Profiling Photographers: Khalil Lamrabet

Many of you probably met Khalil Lamrabet at the opening of The Arab Street, Vol. II which took place at 7PM on Wed, Sep 18. Khalil has two images featured in print, both of which are in the 'Double-Take' section of the grouping. Both of Khalil's images are confusing at the very first glance, and beg the attention of the viewer.
As a panelist on our upcoming Critique Night | ZER0 Tolerance, we thought it wise to glean insight into what Khalil deems is a successful street photograph, and to ask him more in-depth about the images he has featured.
Another panelist, Raz Hansrod (RH), had a brief chat with Khalil Lamrabet (KL) about his work, and his submissions to the show
Hi Khalil! Please introduce yourself.

I’m a Canadian-Moroccan photographer living in Dubai. Born in Casablanca – Morocco, and raised in Montreal-Canada. I work in the field of Aviation and I have been passionately making pictures over the last 6 years. I like traveling, exploring new cultures and freezing moments along the way.




Thanks for coming to the opening night this last Wednesday! And congratulations on being featured in the show. Tell us about each of your 2 images that were printed.

Thanks for the opportunity. The two images that were printed have been taken in two different places: one in Dubai and the other one in Bouznika, Morocco. They both have one thing in common which is the unusually composed foreground which makes them intriguing. The one with the umbrella has been taken in Dubai cattle market while I was working on a short documentary project. The one with the horse was made during a summer holiday in Morocco.


How did you get started in photography? Tell us about your journey.

I was always fascinated by the power of photography since my young age. Taking pictures here and there but never took the art seriously. It is here in Dubai where I started focusing more on this passion. I initially used the camera as a medium to connect with different cultures (I’m still using it as such), my first project (8 years back), was in Nepal, Kathmandu - a visually rich place. Since then, I was hooked. I started by exploring (and enjoying) different genres: from portrait photography, to architecture and landscape. I won different local awards in these genres. But ot is my love for travels and my curiosity about different cultures that got me attracted and addicted to street and documentary photography. I enjoy roaming around in foreign countries and freezing moments in various Street Photography styles. I equally like spending time with people from other cultures and documenting their lives. 



What do you want a viewer of your image to feel or think about?

Nothing really. I like my pictures to speak to each viewer differently. I don’t seek to communicate a specific message when taking street photos, but I like it when different people have different interpretations. Sometimes the photo does not have a story but has a twist. Sometimes it does. I don’t get limited by the meaning … that’s the beauty of Street Photography after all.


Any series in particular that you’re working on at the moment?

Not really. There are a number of unfinished series that I try to expand gradually. But when shooting, I tend to not look for the picture … whatever comes comes and if it fits an ongoing series it’s a bonus. 




Can you share anything about ’SIMPLY STREETS’?

SIMPLY STREETS is a personal book that I have recently completed. A tightly edited collection of 111 street images made over the last 6 years. I tried to include different styles of street photography and organize the pictures in visual follow that takes the viewer through different moods. 


Any advice for rookie or seasoned photographers?

Learn from books or workshops not social media but most importantly have fun. The results will come naturally. 


I look forward to joining you on the panel for our critique night: ZER0 Tolerance. To you, what makes a strong street image?

I think there are different aspects that make a strong street image. It depends again on the style. Sometimes ambiguity, sometimes a twist, sometimes ordered chaos, colors or a balanced geometry. There isn’t really one recipe. But a strong image almost always has the same effect on the viewer  … it captures the attention longer. So when you successfully and aesthetically do that you may say that your image has some strength in it. 


What's next for you?

I’ll keep having fun and making pictures along the way. Thanks again for the opportunity. 


Thanks, Khalil!

Khalil will be a panelist on our upcoming event: Critique Night | ZER0 ToleranceRegister here.


To see more of Khalil's work, follow him on Instagram: @khalil_lamrabet

Or see his work in person at our current community exhibition: The Arab Street, Vol. II

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