June 06, 2013 12:00 AM | by The Fustany Team
A Star Among Us: Batool Al Daawi
Batool Al Daawi, a young creative photographer who captures artistic
moments with her camera lens and wishes she could take photos with her
I am half Syrian and half Egyptian. I'm a self-taught artist & photographer. I studied Mass Communication and majored in Broadcasting in Cairo. During my studies, I began to realize that I wanted photography to be more than just a hobby, I wanted to make it a career. Since I was very young, I have been infatuated with cameras and the art of taking photos. My dad encouraged me by gifting me with different types of cameras. Though I always enjoyed taking photos, originally I thought I would focus on fashion design or fine arts, but when introduced to film-making during my last year in college when I was shooting my first short film I fell in love with it and immediately knew this is the field I wanted to be in and I decided to take photography and film more seriously and more professionally. I wanted to start being a part of it then and there so I decided to help out a photographer friend during my last year of studies. After working as a freelance photographer for a year, I decided to open my own company, Blow Creative Agency in Summer 2012 and I'm currently in New York working and taking photography and art classes at the School of Visual Arts.
What inspired you to be the person you are today?
My father is my role model, he was the one who always pushed me further and believed in me. He has always been interested in the arts and always encouraged me to achieve my dreams.
I would say the formula to success is to never fear going for what you want. And when you are on your way, don’t let the negative comments of others bring you down. Instead, turn that into something positive and productive, let that help you become more successful and stronger. Be open to all what life can bring, try everything, explore as much as you can, find your true passion in life and go for it. At the end it’s all about having faith, optimism and being surrounded by people who truly believe in you.
Share with us the best piece of advice ever given to you.
The first advice is one my father used to always tell me, 'Power and money never last, don't ever believe in them or seek them.' The second advice is one I was recently introduced to after meeting one of the most inspiring people I have ever met, a photographer called Ralph Gibson, he told me 'Learn as much as you can, learn from everyone but never copy or imitate anyone, and that's what's going to make you a good photographer.'
What motivates you?
I have always wanted to be larger than life, something out of the ordinary. One of my favorite filmmakers is director Tim Burton, his work is out of this world, the creativity and imagination that he brings into his work is something that motivates me and inspires me, this is somehow what I want to achieve. Just walking in a museum and seeing paintings, art work and photography by the most talented artists, you can see inside their souls and what they are feeling and just being present in that moment is what makes a masterpiece, it takes you to another world, far away from the reality we live in and that’s something I want to achieve by bringing others into my world through my art and photography. My biggest motivation of all is making my father proud, he truly believed in me and knew that one day I would become the person I am today and I will forever be grateful for him. I owe it all to him.
Tell us a common misconception that people have about what you do.
The biggest misconception about photography is that people nowadays think that a good camera will make them good photographers.
Mistakes don't define you as a person, they are just lessons and experiences that we all have to go through in order to grow in life.
Three random things about yourself...
I love cooking, horseback riding and I love being a redhead.
You'll know you've made it when...
I'll know I've made it when people recognize my work and remember my name.