Interview with Alborz Teymoorzadeh

Born in 1987 in a northern city of Iran, Alborz Teymoorzadeh pursued a B.A. in Architecture, graduating in 2011. With a diverse artistic foundation that spans painting, drawing, graphic design, sculpture, and photography, he embarked on a career in portrait, fashion, and theater photography. In 2011, he established “Rosso Photography” as his signature brand.

ZH: Hello Alborz. We’d love to hear a bit about your journey. How did you first become involved with photography?

Alborz: My artistic journey started when I was just seven years old under the guidance of Rahim Moulaeian, who introduced me to the world of painting. By the time I reached the age of 10, I had already begun to explore the realm of music. Throughout this phase of my life, I couldn’t ignore my unwavering passion for the arts, which my family wholeheartedly supported.
As I approached 16 years of age, I found myself deeply captivated by the idea of studying architecture, and by the time I turned 18 in the year 2005, I had turned that dream into a reality.
During my early days in architecture school, I started to capture fleeting moments with my trusty compact camera. Photography resonated with me most profoundly while I dabbled in various artistic pursuits, such as graphic design, illustration, drawing, painting, and sculpture. My journey through architecture school gave me a unique perspective on life and crystallized my purpose: to become a photographer, to stir change through my art, and to bring moments of pure beauty into the world.

Sâl Sâniye – Hamid PourazariZH: How would you characterize your approach to photography?
Alborz: Defining my photography by a specific “style” proves to be challenging, as styles often imply a predetermined approach arising from deliberate thoughts and intentions. In photography, letting conscious thought dominate can occasionally lead to impressive outcomes, but there’s a risk of overthinking that can compromise the true essence of the subject.

Regardless of whether I’m behind the lens capturing moments in theater, the world of fashion, portrait settings, or architectural marvels, I choose to rely entirely on my subconscious. I surrender to the present moment, fully immersing myself in it. It’s a realm of pure silence for me, a vacuum where the noise of conscious planning fades away.

Within this silence exists an inherent force, an intuition, that I wholeheartedly trust to guide my lens. It’s a profound connection between myself and the subject, allowing me to capture moments in their most genuine and unfiltered form.

ZH: Were you formally educated in photography?
Alborz: Not in the traditional sense. My understanding and techniques have been developed through dedicated self-study, reading books, and countless hours of practice. I like to think of it as having a personal and evolving school of thought within my mind, constantly learning and adapting.

ZH: What led you to delve into Theater Photography?
Alborz: About three years ago, I ventured into theatre photography, and while the initial results were promising, there was more depth to explore. I came to understand the dynamics of theatre and the nuances of stagecraft. Most of the theatre photography in Iran is leaning on reportage, akin to what we might see in daily newspapers. However, there is another dimension to it, a more intricate layer yet to be fully uncovered. My quest to capture this essence led me to experiment with techniques like multi-exposure and long exposure, starting with a monologue called “Hashare” by Mehdi Sagha, later with performances like “Hamin dor o bar” by Laleh Alavi and “No.3 Tehran” by Mostafa Shabkhan, and finally reached a pivotal point during my work with Hamid Pourazari in “Sal Saniyeh”

No.3 Tehran – Mostaf Shabkhan


“Va donya ham az yek pich motevalled shod” Theater | Photo by Alborz Teymoorzadeh


“Hashare” Theater | Photo by Alborz Teymoorzadeh

ZH: How do you differentiate between Theater Photography and Fashion Photography?
Alborz: While they might seem distinct, the two have undercurrents of similarity. In theater photography, I aim to reinterpret the stage’s narrative through my camera’s lens, translating emotions and moments as I perceive them. This is the essence of what I term “Narrative Theater Photography.”

Conversely, storytelling remains integral in fashion photography but with an added layer of showcasing the product. The objective is to elevate the product’s appeal, ensuring it resonates with the viewer. While both genres require the same emotional investment and artistic lens, their end goals diverge.

It might sound paradoxical to employ similar artistic sensibilities for two contrasting outcomes, but therein lies the beauty of dialectical contradictions. To create distinct results, one has to think distinctively.

ZH: In theater, elements like costume design and makeup are typically beyond your purview, with your main focus being capturing the scene and narrative. How does this dynamic shift in fashion photography? To what extent do you oversee elements like costume design and makeup?
Alborz: In theater photography, my goal extends beyond merely capturing angles and moments. I endeavor to translate the narrative in a manner unique to my perspective. Regarding fashion photography, while the emphasis remains on showcasing the product, the interplay between various elements becomes more nuanced.

Typically, the costume is the domain of the designer. However, I have a say in the makeup process. I prefer minimalism; instead, I’d choose a model who naturally embodies my envisioned look rather than resort to extensive makeup alterations.

There are instances when a photographer and makeup artist collaborate as independent contributors to the same project. Both play an instrumental role in bringing the concept to life in such scenarios. The key isn’t for one to dominate the other but for both to harmoniously converge, bringing the envisioned masterpiece to fruition.


Photo by Alborz Teymoorzadeh | Model S. Sadeghi


Photo by Alborz Teymoorzadeh | Model S.Mohammadi


Photo by Alborz Teymoorzadeh | Model S.Doagouyan

ZH: From where do you draw your creative muse?
Alborz: Every artist, consciously or subconsciously, absorbs inspiration from the world around them. For me, the wellspring of creativity is rooted deeply in one’s identity. This identity is shaped by myriad factors: the neighborhood you grew up in, the influential figures throughout your life, your parents’ guidance, and every experience you’ve encountered. These create our identity, influencing our emotions, modes of expression, and even the minute details that capture our attention. External influences like films, books, animations, and music also feed into this creative reservoir. Of all these, music resonates with me the most. It’s like a visionary journey, transporting me to a realm of uninhibited freedom, where I float untethered from worldly burdens.
ZH: Can you share the evolution of your camera equipment over the years?
Alborz: Absolutely. My photography journey began in 2005 with a compact Panasonic FZ5. It was an exploratory phase, capturing everything that caught my eye. Five years later, I was urged to upgrade to an SLR, but financial constraints held me back. Serendipity stepped in when a friend of my father, having seen my work, generously gave me his Minolta Dynax 500si, an analog camera. That year, immersed in film photography, was transformative for me. By 2011, I moved to digital, the Nikon D7000. However, as I ventured further into the professional realm, I realized the need for a more robust tool. Hence 2012, I leaped a full-frame Nikon D800 while still enjoying my Minolta.
In collaboration with ZH media