Summer's interest in photography began in her late teens, during the summer before going to university. She would go around Bahrain photographing buildings that spoke to her; mostly old abandoned houses and apartment buildings that were full of untold stories. She wanted to capture the emotion inside the broken concrete, fallen metal, and chipped paint. She also photographed still lives of objects around the house. Yet it was only after completing her BA in Filmmaking that she started to take photography more seriously as a craft and developed her technical skills.
I have been working as a professional photographer for the past 9 years, catering to corporate and commercial clients as well as families. However, in my limited free time, I still love to explore the personal, purely artistic side of photography that drew me to the field in the first place. This keeps my passion going and enables me to explore and experiment with different techniques and concepts. It also happens to be quite a cathartic experience.
A couple of years ago, I started a weekly self-portrait project, mainly to get over my dislike of being photographed. What emerged was a visual diary of my internal world. I then started a project that is still going on, where I ask friends and acquaintances who have a special talent or quirk about them to take a surreal portrait of them. Basically, this is a photograph of an internal characteristic of a person, set against an exaggerated outward context. For example, I photographed a friend who practiced poi dressed as a mime, with a poi on fire, in the 'forest' of Bahrain. I’ve covered dance tutors in powder and photographed them performing in Zallaq. I’ve gone into the sea with volunteer assistants, a strobe, and my subject dressed in a suit and half soaking wet. This approach has taken me to interesting places and lead me to do rather bizarre things. It never gets dull! I love to shoot these portraits in the outdoors, tapping into a wild untouched part of the characters. Through this personal project, I explore themes and techniques that are on my mind without limitation.
My work has been exhibited in Bahrain at Malja art space, and I’ve had the pleasure of curating two photographic exhibitions there as well. My photographs have also been published in Professional Photographer magazine in the US, as well as the Professional Photographers of America’s Loan Collection book. I plan to continue my surreal portraits project, and have ideas for several more art projects to tackle in the near future.
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