An Exclusive Interview with Abdellah Azizi

Abdellah Azizi is a passionate photographer from Morocco, who loves to photograph South Moroccan landscapes, people, folklorists’ bands, and the life of the rich part of Africa. After finishing high school, Abdellah applied for the Institute specialized for film industry, where he studied for two years on techniques of lighting, and griping. Then he moved to Casablanca to study camera work, and audio-visual post production for a year. He started to work as camera an assistant, lighting technician, and also worked for a local e-magazine, as videographer. The e-magazine didn’t have a photographer, so they asked him to do some photo assignments for them, and they liked his work. From then Abdellah moved to photography. There are lots of other reasons too, but the main one he believes is the freedom he enjoys in this medium.

In this “Exclusive Interview” section, today we have the opportunity to talk with Abdellah Azizi, as his photograph was winner of Photo of the Month – 24th Month, 1st Place. Let’s discover more about him, and his forays into photography in the following interview with him.

An Exclusive Interview with Ahmad Jaa

Light & Composition: Hello, Abdellah Azizi, How does it feel, being selected as the winner of Photo of the Month, 1st Place, May 2012?

Abdellah Azizi: To be honest, I wasn’t waiting for it, especially seeing all those great photos in the competition. I’m really honored with this. Thank you, and special thanks to all those people who have voted for the photo.

L&C: The photograph, “Atlas Child”, which was selected as Photo of the Month, is a beautiful Portraiture Photograph with an artistic perspective, correct lighting, a beautiful story, and very well presented. Overall, this is a great composition! Tell us more about your experience of taking this photograph.

Abdellah: I was in an assignment to photograph the famous Kasbah of Taliouin, at the Atlas Mountains. I was accompanied by some colleagues and a gentleman from the state of Taliouin. He was showing us different places, then took us to a local school where we met this kid Hamza.

He has this special look, one of my colleagues asked him to pose for the camera, so he did, and … you know, It was just the right time, the light was nice, he was confidant, and was looking directly to the lens… I knew I took a good one, a perfect one.

Atlas Child, by Abdellah Azizi

Atlas Child, by Abdellah Azizi

L&C: Besides this winning photograph, many people liked and voted for several others of your photographs in the Photo of the Month contest. You must be proud. How do you see your journey to the world of photography so far?

Abdellah: It was a stressful journey, as I didn’t have lots of experiences. I know many people have liked my photos, because they told me, some even sent me message on Facebook. Yes I’m definitely proud, but still, I’m always challenging myself to do something better.

L&C: As we know, you are originally from Morocco, which has its own rich diverse cultural and artistic heritage. Do you think depicting life in Morocco portrays a different essence? How much does that influence your work?

Abdellah: Indeed, in Morocco there are lots of different cultures, costumes, and languages, and I know that there are some great numbers of photographers who have photographed this diverseness of Morocco. But I doubt that they have succeeded, because it is just too much, and it will take forever to do it. You know here in Morocco you can make beautiful photograph without traveling half the world. And even if you are from here, or from any parts of the world, I believe you need to learn everyone’s culture, and respect their traditions, no matter how it differs from yours, to photograph is perfectly.

L&C: We see so many different genres of photography in your portfolio. Do you like a particular genre of photography?

Abdellah: I’m still learning and every day is a new experience for me. For now I love to take portraits in real life, and doing photojournalism.

L&C: One of the keys to any style of photography is visualization. Please tell us how you started this process and what you did afterwards.

Abdellah: What I like about photojournalism is that you always have to be alert, where one should learn the body language, and need to become master your equipment, so when the moment comes, that few seconds will be enough to make the photo. This doesn’t mean that you would not have to wait for a long time before that moment comes… still, you are visualizing it all the time.

L&C: Abdellah, have you ever exhibited your work? If so, then tell us about your first exhibiting experience.
Abdellah: No, not yet.

L&C: Are you involved with any photography organizations? How does this help you in your photography?

Abdellah: I think photography is all about sharing, sharing your photos, your knowledge, and even your criticism, this is why me and some of my photographers friends here in Oouarzazate have started a Photography Club, (Ouarzazate photographer society). We have a group in Facebook, where we share our “passion” of photography.

L&C: What advice would you give our readers who want to take part in the journey around the world with Photo of the Day?

Abdellah: Life is full with ups and downs, same as in photography, sometimes you get the right moments, sometimes you won’t. The time when you stop using your camera, is the time you stop getting the moments. Just think in that way, and don’t only shoot for participating in a competition, enjoy it, you would get some beautiful photographs.

L&C: Thank you, Abdellah, for sharing your feelings and experiences with us.

Abdellah: Thank you too, and to all the people who takes moments to see, and share my photos.
I appreciate it. Thank you.

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