Feature: Photographer Maria Ovsyannikova

Maria Ovsyannikova is a Russian self taught Photographer based in Doha. She is in love with the culture of the Gulf and often goes out to beautiful locations taking cinematic images that tell a story.

Her connection with the Middle East and its culture in her own words, visual appreciation and the reflection of the beauty of it is shown through fine art photography.

 

” I see this part of the world through the prism of my own background and it adds to my vision.”
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What inspires you and what do you like the most about going to the desert and taking photographs?

Desert is a sea of sand. I am inspired by the desert, because it seems infinite to me, it is powerful and very picturesque. Different shapes and textures, different light, different moods.

And also I am imagining life in desert. Where it was a home for a lot of people and a dangerous place at the same time. A person in the desert is a very interesting subject to describe.
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Who are the models and how long does it take to take your photos?
I have different models, male models are mostly from GCC area ( Qatar, UAE, Bahrain). But also I have people from other countries posing for me. And I must admit, it’s not easy job for my models, because I ask them to climb sand dunes, run through the water, walk here, stand there on the edge, deal with some moody animals etc. I am very thankful to them for being so patient.
Some photoshoots can take 1 hour and some can be up to 5. All depends on the idea and inspiration that might come while shooting .
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You take a lot of horses photos, what draws you to them the most?
I love horses and I see how people of GCC area love them too. Horses and camels playing big role in local culture and I can see strong connection between people and these two animals, who helped to survive throughout the history in these  harsh environmental conditions.
A Horse is a fast and powerful creature and I am inspired by its beauty, it’s character and ability to see through a person.
In some of my images I am trying to show this amazing bond between a rider and his horse. And all of it in the landscapes of Qatar, which keeps fascinating my eye and inspires me for new photography ideas.
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“This is how I see the Qatar and  Arabian Gulf region.”

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You can find more of her work here:

 


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