Artist Spotlight: Bara’ah Jaraiseh

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Artist Spotlight: Bara’ah Jaraiseh
Photo by Bara’ah Jaraiseh

By Sean Minton

Photos are created through light and exposure, but Bara’ah Jaraiseh uses her camera to bring to life what she sees in her imagination.

Jaraiseh is a graphic designer at Pensacola State College who is finishing up her degree in the fall of 2017. Jaraiseh stays busy between work and school but manages to find time to photograph fashion and design through her studio photography.

“I’m not the best at drawing, but with photography, I can compose a shot,” said Jaraiseh. Ever since she discovered Vogue magazine in ninth grade, Jaraiseh has focused her shots on fashion. All of her studio photography is inspired by clothing and makeup around her.

“I find myself looking at fashion and style of the picture rather than the emotion of the photo.”

With studio photography, Jaraiseh is able to generate an atmosphere to her liking through props and lighting.

“I like creating my own things. When I’m setting my shot, I know what settings my camera needs to be on and where the lights need to be set up in the studio. I can picture something in my head, and it’s wonderful to see it come to life in a studio.”`

There is a process Jaraiseh follows by sketching out her ideas, but in the beginning of her photography, there was no direction. When she first started with a point-and-shoot camera in middle school, Jaraiseh would head down to the beach to take classic landscape shots.

Later Jaraiseh would ditch landscapes and still life and develop her own photoshoots with the theme of fashion. “Ever since high school I would dress my friends up and draw all over their faces.”

While Jaraiseh found an interest in photography and fashion, others were not so keen. “No one around me was really interested in fashion, and I like to stand out. I would wear odd things and people would kind of make fun of me at school.”

Though she may have faced backlash from peers, Jaraiseh continued with her enthusiasm which led to her first paid gig. “I actually have a selfie with the check. I had to take photos of someone’s graduation.”

Graduation photos may not seem like a big deal, but people need to start somewhere. Since then, Jaraiseh has improved her skills, techniques, angles and knowledge of tools.

Now she takes wedding photos as a side job. “Through wedding photography, I’m learning more about myself. I’ll probably be getting out of wedding photography, but it’s good practice right now.”

After her current job, Jaraiseh plans on moving to New Jersey or New York in hopes of interning at a fashion publication. For the time being, Jaraiseh will proceed with wedding photography. Though that is not her main focus, Jaraiseh takes any opportunity she can have to get as much exposure in the field as she can.

“To make a living off of photography, you have to shoot things you don’t want to. You have to be positive. See what you can learn from what you are shooting.”

It’s always the photos you don’t want to take that are the ones you learn the most from.

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