There are many photographers in Saudi Arabia today who are documenting the Kingdom through their eyes, giving the world a fresh perspective on every aspect of life there. But one young photographer has been beautifully capturing some of the most candid and charming moments in the country’s everyday life, and that is Norah Alamri.
The 29-year-old photographer based in the Kingdom’s capital city of Riyadh is known for photographs that are heavily inspired by the culture and human differences in Saudi Arabia. As a photographer standing outside and looking into people’s lives, Alamri is providing us outsiders a real insider’s perspective on life in Saudi Arabia and breaking down negative perceptions of the country by showing its other angles.
Indeed, her images are truly windows into the life of Saudi Arabians, taken on streets, through windows and vitrines, and during the realest and rawest of moments–from old men in mid-conversation at cafes to someone getting a shave at a barbershop to people arms behind glass, arms folded and praying.
Her most striking projects to date include: Black is My Color, a photo series documenting Saudi Arabian women in their iconic black abaya while in different contexts, from an elderly woman walking away from the viewer in an alley scene of striking composition, to a woman walking underneath one of Al-Ula’s most iconic natural landmarks; and Behind Windows, a series captured behind windows across the city, using her reflection’s border to frame the moment and reflect the neighborhood.
In an interview by Inertia Network, Alamri explained how getting into photography helped open her mind to how tiny a part we all play in a world that is bigger than us and filled with things we are yet to see and know. She also talked about how she first took photos and where she finds inspiration for her works.
“My interest in photography started back in 2010 when my dad gifted me with an Olympic camera for my high school graduation […] I started to take it with me wherever I went and I would take photos down busy streets, with store signs cluttered tightly next to each other, and of course people,” she said of her start into the world of photography.
“I get inspired by nature, human differences and of course the photographers of the 80s and 90s. There’s beauty hidden everywhere in my country, starting from our traditional costumes (every city has its own style), cultural traditions, and also food […] I love documenting everyday life in my country to let the world see the real life of people and places in Saudi Arabia and also to document our history,” she continued.