Photography is one of the most sought-out art forms of our generation. It seems these days it’s “easy” to become a photographer, as long as you have a smart phone with an impressive camera, or a professional SLR. But there are people like Mohamad “MAC” Chehimi who more than just dabble in the art of photography with gusto, and this truly shines through in his work. Though a Lebanese citizen, Mohamad is born and bred in Kuwait. As an architect, his affinity and dedication go to his day job first. In a little under 15 years, photography has become a major part of his life.
Mohamad says he’s been shooting since 2003, and hadn’t ventured towards the professional path till 2009 – his professional-grade photography would lead any viewer to assume otherwise. “It all started with my summer visits to Lebanon, where I would frequent my uncle’s studio to develop the 35mm films I had shot using my dad’s Yashica Diary camera. During my college years, my photography boomed when I started shooting for a magazine called Origami, which gave me the chance to earn my first penny out of what used to be a hobby.” From hobby to second (or first?) profession, Chehimi had definitely gone places. An avid traveller, he enjoys shooting landscapes he visits, but also frequents what he refers to as his “favorite fields of photography:” fashion, portraits, and sports. “But I generally shoot everything, and I’m so enthusiastic to experiment – after all, that’s how we all learn!”
What’s great about Mohamad’s work is that he really enjoys capturing underground artists in their element. “I believe in their art and appreciate how they’re giving more to the community, which is why I enjoy photo shoots with them.” To him, it’s important that creative people in Kuwait stick together, and for them to help each other out. “I like to help them shine, because we simply shine together as a productive creative community.”
And shine they do, in his photos! Is it his aim? What about his use of natural light? He won’t divulge the secrets of his skill too much, but he does give us a sneak peak: his camera collection! “I’ve been lucky to collect cameras, starting with micro ones (Minox) and ending with larger formatted cameras that gave me my fair share of trial and error. I currently shoot with Canon, depending on the subject. Each subject deserves a different camera.”
After getting him to prove his point by snapping an expert selfie with what we can only assume is his Canon, the savvy photographer agreed to play our favorite game. Kuwait, let us introduce you to the man behind the lens, Mohamad “MAC” Chehimi.
How would your mother describe you in one word?
A good soul.
How would you describe your mother in one word?
What is the most ridiculous question you’ve ever been asked?
How much do you make?
What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Book a ticket to Nepal and leave in less than 24 hours.
What is your theme song?
“Viva La Vida” by Cold Play.
What word in the English or Arabic language do you wish you had invented?
Where would you like to live? What is your dream retirement location?
Live: Santa Monica, LA.
Retirement location: Barcelona.
What is the first famous quote that comes to your mind?
“Less is More” – Mies Van Der Ruhe.
What animal best describes the kind of partner you’d be interested in?
What do you miss about your childhood?
Exams being my biggest concern – and less to worry about.
If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
How would you describe your handshake in one word?
What is the toughest part of your character?
I’m a perfectionist.
Who is your favorite historical figure?
What in the world do you least desire?
What do you think is lacking in the world, which if there was more of would make the world a better place?
Green: whether it be green buildings, living a green lifestyle (recycling), or green trees.
Why do you think most girls/guys like you?
I’m spontaneous and a good listener.
Finish this sentence: “Happiness is a thing called…”