Hamad Darwish is a Kuwaiti Radiographer, a photography hobbyist, and an adventure enthusiast. Born in 1982, Hamad discovered his eagerness for digital art at the age of 15. After high school, in 2000, Hamad moved to the United States to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree in Radiological Sciences & Medical Imaging from Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Oregon.
During his years in OIT, Hamad’s eagerness for digital arts was only getting bigger. While his personal work in computer graphics was hardly ever shown to anyone but close friends and family, his work for the International Club in OIT was being seen and admired by many within the OIT campus. Hamad was then the webmaster of the club and also in charge of all the visual designs issued by the club which included tickets to events, posters, program cards, and other publications. In the 2002-2003 Academic year, Hamad was honored by the International Club and the OIT society and was given the “Most Creative Student” award.
Hamad’s love for digital art lead him to purchase in first camera, the Canon S2 IS in September 2004. He used this point-and-shoot compact mainly to capture images of trips to different places, and to take pictures of things he wanted to incorporate into a digital collage. In June 2005, Hamad had to leave the OIT campus and move to Medford, Oregon where he worked at Rogue Valley Medical Center.
July 2005 was a turning point for Hamad. After words of encouragement from close friends, Hamad decided to display some of his humble work online, and flickr was his choice. One month of using this beautiful online service was more than enough to convince Hamad that a dSRL was what he really needed. After consulting with his father, a photography enthusiast, Hamad chose to purchase the Canon 20D dSLR in August 2005 and started to shooting like crazy.
Hamad’s serious love for outdoor adventures didn’t really start until the purchase of the 20D. Hamad was quickly converted from the typical city-loving young man to an obsessed outdoor junky. The camera never left his hands from that point on, and photography was an “everyday” routine. Positive feedback from flickr peers pushed Hamad to learn more about photography. Soon enough, photography books and magazines were all over his house and in his hands everyday during lunch-time at work. Recognition was building up for Hamad online, through flickr, and also locally in the Southern Oregon region. Local camera shops, where Hamad used to buy his photography gear offered him unlimited free prints in exchange of displaying his work at their stores and also as advertisement. A nearby city also used one of his photographs, which was taken in a famous local park, as the cover for a guide brochure of the city.
In October 2005, almost 3 months after purchasing his camera, Hamad sold his first photograph. One month after, he landed a contract with the biggest name in the business world. After seeing some of his work on flickr, creative directors and lead-designers from the MSX (Microsoft User Experience) design team approached Hamad in an attempt to purchase some of his work. After a period of negotiation and planning, Microsoft commissioned Hamad on a photo-shoot to take pictures to be used in the desktop wallpaper collection of their newest, and highly anticipated, operating system Windows Vista. Hamad has now two photographs shipped on every Windows Vista installation disk. Since Vista’s official launch in January 2007 Hamad has been featured in numerous printed and online publications from many countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Russia, and China and has become a well-known photographer in the online community and worldwide. In March 2007, Hamad landed his second contract by signing a mutual-benefit agreement with french photography filter system manufacturer Cokin.
After officially finishing his education in the United States, Hamad moved back to Kuwait in June 2006. He currently works as a staff radiographer and a network administrator for the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health – Chest Diseases Hospital. Following the same principles that got him started, Hamad continues to practice photography, but only as a hobby. He has no intentions of turning professional.
Since he moved back, Hamad has been contracted for multiple photoshoots. The most note-worthy of which is his work with the World Health Organization (WHO). This job involved two of Hamad’s closest passions, photography and healthcare. The job involved traveling to selected countries and documenting cases of Tuberculosis. Being a photographer, and a healthcare professional who works in a specialized facility for chest diseases, Hamad was just the right candidate for the job.
“I love working in the field of health care – it gives me satisfaction on a personal level. At this point of my life, I don’t ever want to take that away. Photography to me right now is just a way to escape reality and the daily routine. I feel a great deal of happiness when I’m out in the outdoors shooting, because it is my own time and I get to enjoy it, spend it the way I want. If photography becomes a career, this beautiful feeling might fade away. I am still an amateur photographer. The learning curve is steep and this is only the beginning. I have joined the online community to learn and share what I have learned with others” - Hamad Darwish