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Inspiration Behind the Lens

As we welcome a new month, we also mark National Photography Month and celebrate all the talented photographers out there! Whether you’re a freelance photographer for hire, or you keep your passion as a hobby, you’re all photographers with stories worthy of being told. To truly celebrate National Photography Month, I wanted to feature two friends of mine who are passionate about videography and photography. I’ll be including their social media accounts in this article, so if you like what you see from them, consider giving them a follow!

Ali Al-Azadi

Ali Al-Azadi is from Everett, Washington, and currently spends his time at university and helps out with his mosque’s youth group. In his free time, however, you’ll either find him behind the lens of a camera or with his family and friends! Ali enjoys videography as a hobby, and as someone who loved watching videos of his family and himself as a baby, he naturally gravitated towards cameras. Not wanting to miss a single moment with his loved ones, Ali said he “...decided to record everything, that way I can relive all the moments in my teenage years later when I grow up.”

Ali has an informal approach to taking videos and likes to capture everything at the moment as it happens. While the people around him have suggested that he turn his recordings into vlogs or mini-documentaries, he prefers to keep the raw footage and not edit his clips because he believes that every moment he captures is important. If he edited his recordings into a video, he worries that in the future, his perspective on what clips should have been added might change. The main subjects Ali likes to capture are his friends and family, so out of respect for their privacy, he preferred not to share his work in this article!

Hassanain Al-Azadi

I’ve known Ali since I was a kid, but I’ve learned that passion for the arts and media runs in his family. I got the chance to speak with Ali’s youngest brother, Hassanain Al-Azadi, about his joy in creating digital art and photography! Hassanain fell in love with art and photography when he discovered illusion art pieces because he believes that you can never go wrong with illusion art. I asked him why illusion art specifically called to him and he replied, “You have the freedom to do whatever you like, in whatever way you like…it’s all a bunch of mess into one piece and it just looks good!”

"Childhood Memories"

Hassanain is inspired by small artists who do their work with passion and love, no matter how much exposure and attention they get. In terms of what inspires him, he revealed that it’s his emotions that drive him to create, as he uses his emotions as fuel and turns it into art. While Hassanain rarely goes into a piece with a story in mind, he has done a few series of artworks. One series he did, “Drunk in the city”, was created from his emotions rather than a story, where he only took photos at night to achieve the perfect shots. Hassanain’s distinct style of blending digital art and photography allows him to use all art forms and create vivid pieces of art.

"Drunk in the City Part 2"

Hassanain prefers capturing nature and objects because he finds that he has more flexibility in portraying them in his artwork. Since he dabbles in so many different mediums, I asked him, “How do you see your photography as compared to the other mediums you’re interested in? Is there anything you focus on more with photography than with other art forms?” To my question, he answered that he sometimes combines digital elements with existing photographs, and if something is missing, he likes to hand draw it into his work. “So, there is a relation of some sort between all the mediums,” he says “but photography is the main lead, it’s the big piece that I slap the smaller pieces onto.”

A great example of this in Hassanain’s work can be seen in “The end?”, which was a piece that was originally 4 different pieces! “I had a photograph of trees and a hand drawing of an eye that I scanned and put on there, a photo of a car with broken glass, and a photo of a building. I put them together and touched them up to give it a “chaotic” look, so when I sat down to give it a perfect name, I ended up with, “The end?” as a result.” Hassanain believes that naming your pieces plays a huge role in the picture itself because it leads your audience to connect with your work even more once it’s been given a title.

"The end?"

It was so great for me to talk with Ali and Hassanain about their passion for photography, videography, and the arts and it brings so much joy to see them expressing themselves through art. Hopefully, I’ve been able to show how talented they are and spark your curiosity about more of their work!


Check out Ali and Hassanain on Twitter!

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