Sarah Bahbah is a 26-year-old, Australian-born, Palestinian artist and photographer known for her exploration of the inner dialogue of young women in her art.
She got her start in advertisement and fashion photography before moving on to photographing music festivals. Bahbah claims that her passion for photography blossomed as she was capturing artists in their element from the backstage area.
Since Bahbah’s viral breakout in 2014 with the photo series “Sex and Takeout,” her honest storytelling style has developed a cult-like following. Her Instagram bio reads, “you’ve probably seen my work on someone else’s account,” which is an accurate indication of the fact that her portfolio of images has made Sarah Bahbah one of the most shared accounts on the social media platform.
Although the photographer has had some issues with copyrighting, her thought-provoking, modern work has not gone unnoticed.
Through her L.A.-based content creation agency, Possy, Bahbah has collaborated with prominent brands and artists such as Gucci, Vogue and Capitol Records. Her content has been featured in major publications and in numerous art exhibitions internationally, as well. Most notably, her work was shown in Scope, Art Basel Miami and alongside Andy Warhol at Zonamaco Mexico. Recently, her work has been on display in London and in successful shows all over the U.S., featuring her solo series “Fuck Me, Fuck You” in New York and Los Angeles featuring Dylan Sprouse.
The cultural influencer’s portfolios have depicted human vulnerability through models, such as Neels Visser, Cindy Kimberley, Sonia Ben Ammar and Adesuwa Aighewi. After gaining an international following in 2015, Bahbah stated the following in an interview with the Huffington Post:
[I seek to] capture the moments of intimacy and indulgence by creating and recreating intimate experiences that everyone can relate to, whether it be a one-night stand, two lovers, ‘special friends’ or even an individual.
A factor that places Bahbah in the realm of Warhol and Sven Pfrommer is her ability to relate to the private experiences of others. In her pictures, Bahbah portrays the most intimate moments of romance, lust and heartbreak; meanwhile, juxtaposing these themes with a melancholic, explicit photographic style. Through subtitles, she adds narrative to her images, giving them the impression that they were taken out of an Art House film. This style of photography is influenced by movies such as No Country for Old Men and The Big Lebowsky. Bahbah’s captions are often written after having intense conversations with “significant connections.”
Another indicator that sets Bahbah apart from other photographers is the medium she chooses to print her images on, utilizing a combination of UV printing and birch wood. Only a handful of photographers in the U.S. are able to combine these elements, which gives Bahbah’s images a grainy effect and the illusion that they’re painted.