Fleeting Feelings

Fleeting Feelings 

A project in the pipeline by the highly respected photographer, editor and designer, Saër Karam, sees him doing what he does best; capturing emotions and creatingstandalone stories with a camera


How does your background in journalism and instinct for seeking out and telling a story steer your choice of photographic subject matter?

One of my previous roles was editor, so, as expected, I tend to be driven by current events. However, instinctively, some issues stand out for me straightaway. I genuinely have a “need” to take pictures, for documenting daily life.


What are you looking to capture in a photo?

A feeling; a fleeting moment in time.


Seizing moments. Can you give us an example of doing this successfully?

When a picture succeeds in making people relate to it and triggers their curiosity. Sometimes it’s even powerful enough to stand alone, without a caption.


What cameras do you like to use?

Having started out years ago using film cameras, I now work with all kinds of digital models. Funny as it might sound, I occasionally even like to use my smartphone’s camera, mounted with specific lenses and accessories.


Have you ever found that your love of words and passion for images compete with one another or do you manage to ensure they co-exist harmoniously?

They tend to live in harmony, although when I’m taking a picture, I’m mainly focusing on the shot itself. It’s often only after browsing through the multiple images that a title might emerge. The starting point of the exercise is, more frequently, the shot. Then I build the text around it. However, when I have a story in mind, that dictates the shooting.


Your portfolio includes architecture, war coverage and fashion shoots, which is wide ranging and eclectic. Do you find each area equally rewarding in its own way or do you prefer to work in a particular field?

To a certain extent, they all come together. Architecture represents the greatness of humanity in its inventive creations. Unfortunately, war coverage is the dark side of humanity, yet is becoming increasingly trivialized. Witnessing it is a duty. As for fashion, it’s supposed to represent beauty primarily, even if staged. I enjoy being able to switch between several categories and value highly this wide spectrum, including street photography.


What do you regard as the highlight of your career as a photojournalist to date?

It’s a permanent work in progress; I’m constantly learning and trying to improve my craft.


You’ve held several personal exhibitions and your pictures have been featured in numerous international competitions. If you had to choose three pieces of your all-time favourite photographic work, which would you choose?

I really like the Japan series, especially the three ladies waiting for the subway. (3rd one to the right http://resolutions-online.com/planet-japan) Knowing that this picture was taken in 2003 gives it a highly symbolic meaning today, now technology has entered so many fields of our lives. The Indian, a picture from 1999 in the United States, is another one that’s special to me. I even remember my camera then, which was a Nikon F90X, a film SLR! There’s a lot of emotion coming out of this portrait, an entire life’s traces, strength and serenity. (8th picture in the homepage’s slideshow. http://resolutions-online.com) And then there’s the main picture of The American Night (2016) whose subject’s posture and face are so expressive. (http://resolutions-online.com/the-american-night/)


Is there a photojournalist whose work you particularly admire?

Among many, I’d have to say Henri Cartier-Bresson, who made the mundane remarkable. Few works as simple and historical embody Paris, a city that is so dear to me.

What can we expect to see in your latest Beirut project?

A display of multiple ambiances from the past decade, throughout the early days up until the most recent points in time. This exhibition will cover most of the above-mentioned genres, with shots from different countries.

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