Shot taken by Sara Al-Hashar for Wedad couture

Sara Al Hashar is one of my best friends whose talent I truly admire! she is the person behind my 2015 relaunch photographs that you can view here. Originally from Sur, but born and raised in Muscat, Sara has an interesting and vibrant personality, and is always a good person to be with for a good chat! Currently at the age of 21 she is pursuing her career in photography, after several 'changes in plan' since she was a child. "As a little girl, I wanted to be a doctor. But then I started getting into knitting so I wanted to be a tailor. After that I wanted to be a chef (I love cooking and I still do)", Sara says about herself.

Al-Balsam Life invited Sara to be featured for an interview. I asked her several questions that I was curious about - some of which I truly did not know the answer to, although she is my best friend!

"I would call my self an artist when I take a unique picture. A picture that will let people think."

Balsam: What made you get into photography? And when did you start?

Sara: One day I was hanging out with my friends at a summer school in England. I saw a girl with a DSLR camera. At that time, I only had a compact camera and I only took pictures of my family members for memories. So I asked my parents if they could buy me a DSLR camera.

Balsam: When did you realize that you should make a transition from photographing as a hobby, to a potential professional career?

Sara: Since 2009, I taught my self how to take pictures manually. It was fun learning photography and taking pictures of, anything. That’s when I knew I wanted to be a photographer.

I joined the yearbook committee in school at 2011. For three years, I’ve been working with a wonderful art teacher and a talented graphic designer. I’ve been taking pictures of events in school. I consider this the first photography job I had.

Balsam: You have done several fashion shoots with different startups in Muscat, Oman … do you find fashion photography challenging? And if yes, why?

Sara: I’ve done fashion shoots with different designers in Oman, Pink Halwa, Kooki and zee, wedad couture and more. Fashion photography is challenging. I have to know where the photo-shoot is going to be. What kind of fashion is it? Abayas, casual outfits or dresses? What flashes should I get? What lens should I use? The settings of the camera. Making sure the model is comfortable, because if she’s not it shows clearly.

Balsam: To me, capturing beautiful moments is a form of art, do you consider yourself an artist?

Sara: You could call me an artist. But sometimes I don’t think I am because I don’t find my final products creative and interesting. I would call myself an artist when I take a unique picture. A picture that will let people think.

Balsam: ‘There are no rules for good photographs’ – what are your thoughts about this statement?

Sara: ‘There are no rules for good photographs’. I agree and disagree. I disagree because, in photography you need to know how to change the shutter speed, aperture, ISO. You need to understand light, Focus, the rule of thirds. How to balance. And so much more. But, sometimes a photographer can understand all these rules yet doesn’t capture a good photo. Then you find another photographer who has little knowledge of those rules, but has a good eye and ends up with a wonderful end photograph.

Balsam: Please share with us your favorite photograph you have shot, with few words to describe it.

Sara: I can’t pick a favorite photograph of mine, because I don’t have a favorite also because I don’t usually like the pictures I take.

I took this picture for Wedad couture. The real artist here is the designer and the model. I’m simply just showing it threw image. I wanted the background to be symmetrical and dark to expose the model and what she is wearing. I used a flash (Beauty dish) here.

Sara: I did a lot of fashion and product photography in my freelancing years. But recently I’ve been thinking to myself and I am considering trying new things. Because my vision is changing. I’m still doing my bachelors in business management. Meanwhile, I will be involved in things outside photography.

If you want to see more of Sara's work, follow her on instagram here!