I am a self-taught Iranian documentary photographer based in Iran and the UK. I studied computer science at Azad University, emerging from school with a B.A. in software engineering. I started approaching photography as a self-taught photographer in 2012, after independent studies on cinematography.  My personal work explores the diversity of lifestyles and relationships between people and their environment through personal intimate narratives. through my long-term works, I explore the connections between climate change, environment, water crisis/security, geography, and human identity in my native Iran and neighbouring countries. 


 
Through my projects, I seek to connect documentary photography and fictional storytelling, by exploring personal narratives that reveal characters and scenes in the communities that I am drawn towards. My work has been published in National Geography Magazine, Foreign Policy Magazine, Polka Magazine, L'OBS Magazine, British Journal of Photography, Le Monde Magazine, Woman Paper Visa journal, Dutch geography schoolbook de Geo, Télérama Magazine, One World Magazine, The American Scholar Magazine, Emerge Magazine, Kel12 Magazine, Le Point Magazine, and other publications.


 In 2015, I received the IdeasTap and Magnum Photos Grant while working on the long-term project The Eyes of Earth, an investigation into the environmental and human impact of the drying of Lake Urmia which is one of the most unfortunate environmental disasters of Iran and in 2016 I received Magnum Foundation Grant, Photography in Collaboration for a call themed “On Religion”. I had proposed a project documenting the intersection of religion and environment with a focus on Mandaeans minority religious community and their interaction with the Muslim community in Ahvaz, in south-western Iran. The grant also provided me with funding to participate in a three-week program conducted by Brown Institute for Media Innovation.


Awards:


2020 Recipient of The Alexandra Boulat scholarship from VII Academy to study at DMJX

2020 Runner up for Marilyn Stafford Fotoreportage Grant, United Kingdom

2019 Finalist in The IWPA Award by the International Women Photographers Association, France

2018 Second Place, 2018 PhotogrVphy Grant in the category of Climate

2018 Shortlisted for IWPA Award, the International Women Photographers Association, France

2017 Recipient of Magnum Foundation “On Religion” collaborative photography Grant, NYC, USA

2016 Recipient of IdeasTap with Magnum Photos Grant, London, United Kingdom

2016 Shortlisted for D&AD Next Photographer Award, London, United Kingdom

2016 Shortlisted for PDN's 30 Photographers to Watch

2015 Shortlisted for Sheed Grant (Independent Award for Documentary Photography)

2013 Tirgan Contemporary Art Prize Award, Toronto, Canada

2013 Shortlisted for Borsa International Photography Festival, Borsa, Turkey



Exhibitions:

2020 After Us, The Flood in KUNST HAUS WIEN ecological museum, Wien (AUT)
2020 Brooklyn, NYC, Photoville’s Artists to Watch (US)
2020 PhEST International festival of photography and art, Monopoli (ITL)
2020 My Environment International Festival, Neue Schule für Fotografie, Berlin (DE)
2019 F2 Fotofestival on Water and justice, Dortmund (DE)
2019 Brooklyn, NYC, UNDP’s exhibition; Inequality and climate change at Photoville (US)
2019 Group show, IRAN, 1979-2019 MAUPETIT CÔTÉ Gallery, Marseille (FR)
2019 IWPA travelling exhibition, La Galerie, Dubai, Alliance Française
2018 Group show “REAL IRAN”, Gallery Mandarin, Paris (FR)
2017 “Iran Anne 38” Group show, Les Rencontres d’Arles Festival, Arles (FR)
2016 PondyPHOTO India International Art Festival (India)
2013 Bursa Photo Festival, Colors of life exhibition, Bursa (TU)
2013 Tirgan Iranian/Canadian art and culture Festival and Visual art exhibition (CA)
2013 HIPA Photo Contest annual Book exhibition in Wollongong University of Dubai (UAE)





Solmaz Daryani

Solmaz Daryani is a UK and Tehran, Iran based photographer specializing in editorial, documentary and commercial photography.
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