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Meet Alison, A Surreal Photographer

- By Anshul Raj Khurana

Alison is an established photographer and is a member of UP Photographers and Dalam Images Agency. I see her work to be highly intuitive and surreal in nature. She beautifully puts emotions in her pictures and manages to keep a sense of subjectivity or mystery.

Anshul- Tell us something about yourself…

Alison- I grew up moving from country to country every few years. It’s a lifestyle that I’ve continued to this day, partly because of circumstances and somewhat because I get very restless if I stay in one location too long. It’s exciting, but the flip side of this lifestyle is that I frequently feel nostalgia for the places and people that I left behind.

I currently live in Geneva. I was a painter before I turned to photography in 2007. Since then, I’ve been obsessed with the medium.

Anshul- You have a very different view & approach to photography. What is photography for you?

Alison- Photography is my means of self-expression. It’s also my connection to the world. My photography is outward-looking in that I photograph other people or animals or landscapes, but it is also inward-looking because it’s an expression of my state of mind.

Anshul- How would you define your style?

Alison- I think my style is usually personal, emotional, and melancholic. It’s open to interpretation.

Anshul- Tell us about your favorite project and tell us, how did it come into existence.

Alison- The first project that I feel really reflected who I am and what I wanted to express was “anywhere but here.” The project came about organically. I took a couple of images back in 2008 that seemed to show the restlessness and melancholy that I felt at that time. Over the years I slowly collected more images that really spoke to me, and that felt consistent, visually and emotionally. It wasn’t until 2014 that the series really came together and that I understood what it represented to me.This is how I describe “anywhere but here”:

These images attempt to express the restless feeling that the place I’m in isn’t where I should be and that the next location will be better. As someone who has always moved around, I am very interested in the idea of belonging to a country or a community. This is a feeling that I’ve never had and, although I feel like I’m supposed to belong somewhere, I don’t want to. If I had this feeling of belonging, I wouldn’t have a reason to keep wondering about it.

The geographical and temporal reference points in the photographs are blurred because the work isn’t about the location or time, but about a state-of-mind. There’s no real beginning, and I don’t think there will be an end. The work comes from reality, but it’s a reality that’s distorted by subjectivity. It’s an expression of my state of mind during these restless off-moments.

Anshul- What makes you keep clicking?

Alison- The desire to communicate my emotions and my view of the world to myself and to others. As long as I breathe, I will need to do this.

Anshul- In today’s world, photography is going through a tectonic shift through social media & hunger of producing more & more, what are your views?

Alison- It makes me very uncomfortable, but I try to strike the right balance between having an idea about what’s going on in the photography world but not getting caught up in a frenzy. I enjoy being a slow photographer and I don’t feel the need to fit in with whatever is happening.

Anshul- What are the three most essential suggestions or advice you would want to give to the beginners?


1) Only do it because you love it.

2) Learn by studying, reading, living, and looking at photographs.

3) After ten years (or so) of Number 2, ignore everything you learned and do exactly what you want.

You can see more of Alison's work here.





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