Somali Sideways - Shamsa Abdi

(Picture from Somali Sideways Facebook, Click to view)

Here we have Shamsa Abdi at #JiangsuProvince, #China.

“When I was 16 I received a small but nonetheless marvelous point and shoot camera. Right away I started taking photos of everything and everyone. Being a new comer to the photography scene, I was very unaware of the looks and strange remarks photographers had the displeasure of hearing. Not to mention the fast paced street living. I geared up every day with my camera, my sister and my heart full of innocence and complete joy. It was all fun and fireworks until people started asking me to not take their photos. I agreed, having no other option but the young teen in me also thought I was slick. So I continued, taking photos on the low. If I sensed that someone didn't want their photo taken, I found a way to take it. Eventually this feeling became so heavy on my conscience that I stopped shooting humans altogether. Today, I see friends, old classmates, and family friends all into the idea of photography. When they come to ask me how I used to be so comfortable I can't really give them an answer because I wasn't. Being away from street photography or taking photos of humans in general, I learned a few things I wanted to share with those who are heading in this path. Don't hesitate. Get past your comfort zone, go so close that you don't need that macro lens. Don't apologize, do what you need to then ask for forgiveness. Smile at people, give them a reason to not be freaked out. Most importantly, be aware of your surroundings. Be patient, let the world happen as it naturally would without you being there. Sometimes the best photos come to you without you frantically searching for it”. #SomaliSideways.


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