Tasneem was born in the US and educated in England, returning to Saudi for her undergraduate studies. Her masters focused on the ethnographic study of Saudi women abroad, receiving an MA from Portland State University. After years of teaching in universities between Saudi and the United States, she ventured into photography. As one of the premiere wedding photographers in the GCC, Tasneem documented the traditions and cultures that were celebrated. After shooting weddings, she now uses her story telling experience to document topics focusing on human rights specific to gender and social issues in Saudi. Selected as one of the 10 grantees of the Magnum Foundation/ Prince Clause/ AFAC grant in 2015, she began working on her project Saudi Tales of Love which was published in Time’s Lightbox, and later exhibited in PhotoKathmandu and Paris Photo. In April 2016, Tasneem was selected by British Journal Photography among best 16 emerging photographers to watch, and PDN’s 30 photographers to watch in 2017. She soon joined Rawiya, the first all-female photography collective from the Middle East.
Investigative Writer/Photographer, Freelance, Middle East. Works for international media on hard news as well as long form features. Working now on book for her recent project “Saudi Tales of Love”, based on women sharing complex marriage theories and experiences.
Awards / Press
- Stern Grant , endowed with 10,000 euros, was awarded to Tasneem Alsultan this year. Alsultan, in collaboration with a STERN reporter will realize the theme “Between tradition and modernity – the youth and the upheaval in the Arab world”.
- 1’st prize in Contemporary Issues ‘Professional’ at the Sony World Photography Awards
- Photo District News (PDN) – 30 New and Emerging Photographers to Watch.
- Saudi Tales of Love doc! photo magazine vol. Q3 issue #38 (pp. 162-179) docphotomagazine.com/?p=5786
- “Saudi Tales of Love” Cover and 2 spreads in Wordt Vervolgd by Amnesty International
- Washington Post: An ambitious young prince wants to reimagine Saudi Arabia — and make it fun.
- Time’s Lightbox Personal Tales of Love, Divorce and Guardianship in Saudi Arabia.
- National Geographic In Historic Saudi Elections, These Women Stepped Up as Voters and Candidates
- National Geographic Proof Enter the Spectacular World of Saudi Weddings
- Wall Street Journal Oil Change: Affluent Saudi Arabia Goes to Work
- British Journal Photography – ‘Ones to Watch’ / Selected as on of 16 emerging photographers of note.
- Magnum Foundation / AFAC / Prince Claus Fund – Recipient of the second year and mentorship program for grantees from across the Arab region for their Emerging Arab Photographer Documentary Fund.
- NewYork Times Lens Blog – ‘The Hidden Stories of Arab Women’ / Interview with Tasneem.
- New York Times – “Saudi Tales of Love”, photo essay selected for New York Times Portfolio Review
- Vogue Italia: ‘Vogue Fashion Experience Jeddah, la giornata delle designer’ / Feature Shoot (in Italian).
- Photoville Photo Festival – Honorary Mention & Print exhibited by Getty / Instagram, New York, USA
- National Geographic – ‘In Historic Saudi Elections, These Women Stepped Up As Voters and Candidates’/feature.
- Burn Magazine – ‘Protectors of the Mosque‘ – issue feature.
- Burn Diary – Burn Magazine Instagram / Contributor
- Arab News – “Behind the Camera – the Story of a Wedding Photographer” / Interview with Tasneem
- Khaleejesque Print Magazine (Issue 8) – Recognized as one of the young influentials in the GCC.
- Khaleejesque Print Magazine – ‘Tasneem AlSultan – the Spectacular Wedding Photographer’ / Interview
Education / Presentations / Publications:
- National Geographic Summit; Speaker as an Emerging Photographer
- Taking Measure, Women in Photography. Panel discussion with Maggie Steber, Tamara Abdul Hadi and Sara Lando. Gulf Photo Plus, UAE
- More than just the Hijaab, stories from women in Saudi. Gulf Photo Plus, UAE
- Long-form storytelling from the Middle East to Texas: Representation, Othering, Agency & the rise of “New Documentary” Practices. A masterclass co-teaching with Tanya Habjouqa. Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, US
- Presentation: More than just the Hijaab, stories from women in Saudi, Photo Kathmandu, Nepal
- Taught art therapy photo workshops with Syrian refugee children in collaboration with Voice of the Children, Jordan
- Taught art therapy photo workshops with Syrian refugee children in collaboration with Malaak, Lebanon
- Hijab, Sex and Language: An Ethnographic Study”; Presentation at Egyptesol, Egypt 2009
- “More Than Just the Hijaab: Saudi Women’s Experiences of Cultural Adjustment to US ESL Classrooms.”; Presentation at the American Association for Applied Linguistics, Colorado, USA
- Saudi Tales of Love wins 1’st prize in Contemporary Issues ‘Professional’ at the Sony World Photography Awards and exhibited in Somerset House, London, UK
- Photographing the Female, Focus Photo Festival, Sun Mill Studios Compound Lower Parel, Mumbai, India
- ‘Saudi Tales of Love’ Gulf Photo Plus, UAE
- Rawiya Photo Collective: ‘We Do Not Choose Our Dictators’, Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, Texas, USA
- Middle East now, Florence, Italy
- Rawiya Photo Collective: ‘We Do Not Choose Our Dictators’, Aperture, New York, USA
- La Quatrieme Image, Paris, France
- ‘Saudi Tales of Love’ Photo Kathmandu Festival 2016, India
- Where Are We Now?, East Wing presentation at Paris Photo 2016
- Tiblisi Photo Festival, Georgia
- Slideshow at Visa Pour L’Image
Photographer / Contributor
- Every Day Middle East photographers / Instagram Blog
Other Awards of Note
- ISPWP Contest for International Society of Professional Wedding Photographers / Multiple awards of excellence
- Assisted the students of University College of Bahrain in Model UN; Bahrain
- Preparation of the Fulbright Gateway Orientation program – Portland State University, USA
- Consultant: Anthropological expert in Saudi culture and marketplace – Intel Corporation, Oregon, USA
MA Linguistics “TESOL” Thesis: “Believe Me That’s the True Hijab” / Ethnographic study on Saudi Women in US ESL Classes – Portland State University, USA