Interview: Nourhanne Ibrahim, Photographer

Nourhanne Ibrahim is an Egyptian photographer, born in Saudi Arabia in 1995 and based in Cairo. She studied photography and filmmaking. Her passion is showing the beauty of the world in the small details surrounding us. She specializes in macro and nature photography. She has been a part of many local exhibits and has a published photobook called A Beautiful Distortion. She aspires to offer something different from the mainstream that does not represent her.

Illuminating the World, one ahot at a time: an exclusive interview with photographer Nourhanne Ibrahim

You can find Nourhanne Ibrahim here:

  1. Hi Nourhan, how long have you been working as a photographer now?

I’ve been working for five years now. The first 3 years I worked as a freelancer, I got the chance to try many kinds of photography, from documentary to product. I have worked as a full-time content creator and photographer for 2 years now.

  1. What inspired you to become a photographer? What were your first steps?

My father is a news DOP, and he traveled the world during his work. Also, my mother was a TV producer and worked with lots of public figures and celebrities, so I grew up in an artistic and intellectual environment, which inspired me to find my passion. My first step was when I was 14 years old. I just got a mobile with a camera and started capturing whatever caught my eye, and as you may know, Cairo is a big, diverse city with lots of details, so it taught me a lot.

  1. Are you a professional or an amateur photographer?

I consider myself a pro when I do macro or nature photography; other than that, I’m an amateur.

  1. What is your favorite subject to photograph?

Details, skies, and nature generally.

Magical water plant.
Magical water plant.
  1. What kit do you shoot with?

I have a Nikon D3200, and I use a macro ring with an 18–55mm lens. I also use a 70–300mm lens for landscape and nature shoots. I hope I can afford to update my kit one day.

  1. How would you define your photographic style?

My style is minimal and unique.

  1. Which editing software do you usually use?

I use Photoshop and Lightroom.

  1. John Wanamaker said: Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I do not know which half. Do you gain your clients by advertising or in another way?

I actually don’t make money from my photography (macro and nature), as it is seen as an artistic choice and a hobby and not a type of photography in Egypt. So I have to do other kinds of work to gain money, such as product and food photography.

Magical water plant.
Magical water plant.
  1. How does your typical working day look like? What do you do when you are not working? How many hours/days per week are you working? What do you do in your free time?

I woke up early; the road takes about two hours, and I work from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. When I’m not working, I try to travel or attend a workshop. I work three days from the office and two days from home. I see a movie or go out with my friends, and sometimes I just stay home and do some macro shoots.

  1. What would you do differently if you would start again?

I would focus more on myself and my work and avoid distractions.

  1. A professional photographer is also an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs have many things in common. They read a lot. What about you? What are your favorite books?

The first books that came to mind are:

  • I live with Laila Baalbaki.
  • Show me Allah by Tawfiq El Hakim
  • The Thief and the Dogs by Naguib Mahfouz

And I also really enjoy poetry, and my favorite poets are:

  • Amal Donqol
  • Foad Hadad
  • Sarkon Poules
  1. What was the best advice you have ever received as a photographer? Do you have any advice for other photographers?

To own my identity as a woman and a photographer and not be affected by the mainstream. I’d give them the same advice: own their style and uniqueness, and more importantly, not be affected by peer pressure and surround themselves with a trusted support system.

Dramatic sunset in Cairo.
Dramatic sunset in Cairo.
  1. Top 3 mobile apps on your smartphone?

  • Instagram
  • YouTube
  • Netflix
  1. Your last vacation?

Dahab, Sinai. 8 months ago.

Nourhanne’s work:

Dark sunset.
Dark sunset.

Cityscape at sunset.
Cityscape at sunset.

A vegetable vendor proudly shows his YouTube channel, where he posts daily shop updates.
A vegetable vendor proudly shows his YouTube channel, where he posts daily shop updates.

A macro shoot of a grape.
A macro shoot of a grape.

S macro shiit of garlic.
S macro shiit of garlic.

Bird resting on a rock in the middle of the Nile in Aswan.
Bird resting on a rock in the middle of the Nile in Aswan.

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