If you’re unaware, April is officially Arab American Heritage Month. With that, The Phoblographer has been celebrating the best Arab American photographers. From portrait to wildlife photographers, we’re proud to showcase leading creatives in the Arab American space. This article will look at the highlights and share the best photographers we’ve published over the last four weeks.
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Cameras Used by the Best Arab American Photographers
Each photographer we interviewed uses a range of cameras. Below is an overview of their main drivers. If you want to see all the gear each photographer uses, we encourage you to check out their full interviews.
- Rania Matar: Leica M6
- Farrah Skeiky: Canon 5D Mk III
- Tamara Hijazi: Canon EOS R
- Tasneem AlSultan: Canon 5D Mark IV
- Simon Chetrit: N/A
- Amir Saidi: Nikon D850
Rania Mater is a portrait photographer who uses the practice to reconnect to past versions of herself. When it comes to gear, she describes herself as a minimalist, only using one camera body and lens. Her work explores female stereotypes, aiming to break them down and show that not every woman follows the status quo. “As a Lebanese-born American woman and mother, my cross-cultural experience and personal narrative have informed my photography ever since,” she told The Phoblographer. You can read more about her here.
The Punk Rock scene has long been a thriving part of American subculture. It’s rebellious, spontaneous, unpredictable, and exciting, making it the perfect environment for a photographer. Farrah Skeiky moved from Seattle to DC and quickly became immersed in the scene. On documenting the subculture, Skeiky told us, “…as I started going to more punk shows, I would bring my camera. The barrier of entry was lower. I wasn’t under the pressure of a deadline, and I could practice with or without flash, which was not uncommon in these rooms.” His black and white approach gives the frames an even further edge, which we adore. You will adore them too. Check his work out here.
Like many photographers, Tamara Hijazi used photography to help her adapt and understand the pandemic and the lockdowns that came with it. 2020-We Didn’t Know is her take on the events that unfolded and how they impacted the way friends and families connected. “The entire series is a tribute to the process of connection, disconnection, and reconnection over the height of the pandemic,” she told us. Continuing, she said, “…with myself and my partner, with my family, with the landscape, with the empty streets of my neighborhood.” It is a moving body of work, and one that, in some way, allows us to think fondly of a time that was difficult. Check out the work here.
There are workers in this world that society often undervalues. The photographer Tasneem AsSultan recognizes this and made it her mission to document the hard workers who help society function. “Everyone deserves to be photographed in a manner that shows them dignified,” said AlSultan. Her photographs are moving and moving. They encourage us to reflect on how we view certain members of society and the work they do. Excellent angle and refreshing photography. Check it out here.
It had been a minute since we last featured Simon Chetrit on the site. Look at his socials and you will see he’s taken a step back from being in the public eye. Thankfully, he’s still active with photography, and he came back to share some fresh work which remains consistent with the high standards he’s set for himself throughout his career. He’s still in love with fashion, and in his most recent interview he shares how working in fashion impacts his personal clothing style. Great to see he’s still thriving! Take a look at his latest work here.
Our love for animals is evident at The Phoblographer. Browse our Photography Culture section, and you’ll find a plethora of stories relating to wildlife. That’s why, when we saw the gorgeous work of Amir Sidi, we were quick to move. He told us, “I love wildlife and animals and have always been fascinated by them.” Over the years, Saidi has assembled a body of work that shows wildlife in its purest form. Asked how he achieves this, he said, “I generally like to observe and not interfere, unless the animals in question are our two cats. I just have a certain respect for animals and see them as very pure.” You can enjoy his work here.
Support the Photographers
We love showcasing photographers. If you like any or all of the photographers above, reach out to them and show your support. They’re some of the best Arab American photographers around, and we’re sure they’d appreciate you showing your love for them. Thanks for reading.
Lead photo by Tasneem AlSultan. All images used with permission.