Shemara (1985, The Netherlands) is a young and brilliant photographer based in Rotterdam.

Are you tired of seeing photographs of children wearing funny costumes, having pillow fights, or constantly smiling for the camera? Well, Shemara loves to portray kids in her photographs, but she is not that kind of artist. Her child models are depicted in imaginative, cinematic sceneries, but at the same time look very much alive, as if they could speak. Their expressions are adults, their emotions are real.

Shemara works as a professional image designer and since 2014 she began to elaborate a unique artistic approach to childhood imagery in fine art and photography. Being fascinated by children since she was very young, she decided to study photography, graduating after 4 years in 2006.

Her career later moved towards image design and postproduction, in collaboration with renowned advertising photographers and agencies. The will to photograph, however, remained intact. After the birth of her first child, she specialized in artistic portraits of children.

“I only want to photograph children and want to distinguish myself in this”, she writes in her artist’s statement. Her strength lies in perfecting the image with deep accuracy and aesthetic sense, and this is her main principle and vision. She received awards, reached recognition through international publications and her work obtained appreciation from both critics and public.

Her method is simple: “I find it very important to connect with children. The most important thing is to make them comfortable while photographing them and hoping they will have fun!” Shemara openly states her love for the “natural beauty of children” and for their “being who they are”. Without forcing them to “act”, the artist creates elaborate scenes in which the young models can feel free to express themselves and she tries to “catch the moment they give you”.

For The Awesome Shemara produced a series set in a mysterious train station, a non-place out of time and space. The children wear adult costumes and their expressions are equally mature, emancipating them from any stereotypical depictions. Looking closely in the eyes of these children it is possible to recognise how innocence and spontaneity can manifest themselves, tearing the curtains of the stage built by the artist.


Art Breda 2016 (Apr 2016)