Fun, Inspiring others, Full of energy Unstoppable She's Raya Al-Hashmi on Assignment in Portsmouth New Hampshire
All Photos & copyright of Raya Al-Hashmi Photographer Raya on Assignment
I discovered Raya as she photographed & interviewed my son during his stay in Portsmouth New Hampshire.
Raya is a photographer and Photojournalist, the founder & head of "People in Portsmouth which is a photography project ran by @rayaonassignment documenting the inhabitants of Portsmouth, NH.
I instantly became interested in this young energetic woman, her passion, leadership skills, drive and energy ignited me to want to know more about her. I asked if she would let me interview her and publish her on my blog, The norm for me is when asking someone of importance 85% of the time I never hear back from them but not Raya, she responded in a timely manner and was so happy that I had asked. Gratitude Miss Raya, Thank you.
While interviewing her I had found out we both have a few things in common. We love getting behind the lens, interviewing people and the same photojournalist"Bill Cunningham "A well known Fashion Journalist /street Photographer. As I was preparing and wrapping up my interview for publishing Raya started producing videos . take a look at her first one
"I love through the lens"
K: : What age did you take up photography and what inspired you to do so?
R: At the age of 16 I began my journey in photography my good friend introduced me to this craft. I remember so vividly laying on the wide plank wooden floors in our lake cabin in Barrington, NH and turning the camera lens on myself. I remember thinking this is a powerful tool, this can show people that they are beautiful, this is sort of like science- it can't be proven wrong. I wanted to show people that they are beautiful, especially those who don't see it.
K: What lead you into street interviews for Portsmouth Hampshire ?
R: The desire to hear, document, and share authentic moments and memories from those who inhabit this community. The philosophy that we are a lot less different than we may believe we are. That by knowing more realness about our community we start to be a little more compassionate with ourselves and others.
K: Did you ever have a fear or nervousness to go out into the streets of the city and people to take their photo and interview them? And if yes how did you overcome it?
R: Absolutely, I believe people can sense when we have fear or are coming from a place of being uncomfortable or inauthentic. When this is the case it becomes hard to have people open up to us so those are the days I would maybe find something else to do. Also, that fear or nervousness can help fuel us to do something brilliant.
K: Most memorable assignment and why?
R: When my heart and mind are aligned while I am doing my craft- those are the most memorable assignments.
K: Favorite food?
R: Fattoush Salad
K: Anything on your bucket list you haven't done yet?
R: I do not have a bucket list although I do have a vision board. I make a new one after the previous one has become reality.
K: What words of wisdom would you give to inspire our readers?
R: Ask those who are close to you how you can continue to support them.
I try to ask anyone often what I can do to continue to support them. This is huge. Try it and see how it feels for yourself and others.
K: Your favorite photographer?
R: I enjoy the work of Brandon Stanton, Bill Cunningham, and anyone who shares the magic of capturing moments.
K: That one person who is your hero and has inspired you and why
R: My inner child because she laughs and loves freely.
K: If you could spend one day with someone, who would that be and why?
R: National Geographic Alexandra Boulat- she passed away in 2007 and covered many situations regarding war and turmoil in the Middle East when she worked with National Geographic. I would like to understand her motivation behind her assignments and how to process what we see.
K: Is there anything that you want our readers to know about you that we haven't covered?
R: I don’t just take pictures for fun. It is my passion, my craft, my art, my life, my why. This is something that physically I feel in my body that makes it so clear this is the type of work I need to be doing.
K: If you could be a Super Hero for the day which character would it be and why?
R:My best self. That's the super hero I'd like to be because I would operate on a 100% honest and pure level. So many amazing things could get accomplished in this world if we all operated from this place.
K: What are you most thankful for in life
R: Each being.
Raya is unstoppable unafraid and genuine, A girl after my own heart. Keep on smiling and inspiring us Miss Raya :) Thank you so much for allowing me to interview you. I have been inspired, it's women like you that put fire under us igniting our passions and dreams giving us hope that we too can accomplish what we set out to do. Fear is a huge player that can stop us in our tracks trying to paralyze us into thinking we are not worthy. Continue to trail blaze my friend. Continue to be the lovely soul that you are.