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Meet Olivia Ghalioungui

Photographer, filmmaker and producer based in Paris

Meet Olivia Ghalioungui - illustration 1

Photograph by Olivia Ghalioungui

Based in Paris, Olivia Ghalioungui is a photographer, producer and filmmaker. Her work draws inspiration from her childhood, having grown up between Cairo and Antiparos, and the worlds of fashion, music and design. Join Artsper as we chat with Olivia about her introduction to photography, Paris Fashion Week, and her upcoming projects!

1. Hi Olivia, can you tell us a bit about how you came to be a fashion photographer? What was your first introduction to photography?

Hi! Of course. My introduction to photography took place during the first years of my life. My grandfather photographed as a hobby and owned a Leica camera which was used to take all the photos of our family album. From a very young age I remember being around that specific camera as well as other point and shoots, camcorders, etc. My parents loved to document our everyday lives and special occasions. However, I never really took a conscious interest in photography until my late teens when I started taking a beginners photography course in high school. Every semester I would advance the level of the course until the time came to choose what I would move onto after highschool, and the decision was clear as day to me. While I didn't experiment with fashion photography in my teens, I knew that that was the direction I wanted to follow after graduating, so I moved to Paris at the age of 17 where I was really able to immerse myself in the fashion network for the first time.

2. What is one project you have worked on that you are particularly proud of?

I recently filmed a video for a Norwegian brand called Holzweiler during their AW22 campaign production. I am super proud of any video project that I work on because of how much effort and time goes into the creation of a video. I do have another video project coming out in the near future which I think is the best one I have made so far. I can't say much about it yet, but I am so pumped for the release!

3. You were raised in Cairo, but are based in Paris. How much do you think location influences you creatively? Are there elements of your work that you feel are inspired by specific cities or countries that you have lived in?

Living between Cairo and Antiparos throughout my childhood, there is no question that those two places influenced me creatively. What I prefer to depict within my work, (whether it be aesthetically or conceptually), is definitely an extension of the connection I felt towards the environments I was surrounded by during childhood. I would say that the two locations where I grew up had almost all the impact on my work, and that moving to Paris has enabled me to materialize and bring these visions to life.

Meet Olivia Ghalioungui - illustration 1
Meet Olivia Ghalioungui - illustration 1

Photographs by Olivia Ghalioungui

4. Outside of photography, what medium inspires you the most? Are there any artists that you love at the moment?

Music, ceramics, and architecture are the mediums that most inspire me other than photography or videography. Growing up, these three mediums were very prominent in my life in different ways. There isn't a specific artist in these mediums, but I am really interested in the Scandinavian style of ceramics and interior architecture, mainly because of all the abstract pieces you can find. I have noticed over the past few years that I tend to apply a lot of the lines and shapes I see in architecture and in ceramics into my photography.

5. What piece of advice would you give to an aspiring fashion photographer or filmmaker?

The one piece of advice I always give to aspiring photographers and creatives is to never stop creating. When I was first starting out I felt like I had this crazy intense tunnel vision where I was always focusing on “What comes next? How do I want to keep expressing myself through my mediums, and what physical project will I carry out that best matches what I want to express?" After figuring out the answer to that, I would non-stop focus on making that project happen. Drive is very important during the beginning stages. Also, having big goals for the future is important, but setting small short term goals is just as important. By setting smaller goals, you get a balance of feeling achievement when you get to a goal, which can then give you more drive and motivation to reach your bigger goals.

Meet Olivia Ghalioungui - illustration 1
Meet Olivia Ghalioungui - illustration 1

Photographs by Olivia Ghalioungui

6. How are you preparing for Paris Fashion Week this year?

Fashion Weeks are always an amazing opportunity to connect with other creatives and have meetings or launch projects with people who may be flying into the city for that specific week. So this fall I will mainly be prepping for a lot of creative meetings to discuss future projects that would be taking place in the winter. It is generally a great time to start thinking of new ideas and communicating them to potential collaborators.

7. Finally, do you have any upcoming projects or exhibitions that you're particularly excited about?

Yes, I do! I have a bunch of projects coming to fruition with a good friend and musician, Rosenfeld, and am currently working on multiple video and photo productions. It really excites me to be able to work more and more with musicians as the years go by. Music is one of my main inspirations and it feels enriching to start working alongside such an inspiring and beautiful medium.

Their favorite artworks

Crucifix II (1962), Bert Stern

Crucifix II (1962)

Bert Stern

Photography - 18.9 x 13 x 0.4 inch


Paisible terrasse, Al Freno

Paisible terrasse

Al Freno

Painting - 23.6 x 31.5 x 0.8 inch