An Interview With: Aisha Al-Abdallah
Who are you and what do you do?
20 year old student at University of Kent, from London. I study Social Anthropology with French and I'm in my second year.
How did you get into what you do?
I went on holiday with my family to Hong Kong when I was 13. I started taking photos there the second I got out the airport and found really interesting angles to capture the crazy architecture. When I realised how enjoyable and calming I found it, I started to explore more with my style. Today, I just do it on the sideline as my studies take first priority, although I hope to slowly build a portfolio of a wide range of styles which I can then use and focus on after graduation.
How do you work?
I just take pictures as and when the opportunity arises really. If there are any announcement for photographers wanted within the university I'll apply and see where that takes me. Usually that is a good way to expose myself to difference things that I wouldn't normally have access to, such as theatre photography which I'm doing at the moment. If I'm doing portraiture, I usually play around with lighting, height and distance of shots and try to engage the person in a conversation with me to draw out their more candid features.
How would you describe your work?
Amateur, dark at times, I don't really know yet!
What is your background?
I've spent most of my life in London, with bursts of living abroad. My parents are immigrants from France and Yemen, who have always told me that I can only count of myself to achieve success. Both are quite 'arty', with my dad specifically nurturing a a hobby for photography which annoys me because he has better equipment than me!
Where does your inspiration come from?
My moods, the environment/ people I'm surrounded by at the time and which photographer's work I'm following. At the moment
At first it was the only hobby that I found calming and allowed me to step back from my day to day life, but to also explore my feelings in a completely different way. It also was very discipling because of the patience needed. I liked that I finally found something that I could push myself towards and actually see the results of my growth right in front of me.
What are you goals after University?
To start building up contacts within the photography industry and see what kind of jobs spark my interest. Holla at me anyone out there haha
Is there any specific equipment you use?
I sometimes use tripods, but even for portraits I prefer to be free to chose angles myself. I also regularly print out my own negatives and film in black and white so a darkroom as well I suppose. No fancy equipment though; I'm not a fan of these high tech super HD DSLRs to be honest. Camera wise I'm very limited; I use a Fujifilm S9000 that I found lying around in my house, and for film (also found in house) a Minnolta Explorer Freedom Zoom (point and shoot).
Whats the best piece of advice you could give the readers of The Pupil Sphere?
Practise little and often (even if photography isn't your main focus at the moment). And don't be afraid to go out by yourself with your camera and spend a few hours just shooting.
All images copyright of Aisha Al-Abdallah