While most of us spend a lifetime finding our true calling, Mishal AlEssa knew he wanted to be a photographer from the ripe age of 16.
His love for photography took shape when he witnessed his friend in school make photos. He was in awe of the process of creating a visual using light and shadows. What started out as a hobby, fidgeting with a snapshot Casio camera soon turned into a full time obsession.
Mishal’s photography career started when he became the official photographer for his high school events. He fell in love with the process and since then there has been no looking back.
“I remember what a big investment buying my first DSLR camera was. I was extremely excited with the prospect of all the different things I could experiment with, given that the equipment I now possessed was more sophisticated,” said Mishal, talking about his first big foray into the world of photography.
In a digital age when editing software can help you create almost any outcome you may so desire, Mishal prefers creating pictures that need little digital adjustments. “I think photography is a very instinctual art. You need to work with whatever you have, to create a photograph that will speak for itself.”
However, Mishal feels that his relationship with the art of creating pictures took a serious turn when he attended a workshop designed by Nino Ashour. Until then Mishal was only working with landscapes and objects as his subject, but the workshop drew him deeper in the world of photography, encouraging him to take on human subjects. “The workshop was an eye-opener. As someone who had until then only relied on instinct, I learned so much more, technically speaking.”
Mishal then took-up a project for an art gallery with Nino where he learned that there was also an unexplored artistic dimension to his skill. The project made Mishal a braver photographer. Someone who wasn’t intimidated by the delicate aspects of photography.
Although Mishal has been photographing for well over a decade now, he has recently come to the realization that having an education is important to him. To this end, he is currently enrolled as a student of Marketing at the American University of Middle East. “In today’s world just having a talent is not enough, an education can take your art a lot further.”
Having photographed almost every influencer worth his/her mettle in Kuwait, Mishal says it is his clarity of thought and clean images that appeal the most to the Kuwaiti market.
“I find collaborating with other photographers is my favorite way of learning more about the art. When you meet all these people who not only share your passion, but also have a signature style of their own, small intricacies that can help you take your work to the next level, it pushes me further, to learn more and as a result do more,” said Mishal, talking about his favorite aspect of photography.
When it comes to drawing fulfilment from his work, Mishal says he absolutely loves it when he provokes a thought in the mind of the viewer. “I love it when people want to talk about a particular picture that I have made. It’s so amazing having people draw their own conclusions from your work, and talking to them about what went on in my mind while taking those pictures.”
An avid marketer, Mishal wants to use his photography to bring out the various aspects of a product or service. “I love marketing and photography is an integral part of the process.”
With someone who has experience in marketing, digital media and photography, Mishal is a one-man marketing firm.
To this photographer who thinks that photography is a journey more than a destination, pictures are a way of self-expression. Something that comes to him as naturally as breathing.