“A picture is worth a thousand words” is not a phrase to be taken lightly. While some photographs remain silent, others may become overly ostentatious. And as most things are, people might fall in love with the subject of the photograph, the location, or the photographer’s work in general. But in this instance, it was a single photograph, as an entity in and of itself, that caught our attention and held it captive – the decision had been made, we simply had to feature Yousef Al Nasser. His passion shines through every photo he takes. From capturing the aftermath of the unfortunate events in Kuwait earlier in the year, to his stunning landscape photography and mad portraits – all are equally enchanting. Photography befitting of his icon, his style pays homage to the work of Ansel Adams. As he turned his laptop to show us a stunning photograph he’d taken of Kuwait’s stunning skyline he said, “No one ever thinks of taking this photo in black or white.”
An almost organic talent, Yousef started taking photos around two or three years ago on his phone. Bored of the limitation set via his phone’s camera lens, he expanded and decided to move on and get a professional camera. In constantly changing his perspective through the lens, Yousef is on an evolving path as a photographer. Through his journey, Yousef’s goal is to draw attention to the little things that might be missed because we move too quickly, or even turn too slowly.
His niche is simple – landscape photography, for it provides endless possibilities and angles. The traditional commercial hub of Al-Mubarakiya is his playground with it’s winding cobblestoned paths and sharp corners of stalls upon stalls. Kuwait’s oldest souq serves as his favorite photography location. “Although I know exactly what kind of photos I’ll be taking when I go,” he continued, “I still feel like I’m going to find something different. That’s what I keep trying to find and that’s why I keep going back.” He graces our pages now, but one day he’ll feature on the cover of National Geographic, after all, it is his ultimate career goal. When asked what he thinks is the most iconic photograph of our time, he laughed and said “The selfie I guess – unfortunately.”
His photography speaks of wonder and joy – even when captured during the saddest moments. With most art, there’s a story. Whether it is from the perspective of the spectator or the artist’s point of view, every piece is unique and stirs one’s emotions. Fortunately, Yousef has given us his detailed thought process with each image’s portrayal both visually and emotionally. His thoughts about ‘Cinque Terre’ were of a summer trip to Italy:
A typical photo shoot once led Yousef to unexpectedly capture a beautiful moment between two friends that proved that love and compassion goes beyond species:
The beauty of photography is that you leave no moment wasted or a shot to chance. You roam and wander the lands only to find that instant when everything seems to align and the end result is phenomenal. With ‘Walkway’, Yousef found himself during one lazy early morning in Kuwait:
‘Blue’ represents yet another portrait of Kuwait on a perfect cloudless day, when he came across the perfect shades of blue:
During his travels to New York, Yousef photographed ‘NYC’, a rare and faux-iconic photo of an NYC cab:
As an actor with Kuwait’s One World Actors Center, Yousef also flew to Edinburgh to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. While he initially wanted to capture the essence of the city, he found this man.
Of love and family, he captured a beautiful moment and at the center of it was his father with ‘Dad:’
Up close and personal questionnaire:
What do you most value in your friends?
I value the love of my friends most. To always be there when I need them most and in turn I am there for all of them!
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Perfect happiness is a state in which nothing can get better, naturally. But to me things can also improve. I love my life, and what I do, but as a photographer/performer, I can always do better.
What is your greatest fear?
Solitude. I couldn’t imagine the feeling – it scares me that much.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
My want of clarity. I always feel odd when I don’t know what’s going on around me and want to be a part of it. But sometimes I wish I just didn’t know and be content with that.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Boastfulness. When you make yourself the center of your world and try and impose that on others it really gets to me. Be proud of yourself and earn the love and appreciation.
Which living person do you most admire?
I don’t think I do admire anyone living now, in regards to photography. But in life, it would have to be my mum.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Camera gear. Hands down, I spend WAY too much on it and cannot seem to stop!
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Shall we?” and “Meh” seem to be the most recurring things I say. As to why I say them, I don’t know, meh.
What is it that you most dislike?
I think I dislike negativity the most. Obviously there can be valid reasons for it, but when there’s an opportunity to be happy, I say take it!
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d like to be able to base jump, it just looks so amazing.
If you could have any job, what would it be?
I want to be a Nat Geo landscape photographer. It’s my dream.
What would you consider your greatest achievement?
When I performed as Peter Pan for the Bayt Abdullah’s Children’s Hospice and made the kids smile. Best feeling in the world. And of course getting to the point of “professional photographer” and having learnt the trait all by myself.
What is your most treasured possession?
All my camera gear. It’s like my baby.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I’m honestly not sure! That would need someone else’s opinion.
Where would you most like to live?
Somewhere I can watch the sunrise AND sunset from my house, along a coastline. Wherever that country may be, is where I’d like to live.
What are your favorite words to live by?
“Things Happen.” It’s perfect because it works for the good and bad in life.
You can get in touch with Yousef Al Nasser for freelance projects or to generally browse through his stunning photography on Instagram @yousefcam. For even more images check out his website yousefsphotos.vsco.co.