So I first saw this guy online…on some news report. He had some serious bad press…but they say any press is good press….
Here’s my favourite photograpgh of his:
His name is Shamel and here’s a link to his shennagins….
Anyway. I decided to stalk him one day and invite him for coffee.
So here (without annnny kind of grammer…blame his accent and my lazy transcribing) is the conversation that transcribed.
“I don’t class myself as a photographer. I am self-taught. I start emulating other people and you start learning.
I lived in NZ for 6 years. Come from London originally. Name is egyptian.
Project was planned for 5 years. Inspired by Bill Cunnghim. He’s very rich…..you know that he is gay…never been in a relationship in his life because of his religion. He devoted his life to photographing people
I first moved to Palmerston North for the job…but it didn’t work out. Palmy wasn’t on the plan…but now it is.
70 Day’s to go. Started on 5th January.
What inspired you to do street photography?
I used to take photos of people…thats how I learn’t. I like to take photos of ppl when they are not aware….they make the best photographs….like the guy lighting the ciggarette.
Sometimes it’s stupid…and funny.
Like how ppl painted their faces for the world cup.
So tell me about the flack you got from doing this project…
I got smashed….someone threatened to kill me…hit me in their car.
I was starting in the middle of the island. It’s the perfect position.
It’s hard to do street photography…you need to perfect angle, and to scan the people to see who is worth photographing.
Now I have to ask the people….because it is the law.
Since I started I didn’t ask…I thought it was the same as Europe and Japan…but now I talked to the privacy commission…
I don’t take photos of children…..and anyone under the age of 13. Because I’m not interested…I need people who pays for the fashion. The people who pay for the fashion.
That’s the whole reason for the project. I mean celebrities get the fashion for free, and always get photographed. But these people pay for the fashion, their hair, their nails and never get photographed. Even if your friends say you look stunning, you never get photographed. (ha… meanwhile I’m thinking of all my selfies).
The best photo’s are when they are candid, because they change when you ask them….I will always
What other random projects have you worked on….(note that we kinda got off topic…)?
Originally an interior designer (ooo I have to add that a while after this I got the change to see his apartment…yup the NZ home and Garden magizine exploded in it. YUMMMY)…..and am an architect and have a business degree.
I have a huge collection of people I photographed. Whenever I ahve nothing to do for the day….I go into town and photograph people.
I think street photography is the harderst. people walking around can affect the photo easily. In a studio you can control the heat, the lights….
The problem about NZ is that it’s not what you know…it’s who you know.
And it’s a femminest country.
If you want something done in NZ get a woman to do it.
Men drink beer and watch rugby….but when the woman rules the home.
But I do love men artists….like Dick Frizzell.
Hmmm so yah. Very exciting for this egyption/brit. Verrrry cool. In the time span I’ve know him…he’s ahd over 1000 more “likes”….this guy is hot property.
(photo credit….hmmm me….it was funny. Trying to get a candid photograph of a photographer…..).
Ahh yup. Good Luck Shamel.
I wanna personalized copy of your first book.
Here’s a last word from him I stole from his page….
“Dear Palmerston North, 83 Days to go and over 5000 photos have been taken. Do not say my photo is not good enough because WHAT IS GOOD ENOUGH? I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly , I can usually see something of beauty in it. Bring your statement and i will see you shortly outside the plaza”. Shamel Wanis,