2022 Booooooom Photo Awards Winner: Amber Hakim

For our first-ever Booooooom Photo Awards we selected 6 winners, one for each category: CLIMATE, PEOPLE, PLACES, THINGS, SERENDIPITY, COMMUNITY. Here is our interview with PEOPLE Winner Amber Hakim. Currently based between San Francisco and Los Angeles, Amber is a photographer who focuses on the cross-section of fashion, culture, and identity. With a background in Fine Art, she utilizes light and colour as a tool to evoke a sense of longing and nostalgia in her imagery. At an early age, she became aware of the complexities of the world around her which gave way to a curious and collaborative approach to her work.

What is the story behind your winning image?

This image was part of a series created during a test shoot with this incredible talent, Chris Ndayi. I love exploring abstraction and perception within my work through lighting and physical objects. Having a magnifying barrier in front of my subject is something that I feel is relatable to our cultural climate at the moment. I come from a fine art background of painting and printmaking that informs my approach to making an image.

What are your eyes being drawn to lately?

Close ups of facial features!

What do you most enjoy looking at through your viewfinder?

Light cascading through textured glass onto a surface.

Who else’s images are exciting you these days?

Zhong Lin is one of my favorite photographers at the moment.

What’s the best piece of advice someone ever gave you (and who gave it to you)?

A close friend told me once to “Take control of your narrative before someone else does” and that advice always sits heavy with me.

Finish this sentence: “For me, photography is…”

A tool to express your psyche.

What’s one thing you’d like to accomplish in the next year or so?

To get funding for a personal project I’d like to get off the ground about the exploration of Islamic spiritual practice. I grew up within the faith and find a lot of beauty in the messages about connection to the divine.

What about one thing you’d like to accomplish in your lifetime?

I’d love to shoot a campaign for Calvin Klein one day. There’s such an overt romantic, powerful yet tender feel throughout a lot of their campaigns and that’s my kinda vibe.

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