s not the special nooks or famous places that I have the most in mind, though that matters too. I allow my eyes and emotions to find their own feet, their own stimulations and as they stir, I begin to take a few steps closer to myself because I believe we are what we feel and what we know. Traveling gives me the freedom and time to not come in my own way. It’s almost pilgrimage-like, whether I am in a city’s busiest square, a cemetery, a garden, or a mall. All places, even profane ones, seem to retain some spark of beauty and sacredness. I like to find them, capture them, and share them.
Q. According to you, why should youngsters take up photography?
A. Well, first of all, it’s a much disciplined art form. Sure, we no longer need dark rooms as a rule, but you need more mental discipline than ever. A camera is just a product in the hands of a mere curious cat but in the hands of someone really attempting to look at life in its face, it’s a tool and if you hang on long enough, it may even become a friend. Young people need that sense of discipline and humility now more than ever. Photography can help them find themselves if they treat it with respect and not just a button-clicking phenomenon.
As Shareena Ghassab Alameri continues to explore herself and her world, we wish her all the best.