Kicking off on November 12th, the Egypt Photo Summit is bringing together all the souls that eternalise the beauty of life.
Photography – the art of capturing, tricking, and stealing time – has been around in Egypt for years on end, from catching people's awkward poses in professional photo studios to the regality of royal families and firm presidential portraits. Then came the revolution, and we were stunned by the talents of photographers who caught every moment that can describe the ups and downs the nation experienced. Without any doubts, Egypt's history with photography is a long and ever-developing one. Every year, we see what seems to be endless innovation – whether through different forms of social media emerging that demand various styles in photography, or whether it's an elaboration on street photography and portraits of Egyptian faces. This weekend at The GrEEK Campus in the heart of Cairo will be the single most significant event for photographers in the country, and their biggest reunion: the Egypt Photo Summit. There will be admirers, teachers, learners, professionals, and amateurs coming together to agree on the importance of photography and how much more to it we can tackle.
The summit will not only include galleries, but also, speakers like wedding photographer Mostafa Serry, and Taimour Taimour, who made Grand Hotel's visuals resonate with millions. These two are among many incredibly talented photographers we're looking out for this weekend.
Ali Zaraay | Street Photographer
So young; so talented. The Minya University Mass Communication graduate realised his passion for street photography – particularly photojournalism – at the very young age of 17, during the 2011 revolution. His career includes covering news for Al Dostour and Al Tahrir newspapers, as well as Coptic masses and Sufi celebrations – basically, a prodigy.
Ahmed Hayman | Storytelling Photojournalist
Perhaps one of the most infamous photographers in Egypt and the MENA region, Hayman is a key speaker at the summit. Hayman obtained a diploma in storytelling – yes, it exists – and he definitely studied what he's exceptionally good at. His storytelling techniques and talents in photography gained him a rank amongst the top 500 influences in Arab social media. Some of his best projects include Egyptian Project, which seeks to reflect on different Egyptians and the dynamics of their lives.
Gihad Belasy | Wedding Photographer
Wedding photographers should not all be categorised as traditional. Look at Belasy's beautiful bride at the beach; this can only come from a place where a strong interest in photography emerged since childhood, giving her the chance to pursue her creative side even after graduating with a science degree in biotechnology from the German University in Cairo. Today, Belasy ranked in the top 10 wedding photographers in Cairo. With her experience in being a documentary wedding photographer across Egypt, she will be one of the speakers at the summit.
Amr Abdulwahab | Astro Photographer
A totally new field of photography in Egypt, astro photography makes Dr. Abdulwahab one of the few of his kind. His photos stem from his knowledge about astrophysics, due to his own line of study. He founded AstroTrips, a travel agency, which will be holding tons of activities at the summit. His equipment is quite rare, using CCD astrophotography technology, which carried astronomical telescopes able to capture orbits as far as millions of light years away from Earth.
Abdelrahman Gabr | Filmmaker and Photographer
The half-Korean half-Egyptian photographer is also an innovative filmmaker who is always ready to travel across the globe and capture it in the most creative ways possible. His photos tell us he's passionate about nature, landscapes, and faces from all over the world. The multitalented artist who'll be speaking at the summit is also into television advertising.
Batool Al Daawy | Fashion Photographer
Probably one of the purest and rawest forms of creativity in Egypt and MENA – from shooting fashion frames to celebrities – Al Daawy is a Syrian-Egyptian artist who never fails to produce the utmost beauty in any subject. She can do eccentric shows, or promos for television shows that leave you glued to the screen – she's also a pretty wicked speaker you can catch giving a talk at the summit.
Mostafa Ahmed Sharara | Mobile Photographer
Yes, some people use mobiles to do photography. Sharara is described as a 'naturally curious explorer' who began his career by capturing the everyday things we may not even notice in Egypt. His beautiful landscape shots and photographs are laced with lively colours and expressions, and he's also the ambassador of #ThisIsEgypt. His works have made it to National Geographic, MBC, Samsung Mobile, and The World Bank.
Amani Ismail | Newborn Photographer
We're not sure how she does it, capturing all that cuteness. What's better than photographing someone in their most innocent and purest state of life? Probably nothing, and that's why Ismail took it up as a career. A mother herself, Ismail founded Sweat Pea Photography.
Yehia El Alaily | Food Photographer
Obviously our favourite form of photography is food photography. El Alaily is considered the Godfather of photographing culinary creations and styling them. His work was featured by Intercontinental hotels, the Hilton, and prestigious food magazines and cookbooks. You know photos of sandwiches that make you willingly go into a restaurant knowing very well you're on a diet? Yeah, those. El Alaily will be sharing all about his career and developments in his field in the summit.
All images belong to the photographers listed; main image by Ali Zaraay.