Shed Mojahid about life, dance and photography

You tend to pay a lot of attention to “freezing” mesmerizing movements of dancers in your photos. Are there special techniques that you use and what helps you achieve such stunning results?

 There is not really any technique to freeze a movement. You just have to know the basics of photography and especially understand the light. I think the most important thing to freeze a movement is to understand the movement itself.

Each movement is highlighted according to the angle in which it is decided to photograph it.

Everything is a question of choice =)

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Tell us more about your decision to become a photographer. What did inspire you to join the Brussels school of photography and grow professionally in this direction?

I did not want to become a photographer, I just wanted to be a dancer. I spent all my time training and I had a lot of school absence (BAD!). I took the first school that wanted me, to please my parents. It was a school of photography J. As a dancer I like originality and work hard to get what you want. I started to do it for pleasure and without really wanting it I found myself in it! 

And since that time I’m still a dancer, I think mixing the two is the best compromise for me.

Being a dancer yourself you understand your models better than anyone. How do you organize your work with them? Do you explain every detail and follow the plan or do you give them as much freedom as possible?

Yes, I can understand physical exertion, because our body is a valuable work tool! I make sure that it ends quickly and if a movement is not good I do not linger on… When I have an image that I like, I do not need to start it again to get better. Because generally the best catches are in the beginning. I make sure to learn about the dancer and I go in the direction of his specialization. From there I try to imagine situations with him. It is a work that we share together. If we are happy together, this surely a beautiful image. I almost never have a starting plan, I work always on feelings and senses.

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What is your favorite background and why?

Beautiful landscape !!!

I love  to have a beautiful landscape, I also love to have a beautiful dancer.

And the best part for me is to mix the two without one of them getting embarrassed. I want the dancer and the background landscape to be  powerful together. It have to be a good balance and a harmony between them.

Do you use music while shooting with dancers?

Of course !! Music give to a dancer the power. We need it to dance. The sound of music allows us to do much more. To feel better our body, as it reacts to it and provides us with additional motivation and give us the sensation of the moment. I can talk a lot about how much it is important to me.

If I love the music, It is so easy to move,  so knowing it as a dancer i always use music for my photo shoots with dancers, something they really like.

If you could shoot with any dancer in the world who would you chose?

I do not have any specific styles or dancers, i like different kind of dancers to work with. But if I have  to choose , Sylvie Guillem would be the one, who I would love to shoot. She is fantastic. She is pure magic, for what she represents and for what she has brought to the dance.

What do you think of artistic dance video and does it make part of your professional activity?

I love artistic dance video but i dont have time to do this. The video takes a lot of time and work but I do sometimes for pleasure and for myself.  Why not as artistic director =)

Please give your personal definition of dance photography. What is it for Shed Mojahid ?

It is a text that we wrote for my photo book and I find that it represents at best my photography of the dance : My photography is first of all a luminious and solitary journey towards freedom. A path where i have meet men and women, joy and grief, still vibrant or ending of which i wanted to save a trace. This place can be real like it can be unknown or imaginary. It is most importantly infinite and constantly in motion. It has no limits and does not smothe the characters that i photograph. It does not beak their movements, their impulse, their hopes.

My photography perpetuates their movements. Each of my photographs is a journey. And the grandeur of a journey lies not in reaching its end but to remains constantly amazed during the way by the signs that are offered by the infinite space.


Dancer : Vaia Venetis, Juliette Dejehet,  Youssef El Toufali, Yende El, Eira Glover, Julie Demont, Brahim Rachiki, Teresa Agut.

Photographer : Shed Mojahid –

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