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Salma El Kashef: Conveying Meaning with a Camera

We sit down with photographer and cinematographer Salma El Kashef, who captures striking shots and moving images, and find out what the world looks like through her lens...

Salma El-Kashef is an up and coming photographer and cinematographer, who has been capturing people in everyday life in a completely different and refreshing perspective. Her natural and effortless approach to capturing the lows and highs of people's lives comes across and speaks volumes for her subjects. We had the pleasure of sitting down with Salma and having a little chat with her about her past, and how she sees life, and the beauty of creating when feeling down.

When did you start to realise you had a passion for photography, and when did you decide to pursue it professionally?

Since I was a child! I love to see things in a different way and with a different concept. I don't intentionally see things differently, but I genuinely do see them that way; unlike how other people normally would. I always change everything in life and transform it into an artistic canvas. I studied at the High Cinema Institute in Egypt. I've watched a lot of films. I felt like I wanted to do photography but in a cinematic way. Periods of depression always brought out a lot of creativity in me, and brought out some of my best work. Photography isn't my job, I don't make money out of it, I do it because it's a part of me. Anything I feel I photograph as a reflection of either myself or those around me.

 
What’s the difference in your opinion, between taking a still photo (photography), and a moving picture (cinematography) and do you prefer one medium to the other?

It's easier to deliver meaning in cinematography than in photography; there's a lot of things I can use in cinematography to convey something, like camera movement, the actors' movement, music and the photography in itself. But I prefer both!

Can you think of one of your projects that you feel really resonated with you, and why?

One of my projects from quite a while ago was Posion Park, which I feel was successful as I used the female character with different colours with the theme park ride location. I love to mix colours in photographs to let them describe the character so that was something I really liked. I loved her personality and how dark she was and how her eyes really speak in photographs. It was a completely different project from before, because nothing is ever the same. So every project has different meanings to me.
 

What are some of the advantages of working in Egypt and what are some of the disadvantages?

Egypt can sometimes bring you down so much it allows you to create really deep art which I think is an advantage. And also a disadvantage. Because when it does bring you down it makes you want to leave it and not do anything here.

 
In your opinion, what makes a great photographer and a great photo?

They need to have a wild imagination without limits. They have to know how to exploit the subject that's being photographed. To see new things and accept a lot.
 

If you weren’t thinking of compositions and angles, what would you be doing? Other hobbies? Other things you do in your spare time?

I love to just spend time being happy, I don't have a specific hobby. I can do anything anytime.

You can check out her Instagram account here.