Mahboube Karamli (b. 1985, Tehran, Iran) is a photographer, artist and educator based in Tehran, Iran. She is a graduate of Photography (Faculty of Art and Architecture, Azad University, Tehran, 2009) and is currently pursuing a post-graduate degree in Photography at Tehran University of Arts. Mahboube has been working as a photography instructor at Manzoumeh Kherad Institute’s Art School (Tehran) since 2009.
Focusing on women and their appearances in private and public spaces, she creates long-term engagements with her subjects and involves them in her process of documentary portrait photography. In her work, Mahboube focuses on subjects, situations and contexts related to her personal experiences and life. She uses both medium-format analog and digital technique, and frequently utilizes a direct approach to her subjects. By engaging in conversations with her subjects, while aiming to minimize the effect of camera presence, she tries to show how they look at her as a woman, a friend, a stranger, a teacher, or a photographer; in an effort to reveal the relationship between them and herself.
Mahboube’s work is regularly exhibited in Tehran, and has been featured in several international group shows in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands and Germany. In addition, her work has been published in several books, magazines and other publications. She recently participated in “TWO-CITIES” workshop, which took place in Tehran and Dortmund.
In “Girls” series, she has depicted the personality of the girls in their own rooms. She discovered the comfort zone of these girls is their own beds, so she continued this idea in the “Wakefulness” series; she searched for beauty among her generation, a notion that she continued in the “HappyVille” series; the appearance of young women on their wedding day. Her enthusiasm to photograph her surrounding environment evolved when she started working at school and started the “End of Class” series in which elementary school students were playing with their shadows in the light of the dimmer. In “Playtime” series, she shows the transition period of high school students from being a teenager to becoming an adult. This was the inspiration for her last project as she followed the girls after their graduation to capture the transformation in her relationship with them throughout these years.