Inside the inspiring world of Saudi Fashion Photographer Lina Mo
There is something mesmerizing about the photos Lina Mo’s captures; a mix of modern urban vibes and warmth that only a girl boss from the Arab world can create.
Saudi Arabia is changing fast and there is no turning back, amazing talents are finally brought to light and among them a rising star in fashion and street photography: Lina Mo, the Jeddah girl who started capturing images “for fun” in 2010, only to quickly capture the attention of major publications in the region. Special Madame Figaro had the pleasure to chat with her a bit, to get to know her and her work better.
You have a background in engineering, how did you discover photography?
I used to always observe product designs, colors, magazine photos, TV shows and movies and try to analyze them in a simple way. I was particularly interested in how light reflects on surfaces and was always curious on how shades and lights interact.
The word “urban” comes to mind when we see your work, what does the city life represent to you?
The city life is me, I was born the city and I can’t see myself elsewhere, I simply try to represent that using my own way.
A smartphone or a camera for photos?
No comparison here, the difference is in the type of the captured photo and the use of it. It’s not easy to carry a professional camera everywhere just like it’s not really feasible to capture editorial photos using a phone’s camera and print them in high resolutions.
How would you describe Saudi street style?
It has been nonexistent for a long time but it’s growing rapidly and it’s very creative. I hope it gets international recognition very soon.
What are the biggest challenges you faced so far?
I love challenges very much. I consider them as a positive thing and very motivational and not in anyway obstacles. I don’t ever remember a challenge that prevented me to reach where I want.
Any particular difficulties as a Saudi woman?
Not at all, with all the great development happening in Saudi nowadays, the focus and support for all sort of arts is rapidly increasing.
A typical day in your life.
That’s a very difficulty question considering my very dynamic lifestyle. I don’t have a fixed routine but I always try to have at least the following in my daily life: a cup of coffee, a good breakfast, a nice workout, a brainstorming session, some meditation and sleep on time.
Your favorite photographer.
I appreciate good work and I remember the photos I love more than I remember the name of the artist who captured them. I don’t have a favorite photographer but I have favorite photos.
Who would you love to shoot?
The most famous person that I would like to shoot is Beyoncé, I really like her style and how she always pushes boundaries, and how she’s a true fashion and beauty chameleon, always different and always majestic. Hope I’ll get the chance to have a photoshoot with her one day.
Your greatest achievement so far.
I can’t think of one. I am constantly challenging myself and I have a lot of goals that I haven’t yet reached.
I believe that everything happens for a reason so I never look back and always try to be a better person than I was yesterday.
Your favorite spots in Jeddah and Riyadh.
Old jeddah is one of my favorite places in Jeddah because it tells the story of the city I grew up in, in a very unique and artistic way. I have yet to explore Riyadh more but Diriyah has certainly caught my attention since I’m a fan of historic places.
What’s the first thing you plan to do once the pandemic is over?
I can’t wait to travel.
A piece of advice to amateurs photographers?
Have patience, beginnings are always challenging but as they say: practice always makes perfect.