A Manchester photographer is using her skills to redefine beauty by celebrating the spirit and strength of women.

Salma Uma has been photographing women for over six years capturing the many facets of femininity in her images.

Sharing her work on her Instagram page @hiddenlookbysal, Salma reveals the catalyst for her craft.

She said, “It began when I photographed some women for their personal shoot. They turned out to be some of my favorite images I’d ever shot and the responses to them were pretty overwhelming too. 

“I have always enjoyed photographing women. Strong women are everywhere. There's this attitude portrayed where there is beauty on the outside but such a strong beautiful sensitivity on the inside.

“My photography translates and captures their emotion.

“Photography is a universal language and it is my way of celebrating and honouring women.”

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Photographer Salma Uma

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Salma who is both Bengali and Indian, said her interest in photography was sparked when she was a young girl and observed her father taking photos on holiday. Her interest continued to grow and Salma went on to 

Study photography at Manchester City College and Stockport College.

Now also a makeup artist, Salma explains why she has amalgamated both her interests into a trailblazing career.

“I have also studied beauty therapy, fashion and photographic makeup, all skills I use in my work. 
“Helping someone to see their worth and beauty whether it’s through my portrait or doing bridal makeup, it makes me very happy. 

“Women are individual, strong and unique and represent their victory in life. 

“In our busy lives we women forget how worthy we are and sometimes a makeover day with a photoshoot can boost confidence and make one feel priceless.

“Being a makeup artist and a photographer gives me an opportunity to celebrate diverse representations of women and champion the visibility of women.”

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Salma reveals she has had to begin her working day as early as 4am as a bride’s makeup artist.

“I love the big reveals of wedding days. That moment makes the wedding so special. To see the bride excited to show herself off is an amazing part of what I do. 

“Every bride wants to look their best on their special day.

“If a makeup artist is already confident in their work, it will reflect on the bride.

“A wedding day is a huge occasion. In recognition of that, bridal makeup is all about helping women arrive on the biggest day of their life with pride in their appearance and confidence in their own skin.”

As well as empowering women through her art, Salma also aims to motivate people using poignant quotes with her images.

“I’m a urge advocate of spreading positive power.

“In my 37 years of life I learnt every woman should be independent and able to support herself instead of waiting for Prince Charming to rescue her. 

“I have seen a lot of women including myself who did struggle in life but still made it through on their own, followed their dreams and despite facing obstacles, they still managed to achieve their goal.

“I want to help and encourage others.

“I believe if you have a passion for something you always can achieve it.”

This feature appears in the August 2019 Issue of Asian Life here