Ismail Zaidy, a photographer who likes to play with colors and figures to express family issues and miscommunication problems while representing the beautiful visuals and landscapes of his country, Morocco.
Ismail Zaidy during this period of forced distance and loneliness, his photographs give us a beautiful way to visually understand these feelings and accept them more. Here’s who he is.
Tell me about your cultural and professional background.
I am 22 years old, born and raised in Marrakesh, Morocco. I received my baccalaureate in 2015 and went on to graduate with a BA in International Management in 2018 from Cadi Ayyad University in Marrakesh.
I started taking pictures during the summer of 2017, to express my inner perspective with the help of other unique creatives.
My father is from Marrakesh, my mother from a small town called Oud Zem. My siblings are featured in much of my work. The concept of family is intrinsic to my creativity.
What aspects do you value most in your photography? What is the message you want to convey about family?
Through my work, I want to shed a light on family problems, on the lack of communication and distance between children and their parents.
Family estrangement is an issue that affects many but that, I believe, is rarely addressed. I want to express that family (whether biological or adopted) is one of the most valuable gifts in our lives, despite the difficulties it might bring sometimes. Or at least that is what it is for me.
I love the colors in your pictures. How do you choose shades combinations and how do you edit them?
All my pictures are taken with my phone in studio Sa3ada, a space that we created in the terrace of the apartment we live in. Sa3ada means “Joyful” which is the feeling we get while creating this together.
The choice of colors starts from finding ideas, to getting props from the flea markets and then composing the stage for the photoshoots and directing my team (my siblings and relatives) to build the final visual.
I see you have a special interest in landscapes as backgrounds for your figures. What connection do you have with those places?
I don’t have a really special relation to them. It is just the place where I was born and grew up, so my eyes are familiar with the sight of this type of landscapes.
Your people rarely show their faces. Do you hide it for a specific purpose?
Some people are really good at getting a certain emotion of their subjects when photographing them. I’ve found that I can create the same effect without showing someone’s face. The image itself is the emotion.
Lastly, are there any projects or future collaborations you plan to be a part of? What do you see in your future?
I’ve just done my first Solo show. I started working on it in 2018: the project’s name is “3aila”(عائلة) or ‘Family’ in Arabic. I am now working on another project which is a part of an artistic residency about Sahara desert.