Ahmad Sabra, a professional photographer of nine years has won 4 silver awards in the Wedding category of the APPA’s, The Australian Professional Photography Awards. Ahmad Sabra is a photographer based in the Northern suburbs of Melbourne.
He shoots both in (analogue) film and digital. Primarily he identifies as a portrait photographer along with documentary work in Australia and overseas.
“I feel blessed to have my work recognised outside of the Muslim community and alongside some of the great photographers in Australia. I feel that our community is slowly beginning to understand that photographers don’t just click buttons, there is a thought process behind every image, and they now recognise that and are willing to pay for our art.”
Ahmad also entered the APPA’s last year into the photo journalism category and earned a silver award and a silver distinction award.
Ahmad’s style is described as structurally poignant. The images submitted this year were quite poetic and beautiful.
Each picture a story within themselves, Ahmad describes himself as an observer or visitor that captures moments as they happen. Ahmad chose the image because of the symmetry and lines which he finds pleasing.
“In two of the photos I photographed the couple approximately 5 metres apart. It symbolises that public affection is not encouraged in our culture”.
Ahmad and his wife Zahrah Habibullah runs a photography studio called Lahza, specialising in weddings and events.
In 2014, they launched an exhibition and book titled Hummus, Falafel, Refugees which was a culmination of imagery taken over a few years of refugees from a number of countries, documenting their stories and imagery of where they lived.
As a follow up to Hummus, Falafel, Refugees, Ahmad is currently on a month long trip to Lebanon, Egypt and Turkey documenting the stories of refugees in camps.
Growing up in the Middle East he remembers the Palestinian refugee camps and is sympathetic to their hardship.
Within the AIPP, there are levels a member can earn from placing either silver or gold in the annual awards, from Associate to Grand Master, members can earn with the accumulation of points that are accrued with the awards.
This year, Ahmad made the first rank of Associateship which is an amazing achievement to make in the first 2 years of membership into the Australian Institute of Professional Photography.
This current award was for the four submitted wedding images in the Australian Institute of Professional Photography’s National awards held annually.
The judging was extremely difficult this year and all of Ahmad’s entered images placed silver.
Ahmad has won numerous awards but most notable to date would be his portrait of Mohammed from Gaza that was one of the top 50 portraits of 2013 in the National Portrait Prize 2013.
His other awards include: Finalist for Soya Qantas Spirit of the Youth Awards for Photographers under 30, 2013 Emerging Artist Awards from Hume City Council, he won the documentary category at the Centre of Contemporary Photography in Melbourne last year and was a finalist in this year’s Headon portrait prize.
In giving advice to photographers wishing to be recognised or commended for their work, Ahmad says to “Keep on shooting and entering competitions. Be sure to seek professional development.”
To see more of Ahmad’s work, visit his website www.sabra-imagery.com.au/blog. National Gallery Prize: http://www.portrait.gov.au/content/ahmad-sabra. Check www.lahza.com.au and the fb page https://www.facebook.com/lahzaphotography/