Nabil Sami Photography | I dove in words, and sank in photography

I dove in words, and sank in photography

February 28, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

“The photographer, unless in rare cases, where the opportunity comes extemporaneously, can only say a thousand words with a photograph, if capable of writing a thousand matching words, using a feather.  The one, who comes to have this ability of combining the photograph with the writing, can consider himself an authentic photo-reporter. - Jehovah

As a photojournalist I acknowledge that it is a complicated task to translate a photograph in a thousand words. I believe that a photograph can leave you with no words, in awe, thoughtful, however, in rare cases it will make you think of a thousand words to describe that same photograph in front of you. 

A photojournalist to translate a photograph in a thousand words, with its “click” isn’t enough. It’s necessary to be a human being, to observe and to converse, it is necessary to go beyond your creativity to translate the photography world into words. Furthermore, I often asked myself, how is to be a photojournalist? How is to tell stories through photography? How is it to reflect feelings with the light?

I am glad I never got these answers before graduating, as the beauty of photography is to get these answers from your own images, from your own objects, from the portraits you take, from the photos you make, so later on you can sit and try to translate your work in a thousand words. You close your eyes, imagine you back on that same scene, try to get yourself out of the back of the camera and remember every single moment you lived from that photograph. You close your eyes, get back to that frame of second, hear the beats of your hearts, and you write a thousand words.

We learned how to communicate with the glance, the glance of the photographs. And talk with the sound, the sound of the words.

Four years ago I wrote on this same website; “I hope to be able to seek the truth and observe the world, so that through the lens of my camera, and through the power of words, I can document reality”.

I walked in a path of a journalistic education for a period of four years. I dove in words, and sank in photography. That was the moment I learned how to strive to be a true photojournalist, it was when I realized that a photograph can’t live without the word, and vice-versa. According to Jehovah, that is what it means to be a photo-reporter. Make the photograph and the writing as if they were one.

The union between the photo and the word

One day my photography learned how to communicate with the words from MeUniverso (MyUniverse). My eyes read the written letters, and heard the spoken words, by the Brazilian Journalist-Lawyer, Ananda Beleza.

April 3rd, 2017. MeUniverso emerged with my photojournalistic world.  As a journalist I always searched for the truth in words to accompany my photographs, I just couldn’t imagine that these words would come from a different journalist – Ananda beleza. I always knew that I had to use my photographs for a higher purpose, and through Ananda’s Beleza art of writing, I found the purpose I was searching for.

I learned how to detach from my visual creativity and see the world through various looks, histories and other’s experiences. But I never stopped using the lens of my camera, and the power of words to show you the world we live in. To show the truth.

In the Portuguese version of this text, I invited my readers to follow @meu.u.niverso by Ananda Beleza. Putting your fears on the side, diving in her words the same way I dove. As her texts are all in Portuguese, with the little I know from Ananda’s Beleza written world, I will try to share what her Universe consists of.

On her first text written on the same day our creative world’s emerged, 4th of April 2017, she wrote:

The good in writing is that you won’t always write about yourself. You can become a character, a scriptwriter, a narrator or observer.

It is to put into words; impressions, scenes and developments. It is to experience others lives and keep your mind busy. It is a Universe of vowels that create stories, and consonants that describe memories.

It is a description of the present and invention of the future.

It is the perfect way to imagine, to feature and to hide without feeling you are a coward.

“MeUniverso” - (MyUniverse) -, isn’t only mine. It is a point of view, it’s also empathy, and will forever be poetry”. –

 Ananda Beleza

Today, Ananda and I are journalists, we don’t work in a newspaper or in a newsroom; we aren’t reporters, editors or chief-editors. But we both understand the power of words and photography, seeing both as an important tool to change the world we live in. We don't sign breaking news or appear on the screen, but we, as journalists, we carry on the responsibility of sharing the truth. 


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