Photographer Amina Zaher gave up her corporate job of eight years to pursue her dream in photography by enrolling in New York Film Academy in 2014. The former regional project manager for industry giants like Microsoft and Danone held her first-ever camera, a Sony Handy Man, in 2005 and never looked back. “I had been dabbling in photography on the side and taking online courses while doing a full-time corporate job until one day I decided to call it quits and move to New York to take up photography full time,” Zaher explains. “One of the highlights in my photography education was attending an art direction course with Kegham Djeghalian who is a professor at L’Institut Français de la Mode. The experience influenced me as an artist and a photographer today,” she adds. Born and raised in the capital city of Cairo, Zaher’s work has been published in magazines from around the world including Vogue.
Cairo has been under lockdown for weeks and the spare time has made Zaher go back in time to her days as a photography student in New York City, experimenting in her room with her lights and camera. “This quarantine time reminds me of the time I was at the New York Film Academy, I used to do all my projects in the small room I rented, self-portraits in a very small space that was my identity back then,” Zaher explains. “Every few days I try a different set-up and either set up my camera and ask my husband to capture it for me or put it on a self-timer.”
Here are a few of her “experiments” in her home – while the world slowly rides out a global pandemic.
March 10: Used only a portable flash for this self-portrait. I couldn’t believe how clear the sky has become these days that we can see the stars from my roof!
March 23: Quarantine walks with my husband and Shalaby.
April 4: Isolation in the Covid-19 era.
April 12: A city that never sleeps, is actually sleeping for the first time in history.
40th day of quarantine: None of us Egyptians have been away from the sea this long! Thinking of the beach, the sun, and kitesurfing more than ever.
April 20: El Korba Street is as empty as never before.