Persona October, 12th 2023 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 436 - The photographer Soraya

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World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 436 – The photographer Soraya
At the summer exhibition Hot Ratatouille by Lokatie Laurier in Amsterdam I saw a number of special photos. Curator Monika had whispered in my ear that there was a great talent. In the exhibition there were her bridal photos, but her repertoire was bigger than that, she added. The photographer herself was present and I spoke briefly with her.

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I recently had the opportunity to speak to her in more detail. Her name is Soraya. If you look at the photos you will see that she travels a lot.

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Approach on the street
“I indeed travel a lot and photograph people. I just approach them on the street and they usually respond well. I have been throughout Morocco, and also in Portugal, Curaçao, Aruba, Dubai, all Spanish islands including Gran Canaria, Greece, Turkey, Israel and Egypt.”

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She is half Dutch/half Moroccan and she comes from Twente (Hengelo). She attended the Photo Academy in Enschede for two years and then went on to study Tourism. Naturally, such a study requires you to orientate yourself well, also in other countries, and she did that with her camera. When she returned to the Netherlands, she decided to take photography seriously.

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Disposable camera
She already liked photography as a child, it started in primary school, she says. “I was given a disposable camera. I was already busy with photography a lot at that time. I also did modeling as a young girl.”

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It is not surprising to hear that her key work is a fashion photo. “I thought it was special to photograph women in beautiful dresses in a country such as Turkey, Morocco and Greece.

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In some countries they were also traditional dresses. A woman I capture does not necessarily have to be a model. Plus size, thin, slim, smooth hair, frizzy hair, it doesn’t matter to me. I see something beautiful in every woman.”

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She was discovered this year. It happened in a short period of time: the last year. Her photos appeared in Dutch and foreign newspapers, French, Spanish and Italian magazines, and even MTV America. Instagram and Facebook played an important role in this. That is special because in the period before that, especially during corona times, she was depressed for a long time.

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“At the end of that period I decided to take my fate into my own hands: ‘I’m going for it’.”

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Finally, what is her philosophy?
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever … It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
Photo no. 8 is the photographer Soraya. 

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