Page 1

ID Alia ElMazni

ID Alia ElMazni


Portraits & Objects Conveying Identity & Impression


About the Project Artist


Dancer Traveler Athlete - Student


Designer Commuter Aspiring Athlete Guardian Gardener


Unicorn Ballerina Mecha-Thlete


the Project Unless one is a celebrity or connected to the arts, one does not think of having a portrait taken of oneself. There is the misconception that in order to have ones portrait taken, one would have had to achieve something significant or made the news. But the truth is everyone has a story worth telling, and that this reason enough to have your portrait taken. Portraits are not meant for the famous alone. My intention with this project is of a personal nature. I wish to reach ordinary people and show them the value of who they are and what they do. I created these portraits in order to give them the recognition I feel they deserve. Although Portraits have power to tell stories on their own, but the story really depends on how the viewer perceives it and the idea the viewer decided to build around the picture they see.

In order to enrich this experience I have used Diptych in photography. Diptych is work made of two matching or complementary parts, they can form the same session or polar opposites. Diptychs was used initially in paintings and shown on the different walls of the exhibition hall giving the altarpiece and book effect. It has been adopted by multiple photographers in the recent days in order to show different elements. I am using the Diptychs as a complementary to the portrait to help the viewers get more about the person portrayed and give a hint about their story. The complementary picture is with high relevance to the person, it is either an object dear to them or they feel it represents them. The complementary picture will create an atmosphere for the viewer to understand this person.

“I paint because it helps me express myself j and channel all my energies.� - Diala Naguib

My name is Diala


I am 23 years old a painter. I usualy wake up very early to workout in the sporting club, come home, have a shower, take my coffee and get to to painting. This is not necessarily a routine, sometimes I have errands and things i need to attend to but i always look for time to paint. Could be the whole day or a few hours. I paint because it helps me express myself and channel all my energies. I believe that painting is the story of the artist. It is the same as when the writer writes, once you read more than one novel you can recognize his writing anywhere. It becomes a mark on how they tell their story, how they communicate. It’s exactly the same for painters, you recognizing their work, the way they express, the way they tell the story. It‘s the way they reach to people. This is how I communicate.

“Dancing has been a big part of my life since I was ha kid, i would dance in my free time over musical, hre-doing the moves.� - Nadine Gharib

My name is Nadine


I am 22 years old. I studied Mass communication and graduated last spring. I have not started a full time job yet, for now I use my days to strengthen my flexibility. I try wake up as early as possible because i enjoy mornings in the sun. I have my coffee and breakfast, which is usualy a balance of healthy and cravings. After that I take a shower and practice my stretches for relaxing the muscles and some quiet time before the busy day starts. I make it a point to write in my journal everyday, it makes me feel that i did something with my day and gives me a satistfaction of checking a box. Dancing has been a big part of my life since I was a kid, i would dance in my free time over musical, re-doing their moves. Becoming a professional dancer requires a lot of effort including a disciplines such daily stretching that is sometime painful for better postures. Recently i have been working in a musical that consumed my weekends but it was a fun experience as it was the first in many years. The experience made now eager to learn to play an instrument. Dancing makes me happy.

“Traveling is always an experience even if it is not j the first visit for the particular country.� - Omar ElMazny

My name is Omar


I am 29 years old and an implementation engineer. If i am in Cairo, my days go like any normal desk job kind of person. I wake up, have breakfast ,shower and head to work. After work i either relax at home and watch series or go for a run. Keeping regular runs is important to me not just to be in shape but to have it as a lifestyle as mush as possible. That is to have a balance between desk-job work and the travels. The non traditional part of my work is the best, as it allows me to travel to different places all around EMEA. Traveling is one of my hobbies, and I look forward to checking as many countries as I possibly can. Therefore being able to travel all the time for work is an added bonus for the job i already like. Traveling is always an experience even if it is not the first visit for that country. When traveling you get to know about different cultures and different ways of living. People coming and going with different paces with different lives. It’s always eye and mind opening diving into other cultures. I get to also experience it in the non touristic sense as i work closely with them.

“I found the balance between graphic design and kmy hobby of embroidery� - Carole Magued

My name is Carole

I am 23 years old and study Graphic Design. In the days where I have classes, I wake up early, drive to university, attend my classes and then go back home. At night I train. When I don’t have classes I wake up whenever I want, do some work if needed, then work on my hobbies such as embroidery and music and of course train at night.


I watch a lot of series while working or while stitching, something in the background to keep me company. The series allows me to feel like i am working in a different setting, theirs. I always work at home therefore I am always looking for a change of atmosphere. I used to like doing things at night, then as I grew I realized the mornings are better, life is brighter and gives more energy. At the same time sometimes, it’s nice to enjoy the night when all is quite.

“ I try to break the routine of commuting all the jktime by enjoying how i dress� - Youssef Salah

My name is Youssef


I am 23 years old and study Architecture. My biggest issue is time and distance. I live so far from the city, in the Wahat road so anywhere I have to go Ihave to make a long commute. I try to break this routine of commuting all the time by enjoying how I dress. It gives me more incentive to go out and start the daily journey. Socks are the most important part of the outfit, i plan them out according to the socks, and work out the contrast. I have been wearing my braces for 4 years and i no longer feel them on my teeth. When someone mentions or points them out, for a split second I am almost not sure what they are talking about. My glasses are part of who i am not only because they have a forever mark on my nose and ears but because i had them for so long they became a representation of me so i pick them out carefully. I have a a series or movies playlist I watch whenever I am eating. I dream to be an actor, I practice my non-existing skill everyday in trying out different characters when I deal with people.

