When Riadh Larbi bought his first smartphone in 2013, he didn’t think it would alter his life all that much. But he soon realized that the device in his pocket, which allowed him to take photos on a daily basis, caused him to see the city he’d been living in for years in a completely different light.
In a matter of weeks, photography became part of his routine. His phone encouraged him to explore the world around him and, in turn, travel further — first to different neighborhoods, then to different countries.
Now, when Riadh travels to new places, he uses his phone and his DSLR camera equally, splitting his time between being what he calls a “traveler” and a “tourist.”
His time as a traveler is defined by stepping outside his comfort zone, adventuring, getting lost, experiencing local life, finding the secrets hideaways within a city, experimenting with local cuisine, and not being afraid to miss out on the popular sights a destination has to offer. His tourist time, on the other hand, is defined by taking things slow, seeing the sights, snapping a few selfies, and holding on to a sense of wonder at each location he visits.
Experiencing each place through both perspectives keeps things interesting for Riadh and allows him to enjoy all facets of travel. One thing he’s learned along the way, though, is to always have his camera (or phone) at the ready. As he puts it, “You never know what could happen next.”
During his journeys, he mostly documents architecture and city life, but on recent trips to India and Sri Lanka, Riadh also dabbled in portraiture. But no matter where he travels, he always makes it a priority to wake up early and explore the surrounding area in the soft morning light, and to find a calm spot from which to watch the sunset at the end of the day.
For Riadh, photography is about capturing the moments he finds interesting, moments that he can tell stories about for years to come. Regardless of which camera he uses, he views photography as an eye-opening tool. It allows him to see how amazing the world really is.