It’s a communication method, an industry, and for some, it’s even a profession. But it’s also so much more than that. Photography has been around since the inception of the camera in 1819; it has allowed everyone to experience the world from the photographer’s perspective.
On this day, August 19th, the world celebrates World Photography Day and gives credit to the artistic visionaries who have communicated their emotions, experiences, and moments.
We all rely on photos to document memories, make decisions about where we eat, or which hotel to stay in. Platforms, such as Instagram and Pinterest, have built empires atop this expressive world.
We talked to a colleague at Speakol, Amr Essam, our Product Manager by day and Photography Enthusiast by … well all the time. He shared his journey with us and gave us his take on why Photography well deserves a day of celebration.
“My journey with photography started ever since i was 6 years old, back when we were still using those small film cameras. I enjoyed taking pictures of my family during birthdays or gatherings, and when I went on trips with my schoolmates. I felt like it was a great way to document moments in an exciting way that would stay with me forever. I loved the idea of looking at a picture that reminds you of a happy memory, or seeing the happiness on someone’s face when you take a beautiful picture of them and gifting them with a memory that would last a lifetime. I especially enjoyed documenting nature’s beauty and capturing breathtaking scenery where ever I was.
As I grew older, my enthusiasm and my thirst to learn the techniques of photography grew even more. I started noticing and capturing elements such as the clouds’ movement, the shapes, and shadows of trees, or the colors of the sunset. I found myself delving deeper and taking a more professional direction, reading online and watching tutorials on aspects such as lighting, shutter speeds, and absolutely everything that affects how a picture comes out, all the while practicing through mobile cameras.
I’m always on the move, whether it is traveling within Egypt, abroad, or even taking days off from work specifically to go out and start clicking away. I love visiting Old Cairo or Moaz Street and documenting the beautiful architecture that is all around.
At this point, I invested in buying a professional camera that i practically take with me everywhere I go. I started to learn how to edit pictures to bring out the real beauty of colors and elements of nature. I wanted to highlight the beauty of everything I saw.
Eventually, I shared my work on Adobe Stock and entered competitions. I’m not particularly into wedding photography; I’m more interested in landscapes, architecture, shadows, and street photography. National Geographic inspired me a lot, if I’m honest.”
So we wondered, what would it be like if photography was never invented?
“Pictures are not essays; they enable you to see what words, but allow you interpret them with your own emotions. Photography shows you different parts of the world, and more importantly, through different time periods. It enables us to document history and better understand how people live and experience life. It started with paintings, but photography has given us more details and accuracy. Some people can poetically describe a scene, but I think you can share more through an image. I love how people can feel differently about the same picture, and I’ve noticed this when I look at the comments on my Instagram profile.”
Everyone’s journey is different, and so are their lessons. So we asked Amr what his advice is to people who are still new to this world:
“You have to express things in your own way; be inspired but don’t try to copy anyone else, the best way to stay original is to be yourself. Don’t stick to one form either, look at different photos, and gain a deeper understanding. Technically speaking, I’d give 4 recommendations:
1) Always try to include more depth and dimensions in your pictures. It just gives a greater feel.
2) Have one main objective and ensure that everything around it merely supports it, so that it’s the first thing a viewer’s eyes lies on.
3) Lighting, lighting, lighting! Day time is a great time to take pictures. But if you see an object that is brighter than everything around it during nighttime, take this picture; it can turn into of the most mesmerizing images you ever take.
4) The more the curvature in the surface, the more the variance.
Finally, we asked Amr if there is someone specific he admires or is inspired by and if there anything specific he hopes to one day capture.
“I generally love getting ideas and looking at images published by National Geographic. However, if I were to choose someone specific, I’d say it would be Ameen Qaisaran, a spiritual photographer I personally admire. One day, i’d love to take a picture of the Northern Lights.”