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Nov 8th, 2015

An interview with Zacharias Abubeker

by in Interviews
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Interviewed By: Aida Teklemariam

This September, I met photographer Zacharias Abubeker at a going away party in the Bole region of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Zach, the name he was introduced to me as, was instantly charming. He spoke with a big smile, engaged eye contact and politely deflected the conversation focused around his “amazing” photography to ask me, “So what do you do?”


If you’re not familiar with Abubeker’s photography, he has had stunning features in Selamta magazine and The New York Times. He has become popular for capturing an otherwise unknown glimpse of daily life in Ethiopia. In short, Zacharias is a proud Ethiopian consistently traveling the world, making everyday moments beautiful for a living.

Here’s a moment with the moment capturer himself, Zacharias Abubeker:

What led you to pursue photography as a career?

Well, honestly, I had no idea what else to do and photography was something I found as a hobby but took a course and started to get really into darkroom. After that I became a TA and got access to the lab with a key so I was basically there every free moment I got.

Film or digital and why?

Both. Film for personal projects and a few clients, digital for everything else. Digital to me can not match the quality of film, at least not yet, at an affordable price. Film also allows me to slow down and be more thoughtful about the scene, especially when shooting large format.

How do you believe amateur photographers can get noticed?

Hard work and dedication. Get your work out there and meet as many people as you can as often as you can. Develop your pitch in 4 sentences. Edit your work constantly. Always be hungry.


How has living in Ethiopia influenced your photography?

Living in Ethiopia has changed me in many ways. It has opened my eyes to the wider world. It has also allowed me to travel to places I never imagined I would be able to, and experience feelings and ideas that would not have come on unless I was here at this time. It’s a wildly changing place in constant motion so it’s really great to observe the change and transformation of a country first hand.

Zacharias currently resides in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Get familiar with his work at www.zachabubeker.com ..

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