Karim Rahoma, Celebrities Photographer Takes a Highly Realist and Candid Approach to His Art
Vienna-based celebrity photographer and actor Karim Rahoma may have chosen the camera lens as his primary professional residence, but he has passed through the essential realms of the entertainment business, having studied acting and singing and appearing in plays to television and film productions throughout his international career.
Rahoma’s upbringing by an Austrian mother and Egyptian father has helped to shape his photographic style and globe-traversing career, bouncing from Cannes Film Festival and Berlinale to Sundance, SAG and the Oscars in search of his subjects. We sent Karim Rahoma to Venice biennale to capture it's magic. Rahoma’s remarkably candid photographs of actors such as Angelina Jolie, Judi Dench, George Clooney, Michael Caine, Scarlett Johansson and Javier Bardem speak more as intimate portraits at some of the least intimate moments in the film industry.
Karim Rahoma takes a highly realist and almost candid approach to his craft. Perhaps a fortunate side effect of his theatrical training, his photographs pierce the very core of his subjects. Rahoma possesses the uncanny ability—one that is essential to the work of a portrait photographer—to capture the fascinating duality between one’s public persona and appearance with the inner, private self around which revolves endless intrigue and allure.
“Ten years ago when I was studying film, I answered a question to an exam, ‘My brain is the director, my eyes are the camera and my heart belongs to acting.’” Karim Rahoma
CM: Where do you live?
I am based in Vienna.
CM: Is it a very creative environment?
Yes. If your mind and eyes are open to new inspiration.
CM: From acting to photography, what triggered your interest in photography?
Since I was a child, I have always been interested in photography and sometimes a photo can give you more inspiration than a movie.
CM: Did you study photography?
I taught myself most of what I know, but I started studying photography (in Vienna) in September 2014.
CM: What was your first camera?
My first professional camera was a Canon EOS 5D mark2.
CM: What inspires you?
I grew up in Vienna with two different cultures. My mother is Austrian and my father is Egyptian. It still continues to inspire my creative vision.
CM: How do you start a photographic project?
That’s a very difficult question. It depends on what I want, but most of the time, there has to be the right moment. I have to have a good feeling, and of course an interesting human being, animal or whatever inspires me at that moment.
CM: Are you ever satisfied with the end product?
When it comes to my work I tend to be hard on myself. I still have a lot to learn.
CM: What is your favourite equipment to use?
I think my best equipment is my own instinct and the natural light from the sun helps me always.
CM: Do you have your own studio?
No, not at the moment, but I hope to have one in my creative future because I want to focus on my portrait photography.
CM: How do you develop your pictures?
I develop my pictures on my own computer.
CM: How competitive is your market?
Let me give you the answer in two years.
CM: How do you market yourself? Who do you sell to?
I started marketing myself on Facebook, and I am now working on my website: www.karimrahoma.at (which is still in progress) but you can already see some of my work. My photos can be purchased there and I am now working on my first exhibition in Vienna.
CM: Where do you go to shoot your subjects?
At the Venice Film Festival, Berlinale, Viennale, Cannes, San Sebastian and all around the world.
CM: What are your favourite magazine and blogs for industry news and inspiration?
I like Variety, Dazed and Confused, Interview and National Geographic. I also find inspiration on the pages of many different subjects like nature, fashion and cinema. I don’t have a favourite magazine because I am always open for something new, and if I find something interesting I download it.
CM: How would you define your style?
I try to make my photos as natural as possible.
CM: What would be your dream work collaboration?
One of my dreams is to work as a special portrait photographer for the big film festivals like Cannes, Venice, Berlinale, Sundance, the Oscars, SAG, Emmys, National Geographic and World Press Photo.
CM: What is your favourite photograph so far?
One of my favourite pictures is my picture of Javier Bardem. It was my first year with my Canon EOS 5D mark2 at the Berlinale 2012, and I realized photography was something I wanted to pursue.
CM: Which photographer inspires you the most?
A lot of photographers inspire me. I like Anton Corbijn, Mark Seilinger, Gregory Colbert, Albert Watson, Andreas H. Bitesnich, Amber Arbucci, Gottfried Helnwein, Michel Comte and Dennis Hopper.
CM: How can Creative Mapping help you?
Creative Mapping has already helped open new doors for my creative future as a photographer, and I hope that we can continue our creative work. Recently, I received a message mentioning I had been nominated for the Prize For The Public from the Venice Movie Stars Awards for my photo with James Franco.
Photography © Copyright: Karim Rahoma : Elodie Bouchez, Al Pacino, Caterina Murino, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Elio Ermano, Ethan Hawke, Frances McDormand & Joel Coen, Guillermo Arriaga, John Leguizamo, Alex de la Iglesia, Michael Keaton, David Gordon Green, Tim Roth.