Elie Dahdouh

Where are you from/based now?

I've lived in and around Toronto pretty much my whole life however I'm moving to Vancouver, BC in the next month or so. Really looking forward to it.

What is your background in Photography? What keeps you interested?

In 2012 I dropped out of business school and moved back home to Toronto to work. At the time, most of friends were still away at school and I was pretty bored, so I decided to buy a DLSR. All I wanted to do was record music covers and but I wasn't very good at making videos and got easily discouraged. So instead I started photographing random things around my room for fun, and eventually would start taking photos of friends and family and pretty much anything and everything. It was a great way to keep busy. Fast forward to today, it's pretty much all I think about. And what keeps me interested is the fact that there are so many things I haven't learned yet and so many places I haven't been to.

What equipment do you use?

I mainly use a Mamiya 7 and a Mamiya RZ67. I also use a Nikon DSLR when shooting film isn't feasible. I think both platforms are great but I definitely prefer film most of the time.

What do you look for when you are out shooting? What draws you to a project?

It's tough to say. My style has really changed over the past few years and it's still changing. I'm all over the map in terms of what I like to shoot, which has made it difficult for me to really focus on a specific concept or commit to a project. I’m pretty drawn to everyday mundane things or anything I think would look cool. I used to walk around Toronto for hours with my camera but I haven’t found myself doing that a lot lately as a 9-5 job can slow down your creativity. One thing I’m really trying to work on is taking more portraits, which hopefully will lead to some ideas for projects.

Is there a particular photographer, site, set of images or a photo book that you keep coming back to for inspiration?

There are tons and tons of great photographers out there. I really enjoy the work of Jake Stangel, Daniel Shea, Patrick Joust, William Broadhurst, Wouter Van de Voorde, Ryan Plufger, Corey Arnold and many more, but there are two photographers that I find myself coming back to almost daily: Jamie Hawkesworth and Thomas Prior. They've both made me change the way I look at images and I highly recommend checking out their work. In terms of online presence, I started out using Flickr and although I still use it regularly, I enjoy scrolling through my Tumblr feed a bit more. So much incredible work there and that's probably where I get most of my inspiration from. Both sites are great for sharing/discovering new images and for reaching out to people. It's so great being able to make connections with other photographers around the world. I also recently purchased a whole bunch of great photo books in hopes of one day having a giant collection. One of them I really enjoy is Bryan Schutmaat's Grays the Mountain Sends.

Are you working on a project at the moment?

I'm not really working on anything specific at the moment as I'll be moving in a month, so I'm just trying to get everything all sorted out. I also recently came back from a trip to Alberta, so I still have hundreds of photos that I need to sort through and edit. Hopefully I'll be able to string together a nice album from that.

Are you exhibiting at the moment? Do you have any plans to exhibit more in the near future.

I don't have any exhibitions right now but I had my first one earlier this year in Toronto and it was great. I learned a lot about printing and framing and I even sold a couple of my images. Hopefully in the future I'll be able to be a part of more shows.

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