Samar Abo Elouf

Samar Abo Elouf

Based
Gaza Strip
Born
Gaza City, Palestine
Status
Photographer
“Images remain the core of any story.”

Beat

I cover news events, human-interest stories and lifestyle.

One Shot

. Gaza, Palestinian Territories. Reuters/Samar Abo Elouf
A woman who volunteers with other paramedics reacts to tear gas fired by Israeli troops during a protest where Palestinians demand the right to return to their homeland, at the Israel-Gaza border, in the southern Gaza Strip.
“Other medics were trying to help her while simultaneously battling the effects of tear gas. It was a difficult scene to witness as it showed how the medics were determined to help their colleague despite the risk they faced. This picture is important to me as it was very tough to get it and I myself was affected by the tear gas. I cannot get this scene out of my mind and I still remember their shouts and reactions.”

Profile

My earliest memory of photography dates back to 2010 when I started shooting pictures using a mobile phone to capture anything that struck me and affected me. After a short period of training, I began to photograph children in the refugee camps and the day-to-day lives of people living along the Gaza border.

A friend of mine advised me to join a photography training courses to improve my skills. After that, I kept training myself and shooting various stories and events. After gaining a good amount of experience on the ground, I obtained a college degree in TV Production and Presentation.

Being a photographer means developing a different and unique outlook on things. I like to document everything happening around me.

In order to be a photographer in a flashpoint like Gaza you need to carry your camera with you wherever you go. I wanted to become a photographer to let my pictures tell the stories of the people of Gaza to people around the world.

My first assignment was covering the 2012 war, and it was not an easy one. I heard the first air strike while I was teaching a photography class and had to rush to take photos as people were being brought to the hospital. I was very keen to do this work though it was not any easy task.

Covering the 50-day war in Gaza in 2014 was the hardest assignment of my career, but it also motivated me to keep doing my job. The biggest challenge for me was to continue taking photos as the events unfolded, especially because it wasn’t clear how long the war would last. Despite all the horror, I was pleased I could document those events. I learned lots of lessons on how to work with courage, intuition, patience and ability to assess the situation and environment I work in.

The human-interest stories excite me the most. I like to follow the stories of people who still have hopes despite the pain and suffering they go through. These stories always give me hopes for better life and future.

Photojournalism is the core of truth around the world. A true photojournalist tells what he feels and sees with no distortion. People throughout the world can understand reality through a picture.

The audience I have in mind is everyone, but especially people living in the West and those have no idea about what life is like in Gaza.

If you love photography wholeheartedly and sincerely, you will never give up your work. And if you are honest in delivering the truth, you will win everyone’s respect.

I respect every photographer who does his/her his job professionally and tells the unadulterated truth. I especially respect the Reuters photographers with whom I have worked before.

Photojournalism still has a promising future despite the technological challenges. Any news would be incomplete without a picture and the audience is always keen to watch the whole story through pictures. Images remain the core of any story.

Behind the Scenes

Samar Abo Elouf on assignment.