Member in Focus | Yasmine Elashmawi

Egyptian photographer Yasmine Elashmawi has only been shooting for two years, but she approaches all of her shots with passion, creativity, and an unbridled enthusiasm for learning. In short, she embodies everything GPP loves best! From her background in art and video to her Communications studies at Concordia University, Elashmawi has long fostered a passion for exploring different creative forms. This rich background in video production, documentary filmmaking, and storytelling has now spilled over into her photography, becoming an inherent part of the way she frames and takes her shots. Now in her fourth year of living in the UAE, Elashmawi continues to plug into the growing creative arts hub of the city to further her work and personal inspiration.

1. What sparked her interest in photography?
Yasmine has long been intrigued by photography and its ability to convey different messages to the viewer, but until a few years ago, she always appreciated it strictly as a spectator, not as the artist. Although she would often take a camera and snap away during her personal travels, she realized her images were not technically and aesthetically conveying the stories she wanted to tell.

2. When did she start shooting?
That all changed when her husband bought her a DSLR camera for her birthday two years ago. From there, Elashmawi was introduced to the local photography scene in Dubai through GPP. She has been loving the Dubai community and shooting ever since!

3. How often does she shoot?
When it comes to documentary and street photography, Elashmawi shoots primarily during the several unseen Unseen Trails she has attended with GPP in partnership with Frying Pan Adventures. She personally finds going out to shoot with a bigger group to be helpful, particularly when shooting the streets of Dubai. However, when it comes to portrait and newborn photography, she snaps away every chance she gets! Friends and relatives provide ready and steady subjects for practice. And, of course, she loves to get out and get shooting whenever she goes traveling. New cities always excite her to go out and capture the world around her.

4. Why does she love photography?
Elashmawi loves showing her viewers people or things they don’t necessarily encounter in their day-to- day lives. She personally enjoys witnessing new things all the time – someone’s smile, a new culture, a vibrant pattern – and she wants others to see and enjoy these things with her.

5. What gear does she own?

  • Canon 60D
  • Profoto collapsible reflector
  • Manfrotto tripod
  • Muvi K-series (like a go pro)
  • Sigma 18-35 mm lens
  • 50 mm canon lens
  • Telephoto canon 70-300mm lens

6. Other than her camera, what piece of equipment could she not live without?
According to Elashmawi, the answer is, “My iPhone, unfortunately…” She just loves the ease of being able to snap a picture at any time and any place while still getting creative!

7. Who are her biggest influences as a photographer?
Elashmawi is big on baby photography, so she tends to follow multiple photographers online who focus on capturing candid family images. Outside of newborn and family photographers, she loves the forthright nature of Elliot Erwitt’s work.

8. What’s her best advice for someone starting out?
“Just keep clicking away at anything & everything until you start understanding your own personal style. Speak to other photographers; learn from them & understand. You always find a few tricks here and there that you weren’t aware of, and that makes a world of difference.”

9. Where can we see her work?
Elashmawi posts her work to both her private and her public Instagram accounts. On her public account, @yazzycaptures, she focuses on featuring her candid baby/child photography. Although that style of photography is a bit trickier, it is something she loves to capture, and the end result is well worth the extra effort!

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