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Interview: Photographer Achraf Baznani (Morocco)

Can you tell us a little about you?

My name is Achraf Baznani and I’m a conceptual photographer based in Marrakesh, Morocco.

How and when did you get into photography?

I first started using photography as a way to express my ideas and dreams in 2011 and have been sharing my work ever since. I really enjoy creating images that evoke a sense of wonder and whimsy in the world and that inspire people to keep dreaming and seeing life in a new way. I like to play with size, scale, and repetition in relation to everyday objects to show new ways we can see our world.

What does photography mean to you?

Photography has always been my passion. I am a self-taught artist photographer, but I wanted to go a step beyond normal shots, and focused more on photo manipulation.I give all of myself in my work. My shots are as unique as possible, and I strive to be distinctive. This format is just one way to express myself better through my work.

Please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

I think photos are not simply shots which have been captured and produced by the camera itself, but as an interesting way to make people aware about various things and these also provide the best way to explain and show the feelings of a photographer. In my series “Inside My Dreams”, viewers will find a mirror that will reflect the image of their lives and the situations that they deal with and the problems that they all need to face in real life. There will be insightful messages as well as interesting ideas that arise from those unique photos and compositions. With surrealism you can take a break from reality.

Studio, on location or both?

I prefer the studio, because you can control the light easily, change the scenery and the background.

Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

Canon, 50mm 1.8!

Where do you get inspiration from?

I believe that with my photos I can have people think outside the box, and with normal things we find around us every day, I still manage to convey a special message. I do not want to be complicated, but just inspirational and distinctive. So I like to use normal, simple things we find around us every day. If there is something that inspires me in some way, or is notice something, I start to think about how I can use it in a photo. I break down possibilities, and try to be innovative. Then I start to shoot photos and experiment with digital manipulation until I have a creative photo that makes viewers ponder and contemplate.

Do you think in advance what you want in the picture ?

As I said it is all about being inspired by something. So I basically use the story I heard, or the idea I had to take a photo. Each image starts with an idea and a draft on paper of the story and then the camera and the editing are the tools to bring to life what's in the creator's mind, a fantasy dream world hanging within the limits of surrealism and supernatural. My favorite parts are layering and image sharpening, by layering I create images and alter those using functions such as layers, edit an image by adding new layers without altering the original image or add and subtract layers as my work on an image to create the final product. In Photoshop, I use the smart tools to sharpen image to minimize every issues with photo blurring. Although I also love the end of most projects when everything comes together and it looks great and you can stand back and say “Hey, I made that!”

Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

An amateur who breathes by expressing his ideas through his artwork.

What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

Try to be as unique as possible and never give up!

What do you think of our new magazine?

It's a great magazine, I liked the concept, the design, the content... I hope you have more success in the future.

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