“ I aspire to be a professional Tennis k Player. It’s what consumes my time kleveryday” - Mostafa Nasser

My name is Mostafa

I am 23 years old. I study marketing but i don’t like it. I would have rather studied film. I dream to be a professional tennis player. I like food. A lot. To the point that i learned how to cook.

Aspiring Athlete

My daily routine definitely includes training, in the morning and in the afternoon. In between i go to university, finish up assignments and studying. On some days i also have work, i don’t know how i manage my time but surprisingly i always do my tasks on time. I am existing to be graduating in May. Training is an integral part of my day, i can not go a day without training, in the case when I don’t train my day feels like crap. I prefer doing things in the morning, makes me feel more productive and energetic. I’d like to believe that i have the biggest collection of TV shows, film & music on my laptop, it’s such an integral part of my life. It helps me stress down from all the training, work and studying. I like the “Jaguars” animal family as their speed is captivating and inspiring. I would like to belong to that family. In the comics world i would like to be Black Panther

“I still work after retirement because lii don’t like staying at home and feeling iiuseless” - 3am Ahmed

My name is Ahmed


I am 65 years old and work part time as a building security. I like to wake up pretty early, around 6-6:30. First thing I do is enjoy my breakfast with the first lights of the day. I like to feel the day coming in, slowly without the rush of everyday life. After that i hang around the house until 1 o’clock which is the time for me to get to work. I stay at work until 9 o’clock and by the time i get back home it’s around 10:30 so i go to bed and start all over again. I don’t really like to stay at home, that is the reason why still work after retirement, because staying at home makes me feel useless. Even i don’t have work i try to go out. If i am at home i try to fix things around the house or spend time with my grandchildren. Other than that i like to watch TV only for politics, and maybe sports. There is not good material otherwise, all of today movies and series are not worth watching.

“I Stay in Cairo for 3 weeks, working k7 days a week, then go home to my kfamily for a week.” - Akram Zahran

My name is Akram I am 40 years old. I have a very specific schedule as i handle multiple jobs. I wake up in the morning, before 6 o’clock, I wash the cars in front of the building first, so people can have clean cars while heading to their work. Then I take care of the garden and by mid-day i head to the office for my job there. I finish up at night and after it either I go to sleep or go out a bit cause it’s the only free time of the day. My days are very monotonous, there is nothing extra on the different days.


I Stay in Cairo for 3 weeks, working 7 days a week, then go home to my family for a week. It’s hard sometimes being away all the time but I’m not really bothered cause it’s my job and I respect that, also I love it so it makes things easier. And I believe this should be the case for everyone, we have to do what works is entitling.

“On my last birthday, I had unicorn birthday j theme, with a cake and everything� - Nathalie Banna

My name is Nathalie I am 10 years old. On usual days, i get up very early to catch the school bus at 6:10. I take a lot of subjects. This reflects on the size of my bag. After school I have lunch, do my homework and watch some TV before going to bed. On none school days, i go out or play with Lego and unicorns. On weekends, I have ballet practice and piano lessons. I also used to do swimming but not anymore.

Unicorn Ballerina

I like watching all cartoons, in French & in English, I don’t like the Arabic ones, they talk in a weird way. I like unicorns a lot, I draw them all the time, i even made a pillow, and have a t-shirt and pajamas. On my last birthday, I had unicorn birthday theme, with a cake and everything. I was very happy. The reason why i like unicorns so much is because I feel like they represent me as they are so colorful and joyous.

“I wanted to become a professional football kplayer but I took the safe choice of continuing kengineering studies� - Ahmed ElBashary

My name is Ahmed I am 22 years old. I Study Mechatronics. I don’t have classes a lot this year, I only go to university a few times a week. On other days I work on my projects. Besides university, I like to the gym and keep a rhythm. I used to train football but after a back injury I can not anymore, i try to compensate that by training tennis a couple of times a week.


I also keep track with what I eat, so my trainings are as effective, cause if you eat badly your trainings go to waste. Football is a huge part of my life, I realize it’s something funny to say considering I do not own a football ball. I wanted to become a professional football player but I took the safe choice of continuing engineering studies. Even though I do not play that much anymore but i still spend time on it through news, videos and video games. I am not a reader but i like to read, specially physics related issues and papers, sometimes i find myself jumping from one article to the other about absolute zero.

Acknowledgments First i would like the 10 people who have participated in this project. Am Ahmed, Ahmed ElBashary, Akram Zahran, Carole Magued, Diala Naguib, Mostafa Nasser, Nadine Gharib, Nathalie Banna, Omar ElMazny and Youssef Salah. Without their agreement to be featured there would have been an incomplete one or it wouldn’t have existed. Second i would like to thank my instructors Carina Beyer, Dominique Mauri, Anja Weber who have guided me throughout the project, in terms of composition, shooting tips and editing. Working on such project was very challenging on different levels. Firstly in photography, i had to learn and master new techniques. My work started studio based and then with the advancement of the project and in order to make look personal enough i have moved out of the studio and started shooting them in their environment. In opposition to the studio pictures that looked either too staged or

too commercial, the ones shot in the environment gives a more natural feel and conveys the identity in the right angel. In terms of editing the challenging parts were in deciding on the image that would accompany the portrait and in the adjustment of the shot images. ID was a great learning experience, pushing myself out of my comfort zone where i had to direct people, and in facing the different challenges that would pop.

ID - Photobook  
ID - Photobook