Based in the Netherlands, Syrian born photographer Alice Mahran lives and breathes photography. She’s a strong believer of the ‘we’ culture, that one should cultivate kindness, sensitivity and do good by others. Hard to argue with that! From her works, we can tell Alice is a sensitive photographer, the ambience, her subjects, captured with respect and beauty while still telling their stories honestly.
1. Why do you make images?
Photography really stepped into my life almost as if it was a person who said:
“Here, you can have all of me. You are free to capture whatever you desire.”
Three years ago I made the choice to trust this stranger (photography) and now it's part of my everyday. Just like I get up every morning, photography is part of my day. Today I still choose photography and capture and edit these moments because its a richness that will always keep it’s value. The value even increases by the day and it makes me a more thankful person.
2. What is life to you? What it should be?
I believe that life is given to me to honour God and therefore everyday I open myself to learn, become kinder, more patient, stronger. Life is all about sharing, make others happy whether they are those who you meet in the street, your clients or close friends. Enjoying life without worrying about what others think ( which is a process ). Be the best of youself, so you can be the best to the other. Life is family & friends. Life is all of us on this planet, animal or human; we are all here and all leave one day.
3. How much is your family an influence on the way you view life, see things?
Being raised in a Syrian culture is such a big part of the person/photographer I am today. My father and my mother have souls that are not easily found elsewhere. Sadly war is all over my country, yet I do not wanna forget how I felt when I visited before the war. Everybody really looks out for each other. I love the warmth and sensitiveness. Being alert to the emotions of others even while they don’t say a thing. I believe in the ‘we’ culture instead of the ‘I’ culture.
4. What is your favourite non-photography pastime?
Enjoying my boyfriend with my eyes instead of clicking a hundred photo’s of him because he’s so handsome and lovely.
5. Do you have a “second profession” or passion?
Travel, and I guess that goes perfectly with the job I have as a wedding photographer.
6. What movie did you love recently?
7. Do you shoot with your left or right eye?
I love that question because I remember a photographer friend said to me he was surprised seeing me photograph sometimes with my right eye and switch sometimes to the left. So I use both.
8. Are there any unseen experimental images in your attic you’d like to show us now?
With my instagram addiction nothing is unseen anymore … 0.o
9. Who do you respect - in photography or elsewhere?
All the photographers who are real and kind. Especially not the photographers who are just here to copy cat and do not find there own move.
10. If you were to start all over again, is there anything you would do differently? Why?
I'm already more than thankful that this has happened to me, the people I’ve met and the places I’ve been. So there is no need to start all over again on my behalf.
Bonus Q: Do you think the gear you use affects the way you photograph? Why?
I believe the most important thing is the “see it and feel it” part. Having a good camera makes a better quality photograph.