Photo of the Month
Still Air

Reem Eissa captures raw emotions through photography

Many people struggle to find their place in the world, but third-year student Reem Eissa knows exactly what she wants. With determination and a strong passion for working with people, Eissa aspires to become a clinical psychologist in the future. It comes as no surprise that these sentiments are also reflected in her photography, which showcases the human condition through unfamiliar faces, bodies and raw emotions.

“Whether it’s a simple portrait or an elaborate concept, I love taking pictures of people because they bring life and emotions into the photos,” says Eissa. “I also love working with various personalities and individuals — portraits allow me to do that.”

For this particular photo, Eissa combined two disparate images to create “Still Air.” The original portrait of the graceful ballerina was taken at U of T’s Hart House, while the ethereal effect was extracted from a generic image of smoke. Eissa decreased the opacity of the latter image and layered it over the photo of the ballerina, fabricating the illusion of a dreamlike state. The final product creates a melancholic ambience, albeit a breathtaking and peaceful one.

Although the photo generated positive feedback from viewers, Eissa admits that she wasn’t entirely satisfied with the outcome of this piece. “I was pleasantly surprised when so many viewers liked it,” she says. “However, the most important thing is that I am able to portray emotions through my photography, and that viewers can relate to them in some way.”

The fact that many people connected with this image, from both a creative and personal standpoint, proves that artists can indeed inspire emotions through photography — perhaps even when they cannot see it for themselves.

Visit Reem’s Flickr page or a view a selection of her photography below.


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