Photographer Hossam Atef, nicknamed Antikka, moves to his own beat. “I have been through lots of harsh days and had lot of problems in my life,” said Atef, a 20-year-old student, studying hospitality. “A photographer isn’t just someone holding a professional camera and taking pictures, he is someone who can see pretty scenes in unexpected places. For me, photography isn’t just a hobby; it is my passion in life.”
Atef’s passion shows in his photos, which are shared enthusiastically across social media websites. His Facebook page, Antikka Photography, has garnered more than 96,000 followers.
He is very proud of how he started photography. “No one ever taught me anything,” he said. “I taught myself everything and what I’ve accomplished is a result of the extensive amount of research I did by myself and my own efforts.”
Atef’s pictures seem well thought out and contain meaningful messages. But Atef denies doing any preparation for his photo shoots. “There’s no specific thought,” he said. “I always care about the poor people who can’t live a humane life because neither the media nor the government cares about them. I just want to shine a light on those people as they don’t have any kind of support from anyone.”
One of his more popular photos showcases a posh girl eating food from a street vendor. We asked him about the message he wanted to relay in that photo. “That it’s okay for girls to eat from a foul cart there are no problems,” he said. “We have many traditions that prevent girls from hanging out. [Society] wants to save girls for their husbands and their homes until they get married. I just want to show that a girl being herself doesn’t hurt you, nor does it hurt her, so it’s okay for her to do anything she wants.”
Atef is currently working on a new project called Humanity of Cairo, which explores his relationship with his subjects.