How do you incorpoate Islam into photography?
Islam teaches us the very principles of maintaining the balance and we are tested by the opposites, we learn to appreciate the way light and darkness create dimensions that manifest much beauty, evoking an expansion of gratitude. Photographs instigate feelings, they transcend beyond just a frozen moment in time, they continue to inspire us. Many special moments are remembered with ‘SubhanAllah’ and ‘MashAllah!’ It is vital to be honest, dedicated and an ambitious learner. It is important to be corageous when facing new challenges by facing our fears head on. Being commited to my work has taught and reminded me of what it means to submit to His guidance and what it means to observe and appreciate the beauty in the stillness of every emotion (energy in motion). Art is a form of expression and allows us to challenge and manage ourselves through the observance of creativity. Such is the act of prayer, of submission to remembrance. Islam is a religion of love and peace, without such connection, we cannot find true success in our designated work.
What was it like photographing in Palestine?
The journey through Palestine was a life changing experience. The hostility lingered strife, but the Palestinians showed me hospitality and strength. Visiting Al Aqsa felt very surreal. I went with an official delegation to document the trip. In between scheduled meetings, I took photographs of what caught my eye and upon my return, I exhibited a set of photographs entitled, ‘Another Day.’
Any upcoming projects we should look out for?
I have recently started painting again and have been planning to start a series of canvases using mixed media. At some point in the near future, I plan on travelling to Iran to explore the different towns and cities, to see their culture and architecture. There is no other better place to explore wonders in than Iran!
What advice do you have for aspiring photographers?
For anyone aspiring to take up photography, my advice would be to keep taking photographs and know that the only way to learn is through trial and error so let your passion and love guide you and remember the most expensive camera on the market will not make you a professional photographer, but having a good eye is most important. A skillful photographer is a master of light, so the basic function of the camera should be understood, confidence follows. Dedication and perseverance will help you progress. There are so many ways to learn the basics and it is always really valuable to get advice or support from experienced professionals, that’s what I did and still do!
Palestine Demonstration. copyright Sara Russell
Where can we see your work?