I’m Alia Youssef, a Vancouver and Toronto based portrait and documentary photographer who passionately creates natural-light environmental portraits. I work with brands, publications and NGOs to create visual stories which convey their purpose with diversity and authenticity in mind. My goal is to use my love of portraiture and my interest in diversifying the media we consume to bring about real change to media and adverting industries. My commercial projects with global brands, such as Dove and Getty Images, have been displayed internationally, including in New York’s Times Square and London’s Piccadilly Circus.
In my personal projects, I highlight underrepresented stories and histories, mainly pertaining to Muslim women and communities, in order to complicate stereotypical representations of us. My personal projects have been exhibited in solo and group shows at prominent galleries and festivals across Canada such as The Ryerson Image Centre Student Gallery, Gallery 44, The Parliament of Canada, Presentation House Gallery, and Nuit Blanche Toronto. My work has been published in numerous online and print publications including Elle Magazine, VICE, The Globe and Mail, and Oprah Magazine. I regularly give public artist talks, most notably for the Aga Khan Museum, We Day Toronto, and Instagram. I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Photography and a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Documentary Media from Ryerson University.
Select Commercial, NGO and Editorial Clients: Dove, Getty Images, The Noun Project, The Globe and Mail, YWCA Canada, Plan Canada, Maclean's Magazine, Ryerson University Magazine, University of Toronto Magazine, West End Phoenix Newspaper, Quill & Quire Magazine.
Select Press & Features:
- Elle Canada Magazine, "Canadian Photographer Alia Youssef Challenges Stereotypes of Muslim Women with 'Generations'"
- The Chronicle Herald, "Generations project celebrates diversity of Muslim women in Canada"
- Ryerson University Magazine, "Ryerson grad student celebrates community and diversity"
- Elle Magazine, “Alia Youssef's 'The Sisters Project' Gives Muslim Women Space to Define Themselves”.
- Refinery 29, “29 Powerhouses: The Canadian Women Killing It In 2018”
- Sony Alpha Universe Blog, “How A Photographer Is Using Her Images To Combat Stereotypes”
- CBC The National, "Photographer's lens shatters stereotypes around Muslim women”
- CBC Arts, “Alia Youssef's The Sisters Project wants to change the way Muslim women are represented”
- VICE News, “The Photos Challenging What a Muslim Woman Should Look Like”
- Applied Arts Magazine,”Q&A: ALIA YOUSSEF”
- Brit + Co, “‘The Sisters Project’ Shows a Nuanced View of Muslim Women’s Lives”
- Globe and Mail (Print/Web Portfolio), “We're all different. (This applies to Muslim women, too.)”
For a longer list of press/features, as well as exhibitions, awards, and achievements, read my CV here.