How did you get started taking photos?
I’ve always loved taking photos but my interest in photography really struck when I was 16 years old. I never thought you needed a professional camera to take great photos and I still don’t. I believe it’s all about the photographer having the soul and mind and time to capture an intriguing moment. Ever since my art has been noticed I’ve been asked to do many projects and it’s been a great experience! Every opportunity which comes my way I’ll take, because not only is photography self-satisfying and enjoyable, it’s also something I am able to produce for charities such as ones I’ve supported in the past.
What makes a ‘good’ photo to you?
Like a lot of things in life, it really depends. I don’t necessarily have limits to what is a good or bad photo. I just think that if a moment in time is captured on camera and can still come alive through the lens once it is taken, then it is a magical photo. In other words if the photographer can feel the moment through the photograph and really remember its importance in time then I believe it’s a good photo. Like I always tell myself, memories in one’s mind may come and go, but if it is captured on camera, one will never forget. For instance, in October I was hired to fly over to Lebanon by a dear family friend to take photographs of his incredible and old (quite run down) palace in the mountains of Brumana. On the first day of the job, I will never forget what he asked from me. He said ‘Kelly, all I want is for you to make this palace come alive again through your photography’. And from that day on I really understood how much photography meant to me as it allowed me to embrace beautiful scenery and moments like the ones I did.
You had an exhibition in response to the Japanese Tsunami—how did that go?
I was very pleased with the outcome of the exhibition I put together to raise money for Japan. I had an overall collection of 35 pieces of art, of which some were made by a good friend of mine. Most of them were sold within the first hour, which was really amazing. Many guests came to the opening, including the highly respected Ambassador of Japan in Qatar and his delightful wife. In the end my friend and I raised about QR18,000 (almost $5,000) for the Red Cross in Japan. Although it wasn’t enough money to repair all the damage the devastating tsunami had caused, it was something we could do and I was glad to have done my bit to support Japan.
What’s your new exhibition like?
I was given the theme, which in itself was a new concept to me because I’d always taken photos at random. The theme was traditional Qatari dhows so as to reflect the waterside feel and location of Rocca, which is located next to the hotel’s swimming pools and West Bay Lagoon. My goal was to snap shots of small parts and close-up rarely seen areas of dhow boats in order to create a story around the boat itself. Initially I wanted people to have to piece together my photos, as they saw them, to realize eventually that all the images were parts of Qatari dhows. I was very happy with the end result. All the photos were transformed into Sepia (which is a sandy color shade) in order to further match the theme. I named the collection A Taste of Tradition.
What’s your favorite photo in your new exhibition?
I don’t have a number one photo, but my favorite images are of the carcass of a fish, the camouflaged wood sticks on the wood floor of the dhow, and the teacup, because I feel like in addition to participating in the traditional story of the dhow they also have their own separate stories, which I love.
A Taste Of Tradition’is on display at Rocca from Feb 1. Call 4448 1234 for more information.