All images by Habby Khalil. Used with permission.
Habby Khalil was born in Alexandria, Egypt on July 5, 1979. Creativity hit him early because his father was an amateur painter. With Habby, it started with drawing and later on that evolved into 3D animation. One day, he won an award in a photography competition that helped to kickstart his career. These days, it’s what he does for a living.
I found Habby on Behance, and loved his first person perspective for lots of his work on the Life in Aspire project. As a young man, it has hints of the first person video games that I’ve played and even like th movie Hardcore Henry.
For Habby, photography is a combination of many things.
Phoblographer: Talk to us about how you got into photography.
Habby: I have started my career as a 3D animator, and it took me a little over 5 years before I got into the photography profession. During that period I used to study and practice other visual art forms to refine my artistic skills, some of these practices were oil painting, lighting and texture analysis and photography, which was my favorite among them all. At that time, I was passion by capturing landscape and portrait photos.
It was summer of 2006 when I responded to one of my friend’s advice to participate in a photography competition sponsored by National Geographic and it was taking place in Qatar. I had won the second prize and I received a lot of compliments from the juries members, it was like a sign for me, after this award, it didn’t take me a long time to decide to shift my career.
Phoblographer: What made you want to get into conceptual/advertising work?
Habby: The creative diversity and the endless challenges that come with advertising work are my core motivations that attract me to the advertising work.
At the beginning, beside the advertising I had spent a lot of time trying around with different photographic genres, like architecture, industrial and portrait photography, but after a while I ended up with the conclusion that advertising is the only genre that has it all and nothing else would be able to feed my creativity thirst like it.
In addition, my background in animation had played an important role in selecting the advertising genre where I found a space to utilize the knowledge I had from the animation field.
Phoblographer:Life is Aspire is a very interesting series based on the first person perspective. What was the creative vision behind it and how does this perspective make the campaign more effective?
Habby: The campaign concept was about how Aspire is the perfect place for creating unforgettable memories, memories that filled by energy and pleasure with families and friends, The campaign targets people who are interested in healthy lifestyle and are looking for the right place that enable them to spend a fun and quality time with each other.
The intention of using this POV perspective is to increase the impact of the moment and to involve the target audience in the scene.
This campaign does not target professional athletes, it is about normal sports activities that most of the people like and used to do, we found that the first person perspective is a smart way to help people to imagine themselves doing these activities; you are the hero and without you this moment would not happen.
Phoblographer: The images are real photos, but they also look very much like a first-person video game. Are the people who play those games the target of the ad campaign?
Habby: Of course, a big part of our target audience are gamers as you may know games are mainstream in GCC market, but even for who does not play games; seeing a game like perspective and color scheme deliver a message about the fun and excitement you will have when you do these activities in Aspire.