What's the most challenging element of wildlife photography?
"You must be very patient. This isn't like photographing humans; animals will do what they want. I have often travelled two hours from my home, stayed all day, and come back with nothing. This can go on for months. You also have to be tough. In Kuwait, the temperature can go up to 50°C and it's like sitting inside an oven. You must be able to handle this stuff. The desert is so hot, and a breeze will destroy your sensor because of all the dust and dirt. My most challenging aspect is the temperature and dust – we have eight sandstorms a month in Kuwait. Also, you have to accept and respect nature. Never bother an animal – photographers will know if you have stressed out an animal; we can recognise it in the behaviour of animals in images."
What's your most memorable wildlife experience?
"I recently travelled to Iceland with some other photographers, a trip which was six months in the making. I bought everything from outside Kuwait because we don't have clothes for those temperatures here. I prepared for the snow. I didn't want anything to challenge me, so I was well prepared, but then my bag was lost on the flight. The other photographers kindly lent me clothing, but it wasn't as good, understandably, because they needed their best kit too! My toes were freezing cold, and I couldn't go as far. I couldn't lie on my front for as long to get the shots, I had to stay closer to the hut. On the plus side, I got different shots to everyone else. With all this happening, it was the most exciting trip for me because of the warmth I received from the other photographers. The location is like heaven – unlike anything I've ever seen before – and I was overawed by everything."
What advice do you have for photographers wishing to follow in your footsteps?
"Start with gear you can afford. If you can't afford it, rent it. If you can't rent it, borrow it from friends or colleagues. When you start out in any hobby or job, if you feel like you are starting to make small achievements, people will notice you. If you love it and think you can do it, go for it. Don't be afraid to talk to people who inspire you. Stick to what you know. Just work, work, work, and things will come around. I know it's stressful now with social media – everyone wants to be recognised immediately, but it takes time."
What ambitions do you have that remain unfulfilled?
"I would love to teach, especially because we have very few resources in Arabic. If someone's English is not very good, they can't find what they need. I would like to teach non-English speaking people about photography, wildlife photography, the environment – everything I do. If I can translate that into Arabic and teach people about what I know, especially how to do wildlife photography in an artistic way, that would be great."