Khabar Khair (Only Good News) – Fatima Rashad
Yemeni women look forward to taking a prominent place in different parts of working life. photography was once reserved to men; however nowadays Yemeni female photographer stands in the same way as men do and communicate their achievements through their camera lens.
Women have different stories with the camera, some of them turned photography into a profession that enables them to have their own studio, while you see some passionate female photographers in the field and conveying people’s suffering, while others went to cover activities held by civil society organizations, believing in the importance of this role and shedding light on it.
There is no doubt that the vigorous activity of women in this field was fraught with difficulties that every female photographer face, Tahani Ahmed from Ibb tells us about her first experience in photography, saying: “I face difficulty in working in photography, as the community still does not accepts the job of female photographers, and during my work in the studio, I got to know a lot of women and some of them have asked me to come and photograph weddings, so that was the beginning and then I became a successful more professional female photographer, and I am currently thinking of setting up my own studio.
Moving from Tahani to Fatima Baftim, the media professional who has always been interested in photography and became a professional photographer, she is invited to civil society organizations’ activities, and photograph some institutions’ activities. Fatima says about her experience in photography: “My beginning in photography was voluntary, it is true it was a modest beginning because I used to photograph forums, parties and organizations, however this enabled me to acquire skills, and turn my hobby into a profession, and I also gained experience that added to my original job, as I am a media graduate.”
And about the first camera that Fatima had, she told Khabar Khair (Only Good News): “I started photographing using my cellphone camera, and I learned photography step by step until I became professional, and I always say: We shouldn’t not jump from zero to a hundred, but rather we should take deliberate steps in order to be successful.”
Regarding her experience working with organizations, she says: “I worked with “Soul” organization, and it was a successful experience that helped me in my work in the media.”
Media professional colleague Donia Farhan, who worked in photographing civil society organizations’ activities, shares the conversation, saying: “I worked with a number of civil society organizations, and my first experience was working as a photographer in a workshop held by UNDP, and I was the information officer for posting the news of the workshop on websites. It was such a unique experience, and despite the work pressure, I had acquired considerable experience in that area..”
Donia highlighted the difficulties that most Yemeni female photographers face, saying: “When we film in the street, we get harassed from some passers-by, and this hampers our job and when we photograph events, we are not given enough time to choose and examine the appropriate photo, and we are often asked for photos immediately after the events are over., in addition to the problems related to our inability to provide professional tools for photography due to their high prices.”
Del Albanfsag Studio
Samia Muhammad, who turned from an employee in a telecommunications company to a studio owner, tells Khabar Khair (Only Good News) her story with the camera saying: “After I had my first daughter, I was thinking of working from home, as it was difficult for me to take my daughter to my mom when I go to work and came back to pick her up when I finish working, Which made me think of learning photography, so I took training courses in photoshop, and my husband and some colleagues helped me, until I bought a camera, and I did not know at first how to deal with it to take professional photos, my first experience was photographing close people and friends on their happy occasions that was my real start.”
However, I ran into many difficulties, I still remember one the most difficult situations I went through, I was photographing, and I unintentionally pressed the delete button, and I found that I had deleted all the photos I had taken for the client, with the help of my husband who is an engineer, I was able to recover the deleted photos.”
Despite the difficulties that Samia faced, she was able to achieve her dream, and today she is the owner of “Del Al-Banafsj” studio with a female staff specialized in photography. Samia says” my advice to any woman or girl is to believe in herself and her dreams and to turn her ideas into practice. And no matter how difficult or modest was the beginning, just know we all started from scratch, and this will make you achieve the big dream.”
Muhammad Ahmed, one of the employees of Ramzi Studios, had perspective about women’s working in photography. He said: “because Yemeni families are a bit conservative, female staff is required in any studio, that’s why we see a Yemeni female photographer at family events and wedding parties, and each of them specialized in photographing a specific idea, some of them have studios to take photos of children, and some of them specialized in photographing weddings, and some are specialized in photographing official events in general. This diversity is required in this field.”
All female photographers seek to achieve professionalism and perfection, and they hope that their photos will go to Global Photography Contest, and to communicate Yemeni dreams through the lenses of their cameras.