While most young ladies love to strike a pose as soon as they see a lens, we found an incredibly talented young lady that chooses to be behind the lens at all times.
She has a strong vision for her country and would rather have her photographs speak for themselves.
Maitha Bint Khalid took up professional photography in 2005 but her passion started long before that. “Just recently I realized that my addiction started when my mother bought me my first Polaroid camera when I was in first grade,” she recalls. “And since then I bought new cameras constantly. I didn’t really feel the addiction until 2003 when I bought my first compact digital camera and started to take photos of almost everything that caught my eye. But after much experimentation, I knew it was time for a better camera so I bought my first professional camera in 2005,” she adds.
Maitha is currently majoring in Emirati Studies at Zayed University in Dubai and is fascinated by the local Emirati culture and heritage. This is her inspiration. This is her country. “My inspiration is our country’s future,” she says sincerely. She’s a quiet girl who exudes poise and self-assurance. But what is unmistakably noticeable is her patriotism for her nation. “With my work, I am capturing history and culture with an artistic eye. I want the coming generations to feel what I feel when taking those pictures; I want them to be proud of where they come from. Through my studies, I want to support my photographs with research and vice-versa in order to transfer the physical and mental picture onto images and ultimately to our coming generations,” Maitha says with confidence.
In spite of being just 23 years old, Maitha is part of several photography societies like The Emirates Photography Society “PSUAE”. She has also won numerous local and international competitions including the best Emirati Photographer of 2011, FIAP Golden Medal and the 7th Honorable mention in the International Photography Awards Los Angeles, 2011. When asked what her most memorable moment was, she immediately lights up, “ It was May 29th, 2010 when I won the best Emirati Photographer. I was looking forward to this achievement since 2008 when the competition first started.” Maitha believes in “optical nutrition” and develops her photography skills by examining other prominent photographers’ work. But participating in competitions and exhibitions keeps her motivated.
“My inspiration is our country’s future. I want the coming generations to feel what I feel when taking those pictures; I want them to be proud of where they come from.”
While the photography industry in the UAE is just beginning to mature, she has her own take on what can be done to further develop this industry. “I think we need promote and encourage photographers’ originality and individuality by facilitating interaction between local and international photographers from different schools of thought,” she says. But coming from a very conservative family, Maitha has faced a few challenges and has managed to overcome them. “In the beginning, my father refused that I write my full name but eventually agreed on writing my first two names”, she says. “Then I asked his permission to participate in competitions and with the blessings of Allah, I achieved my first award, and after that several other awards which helped assure my father that I’m on the right path,” she says.
Maitha believes that one should start off by learning the basics of photography and try different styles to find their most suitable and creative style. Only then should one work hard and master it. But the most essential trait a photographer must have is a creative eye, according to her. “It’s crucial to see what others can’t see. But that doesn’t mean that the camera is not important. However, the priority is you – the artist within you,” she smiles. For more information check out Maitha’s website.