Characters Of Egypt | Wadi El Gimal, Marsa Alam | 2010 - © Nour El Refai
Nour El Refai is a self-taught photographer based in Egypt. He obtained a degree in Architecture at Cairo University and has been working as an Architectural photographer since 2005. He has covered documentary stories and assignments in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, India, and Turkey. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Huffington Post and many more.
He is a member of PhotoShelter, the leader in portfolio websites, photo sales, marketing and archiving tools for photographers.
Tell us a little about you and your photography
I'm an Architecture and Documentary photographer based in Cairo, Egypt, I have been working professionally since 2005. I've covered documentary stories and assignments in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, India, and Turkey. My work has been published in the Financial Times, The Huffington Post, and many other publications. I've taught Architecture Photography in various universities, and currently giving workshops in my studio and other art centers.
Oia, Santorini, Greece - © Nour El Refai
Since I was very young, I was inclined towards all visual arts, I loved drawing and painting, until I reached 12 years old when I got my first Kodak camera and discovered this medium and started using it to express myself.
Talk about your connection with architecture. How does it inform your photography?
Studying Architecture definitely affected my perception and way of seeing, I started to be more aware about the context of my stories and the relation between people and their environment.
Sabah Al-Salem University, College of Education, Shidadiyah, Kuwait | Client: Dar Al Handasah | Designed by Perkins+Will - © Nour El Refai
Parkour, Egypt - © Nour El Refai
A traditional building reflected on a large mirror carried by a worker on his bicycle, Downtown Cairo, Egypt 2008 - © Nour El Refai
Do you have a photographic philosophy?
I believe photography is the best tool for storytelling, whether its a personal emotional story, or a project with a documentary value, I currently lean towards the latter.
What are you currently work on? What's next for you?
Besides the frequent residential and commercial shoots, I'm working on two long-term documentary projects that I'm excited about, one is the documentation of the Coptic Churches of Cairo, and the other one that I'm about to start is documenting the work of Ramses Wissa Wassef (1911–1974) who was an important Egyptian architect.