CREDITS: All images sourced from Team Amer Mohamad
Amer Mohamad is a visionary fashion photographer whose work transcends boundaries and captures the essence of beauty and style. With an impeccable eye for detail and a distinct artistic vision, he skillfully transforms fashion into a captivating visual narrative. Through his lens, each frame becomes a carefully crafted composition, where light, shadow, and movement harmonise to create moments frozen in time. Mohamad’s ability to capture the essence of his subjects, highlighting their unique personalities and emotions, is what sets him apart. His photographs evoke a sense of intrigue, leaving viewers captivated by the stories they tell. With his innovative approach and unwavering passion, Mohamad continues to redefine the boundaries of fashion photography, leaving an indelible mark on the industry.
He opens up about his inspiration for photography, his favourite photographers and about his life when he is not in the photographer mode while talking to The Peacock Magazine.
Q) What were your growing up years like?
I was born and raised in Syria and then moved to Russia in 2012 to study architecture. I completed my Master’s degree two years ago. I developed an interest in photography while growing up in Syria. After relocating to Moscow, I started capturing photographs of my friends in a university dormitory. These photo shoots eventually helped me land my first-ever modelling agency assignment. However, the agency advised me to give up photography due to my alleged lack of vision and talent. Nonetheless, I was determined and refused to accept their rejection. As a result, I persisted, and now here I am. In terms of professional growth, I began gaining recognition as a photographer around the end of 2015 and early 2016 when I had the opportunity to shoot the cover of the album for Russian singer Yulia Parshuta. Subsequently, my work started getting published and received greater visibility.
Q) When and how did you find yourself taking interest in fashion photography?
Growing up, I received my first camera during my sixth-grade graduation party. It was a one-time-use film camera that my dad bought for me on the night before graduation. It was a significant moment for me, and I still have the pictures I took with it. Most of the photos were of me and my friends having fun, and that experience sparked my love for photography.
However, my journey into fashion photography began when I moved to Russia. In my university dormitory, there was a model who had participated in the Tom Ford show in 2013. Her success was incredibly inspiring to me, so I approached her with the idea of shooting her. Unfortunately, she declined my request. Undeterred, I started photographing my friends in the dormitory, teaching myself the art of photography.
After a couple of months, I decided to approach an agency to ask for models to shoot. To my dismay, they advised me to abandon photography and focus on learning the language, suggesting that I wasn’t good enough and lacked the vision required to be a fashion photographer. However, it was precisely that agent’s harsh criticism that motivated me to prove them wrong and led me to where I am today.
Q) How does the location of the shoot inspire the photographer in you?
It’s a challenge to showcase the architecture or the location itself in a new vision that hasn’t been shot or seen.
Q) Where/in whom do you find your photography muse?
Everyone and everywhere.
Q) What sets your mood for photographing?
Megan The Stallion’s albums or any female artist rapping. I quite enjoy the R’n’B vibe.
Q) Do you always stick to the concept you have had in your mind or do you tend to improvise?
I often improvise with posing during a shoot, but always within the context of the concept. If the original concept doesn’t work for various reasons, such as clashes or unsatisfactory results, we collaborate as a team to make adjustments. This may involve improvising with lighting or finding a more visually appealing approach that aligns with the current atmosphere. Throughout my career, there have been only a few instances where we have had to make such changes.
Q) What has been your most coveted photography project so far?
My Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam’s 10 year-anniversary gallery-opener and invitation shoot. That was very special for me.
Q) How do movies inspire your photography?
I was never driven by movies in photography. It’s more of art that kind of shaped my identity and my love of colours.
Q) Which of your personal shoots was challenging?
For one of my cover shoots, I took on multiple roles. I started by sketching the set design, assembling a team, and then I proceeded to both shoot and art direct the session. With a team of 17 people, I essentially functioned as a producer, photographer, art director, and even collaborated with the stylist on the styling aspect. It was undoubtedly a hectic experience, but the final results speak for themselves.
Q) Which photograph of yours is your personal favourite?
I am usually the one behind the camera rather than in front of it. However, there is a particular image of me standing under a light that holds a special memory from the shoot. During that session, the team improvised by creating a hole in the zoom reflector headlight to securely hold the umbrella. It was quite an epic moment, and they used a drill to accomplish it.
Q) Which has been your most favourite shoot in your journey till now?
In each shoot, I invest a part of myself into the editorial or cover, making it difficult for me to choose a favourite. I truly love them all because each one holds its own unique story and significance. Selecting just one becomes a challenging task for me.
Q) One person who is on the top of your bucket list to shoot?
Kim Kardashian and Jessica Chastain. Can’t choose one!
Q)Who are your biggest influences/mentors?
I am self-taught and have never had a mentor. Although I admire certain photographers, I never had the opportunity to learn directly from anyone. For me, it’s about being present in my own unique way rather than trying to emulate someone else. I believe it’s important not to strive to be the next “someone,” but instead, to embrace and develop your own individual style and identity. It’s about becoming the best version of yourself rather than trying to be like someone else.
Q) What is the first thing you notice when you see other photographers’ work?
Lighting, retouching, and composition. Then the model and styling! Almost everything. (laughs)
Q) Who are your favourite photographers? Why?
I have been obsessed with Tony Duan’s work since I was 16-17 years old. His images are extremely wild and sexy, and they feel like they have an emotional connection. I find his work highly attractive and truly admire his artistic vision.
Q) What is your favourite photographing style?
Beauty, fashion, and nudes.
Q) What are some of the things you are obsessed about as a photographer?
Colours , bone structure, strong face of a model and runway clothes.
Q) What are your future plans?
To be out there making beauty all over the world .
Q) Describe yourself in three words.
Outgoing, simple, and friendly.
Q) What passion do you harbour apart from photography?
Q) What are some of your favourite photography tools?
I own a Nikon D850 camera paired with an 85-mm lens, which has been my go-to setup. Additionally, I recently acquired the Fujifilm VX100, which has quickly become a must-have for me, especially during my trips.
Q) Your favourite shoot location ever?
The iconic Louvre museum in Paris. To have permission to shoot there last year was epic!
Q) How do you unwind?
I like to walk around with my headphones on, have coffee with friends, and hangout in museums. I love travelling around the world.