Meeting up with Marwan Abd El-Alim
Personally, I have always been obsessed with Fashion and photography. Thus, Fashion Photography has been like a point of intersection of both fields for me. Not only do I enjoy styling, jewelry or even the outfits, but fashion shots capture a fantasy that usually takes me out of this world into a journey where everything is beautiful, magical and simply fantastic. Unfortunately, fashion photography is not very popular in Egypt till this day despite having loads of many good photographers. But it seems that most of them aren’t much interested in the field or most probably decide to take an easier way to stardom and popularity through shooting weddings, commercials or even portraits. Thanks to coincidence, I have come to know about Marwan Abd El-Alim who is a promising Fashion Photographer from Egypt.
Marwan, who got into the photography field in 2007, has proved to be one of the foremost fashion photographers in Egypt so far working with top-notch brands like Azza Fahmy. By Fashion Photography, I do not mean shots of stiff models who are stuck in a boring studios with tasteless dull backgrounds, but I mean great lighting, good quality, competent models….etc. By checking Marwan’s photos, you can tell that a lot of work has been done at the backstage. I have been fully impressed with Marwan’s works and decided to interview him and let the world know about his experience.
How did you get into the photography field?
Early in 2006, I had a car accident and had to stay at home for 6 months. So, I bought my very first camera, an HP M417, a 5.2mp point &shoot camera. Then I had plenty of time to read, started uploading my photos on some websites, and I got some positive feedback, which encouraged me to continue. Later in 2006, I met some great photographers who really helped me.
Why did you choose Fashion Photography specifically?
Fashion has always captivated me; this glamour ambient, fashion designers, models and every single detail, even the magazine and package designs!
I started my career in 2006 shooting some interiors and doing some commercial assignments, but in 2008 and after experimenting more themes and patterns, it became clear to me that shooting interiors is not my cup of tea. So I shifted to fashion, and everything went smooth and easy.
How do you see Fashion Photography in Egypt?
Frankly speaking, fashion photography in Egypt is struggling. We lack the essentials for this industry to grow; designers, models, MUAs, stylists, and most importantly social acceptance! This actually makes me sad, but I believe this will change soon. I can see fresh talents now, in all fields, they are giving me hope actually.
A website like this is making sense today. 5 years earlier, it would have been considered crazy. This is not Milan, you know! Seeing all these artists showcasing their work and transforming their names, to brands is just amazing. I hope we will see more websites like this one, more artists and more room for creativity.
Tell me all about the process; how the scenes are shot, who picks them…., etc.
About the scenes, every shoot is different! I style most of my shots, but the good ones are styled by fashion designers and stylists, haha! My approach is simplicity. I don’t complicate things, trying to make everything as spontaneous as possible, that’s pretty much it.
What’s the most difficult thing about being a fashion photographer?
For me, a fashion photographer is a director. You use the help of your team to shoot something you already drew in your mind. Trying to transform this vision to your camera’s monitor is the hardest!
You’ll need experienced team, patient models, and a clear vision of what you want.
Who’s your favorite fashion photographer of all times?
I don’t have one actually; every photographer is interesting in a way. But, maybe Richard Avedon and Horst P Horst helped me a lot in shaping my style. Also Mario Testino, Cedric Buchet and Mert&Marcus are really helping as well. Even the youngest photographers are considered inspiration for me
Finally, your biggest dream?
I don’t have one! I just want to be able to do what I love to do, and do it good. Anything else is easy!