For many amateur photographers, online outlets are the only available portals in order for their photographs to be seen by the masses. For four years, Everyday Cairo, an Instagram page, was one of the fewest windows reposting young, unknown photographers’ portraits, giving them the chance to be seen by thousands of followers. Trying to give amateur photographers the chance to explore the feelings of professional camerapersons, Everyday Cairo celebrated on Saturday an exhibition of the most fascinating photos the page has reposted in the past two years.
Hosted by Maadi’s Beit El Sura—a platform for photography classes, exhibitions, and cultural events—the exhibition showcased several street photographs that represent the daily life of Egyptians while practising normal activities like food shopping, praying, or even their journey to work.
The photographs were taken by Egyptian and foreigner photographers living in Cairo.
“We wanted to host an exhibition with the most fascinating photographs we’ve reposted on Instagram for the past couple of years, which indicate the unlimited talents behind them,” said Ayman Aref, one of the organisers and a professional photographer.
The exhibition hosted 58 photographs, which were filtered out of the 1,300 portraits the page has shared.
“A team of ten professional photographers picked the displayed pictures based on their composition and lighting. They were the best composed portraits and the ones that were accredited the most,” he added.
Everyday Cairo was founded by the Belgian photographer Mattias Pruym in 2014, with the aim of founding a portal for displaying the nation’s beauty through the lens of emerging photographers.
In its second round, the exhibition also displayed portraits that were taken in different governorates, as they spotted a beautiful moment of human interaction, “the page used to repost pictures from all across Cairo once a week, and some of them were so heart-touching, that we could not skip the chance of including them in the exhibition,” he explained.
From Aref’s point of view, the beauty of the pictures relies on the fact that they document moments that most Egyptians are used to seeing on a daily basis to the extent that they can no longer detect their beauty.
One of the portraits shows an elderly couple during a usual Ramadan day; the photographer captured his own parents, while his dad was praying and his mother was reading Quran. The portrait spotted a moment of a pure, sincere, placid elderly couple who resemble most senior Egyptians. Another one also spots the food table on a regular day, resulting in a portrait of mixed colours.
“Although we’re tagged in hundreds of photos every week, we only post around 12 photos. Yet each tells a lot about the talented person who captured it,” he added.
The exhibition runs until the end of December.