Motasem Awad is a globe trotting indie artist who fuses his love for photography and adventure into a series of doors that teleport viewers elsewhere. Starting off in 2013, he worked as a cinematographer for the Jordanian Army after high-end experience in film making and some time as a 2D VFX creator. With motion driven photos and exciting short films, Awad carries an adrenaline rush and takes his viewers onto a ride with every piece he creates.

Being amongst the leaders in adventure photography and montage production, Motasem Awad carved his path of challenges into possibilities that are not just specific to his life’s exciting timeline; but that fact is merely channeled through the positivity showcased in his work.

Motasem Awad, Self Portrait

His vlogs of the individuals he encounters on various trips are drivers for people to always seek out for the new in the surrounding world. The futuristic graphic effects he includes as a subtle signature in his visuals distinguish him distinctly. In a competitive Jordanian community where establishing a name in the map of photography is tedious, Awad helps bring a motivating image to the youth by showing us that the art of taking photos doesn’t have to always be still. It could keep you on the run, inside a marathon of impossible junctures to miss out on.

Recently, I’ve had the pleasure to talk to Motasem about film photography and its local scene in Amman; to see what an accomplished artist would say about the origins of his field. His love and appreciation for film photography was discovered after trials and gradual steps of expertise with digital photography.

Motasem Awad, Portrait

What was your career like from 2013 till this very moment?

Well, very interesting I would say. I started off as a freelance photographer. My first boss ever saw me jumping around and having the huge smile on face while taking pictures in an event. So he offered me a job in the film industry. I moved up to filmmaking, then worked as a 2D lead VFX artist, a cinematographer in the Jordanian Army, a communication specialist in Red Bull. And now, a full time freelancer photographer/cinematographer.
But to be more specific about photography, I started officially in 2010, started shooting RAW after a couple of months barely. I moved up in 2011 to prime lenses. After understanding natural light and colors, I got to use artificial lights in 2012 and bought a film camera, all the way until 2016 when I got my first digital full frame camera.
Motasem Awad photography

How do you describe the art of film photography?

Beautiful to be honest. I feel it actually opens up the photographer’s mind and makes them understand their surroundings more, understand light more… understand life more. Looking around to find the perfect composition, understanding light according to his film… taking everything into matter before pressing that shutter.

Do you think that film photography should be discontinued or revived?

REVIVED! I myself have a film camera, Nikon FM3, day by day it’s really getting harder to find film rolls for it and I use it to actually feel that I am taking more personal and meaningful images.
Motasem Awad photography

When was the moment you realized you wanted to make photography a career of yours?

When I found out that I could express my emotions through a camera. That was back in 2011.

How was the feedback you received at the start of your career? Did you receive the support you needed?

Well, when I started I didn’t tell anybody this will later on be my whole life. I’m the first one in my family cycle not to be a doctor or engineer. Some people liked what I did and very few used to give me feedback. I wasn’t actually looking to be accepted, it made me happy and I kept doing it.
Motasem Awad photography

What were some obstacles you faced on the way of establishing your photographic career?

Living in Jordan as a start. The equipment to bring in as an 18 year old was super hard! To walk around the streets and being yelled at by random people for taking pictures in public. To be pulled over by cops and deleting my footage.The photographer’s community here is a bit tough, everybody takes it as competition, not as art and using this form to define one’s self and character. And finally living as a photographer is a bit hard, people think it’s just a matter of a button.
Motasem Awad photography

Awad on YouTube

Awad on Vemeo

Awad on instagram

All images courtesy of the artist.


Zina Qabbani
Zina Qabbani

I am a passionate writer, photographer, and German language student at German Jordanian University. Out of my love for photography, I started an Instagram journal for my photos.

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