Alefiya Akbarally is an award-winning Sri Lankan photographer based in Houston, USA.

Always a romantic, Alefiya soon found out that her legal qualification would not fulfill her dream of aesthetic story-telling. From the painstaking world of mosaic kaleidoscope, to brazen water colours her artistic journey has found its niche.

In 2007, after reluctantly completing a traditional law degree, Alefiya became one of a small group of Asian photographers selected for the acclaimed Ankor Photographers' Workshop. In 2009, a Goethe Institute grant took her to Mumbai, India. This resulted in a unique exhibition on life within the ghats; a century old open-air laundry where hundreds of workers wash clothes by hand on stone platforms. This exposure to a lifestyle so different from her own upbringing stirred a passion in Alefiya. A passion that led to her winning a prestigious Black and White Spider Award, in 2011 in what would turn out to be a decorated photographic career.

Her South Asian heritage gives her a unique sensitivity behind the lens, having lived and worked in different parts of the world before the US, the diversity of her character is an asset to showcasing her subjects in unique ways. Her perspective is fresh and inspiring, born of a childhood that was both privileged and yet exposed to a war-torn homeland. Born of the constant tension between the traditions expected of her and her need to break free of them. Her pictures are not stills, but expositions.

Alefiya studied photography at the London College of Communication and has lived and worked in Asia, Australia and Europe. Her work has appeared in Vogue Australia, The British Journal of Photography, Bentley UK, Business Traveler Asia. She frequently contributes to Houston Magazine and Houston Citybook. She has also been commissioned to undertake photography and picture research for several book publications.

Her two daughters, Iman and Amira continue to teach her to maintain the childlike wonderment that each photograph should conjure. When she is not visiting the zoo with her kids, she makes sure they visit the Natural History Museum and spend as much time outdoors as they can. She continues her obsession with art and history, poring over books, losing herself in her imagination with her lens being merely an extension to her mind's eye.
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