Who is Lea Khalife?
I’m 28 years old from Beirut. I graduated in marketing & advertising. Owner and manager at ROOTS SARL which is my family business where I’ve been working for more than eight years now. I also have an addiction for photography and writing.
How your passion for photography did first start and was it directed to Motorsport Photography from the beginning?
My passion wasn’t directed to motorsport photography at the beginning. It all started because of sunsets. I couldn’t handle watching a sunset without keeping a memory of it, every sunset represents a new hope and a new story. And that was the reason why I first bought a camera.
Why did you choose Motorsport photography?
Everyone asks me that question. Why motorsport photography? While I can be anywhere else related to photography. It happened by accident, I was nearby a drifting event and had my camera so I took some shots and I liked the combination of cars and photography knowing that I have a passion for cars too. And that’s where the addiction began. Since then I didn’t miss any event.
Motorsport and Car photography is a dangerous hobby even for men, how do you do it?
Well yes, it is dangerous for everyone men or women it doesn’t really matter. Both have the same percentage of risks because they stand almost at the same places. I try to stay in a safe place as much as I can and not take any risks. Always considering where the cars might lose control or where an accident might happen, that is the case of hill climbs and rally. As for drifts and others I’m most of the time out of circuit far from the cones and clipping point.
We don’t see many women following up on motorsport news, and yet you know almost all drivers in Lebanon how do they react when they see you taking photos?
In a short period of time, I had the chance to know most of the drivers in Lebanon and I’m in a continuous contact with 50% of them. The thing that encourages me is seeing how friendly they are, always pleased and thankful. They show appreciation to what I do and that is to attend most of the motorsport events.
We see you running around in Hill Climb, Rally, Drift, 4×4 and many more motorsport activities which one is your favorite?
I can never tell which one is my favorite. Each one has its own taste as we say. But, it’s mainly the rush of the Rally and running from one stage to another behind the participating cars.
Tell us about your favorite Photo and the story behind it?
It is a photo of Garo Haroutiounian BMW in Falougha hill climb testing. Where for the first time I was close to the car and he had an accident. I was confused between what happened and the adrenaline. But, eventually I was happy knowing that I got a great shot with the lip flying.
What message would like to say to motorsport photographers in general and to women with photography skills?
Keep the great work guys and the awesome spirit. I just wish for everyone to stay safe and take care of themselves in all the events. As for the women with photography skills I say, never give up for your passion. If there is a will, there is a way. Keep practicing, do what you love and always enjoy it to the max!
Any future plan to move in front of the lens and see you driving soon?
Well, not any soon although I’d love that. But, it needs preparations, budget and many other things. And mainly I won’t be driving without the blessing of my parents.
Anything else you would like to share
I’d like to thank every single person who’s supporting me, believing in me and always encouraging me to improve. A BIG thank You!