Interview With Creative Mind & Photographer, Ismail Sirdah
Savannah, GA native and professional photographer, Ismail Sirdah is revered by many for his inimitable blend of photography. Ismail is proficient in Portrait, Retail, Event and Wedding Photography. The photographer developed a keen interest in the craft at a young age using a small SLR camera. Even as a professional, Ismail continues to use photography to document his life and connect with people and the world around. He is also the proud owner and proprietor of the Savannah based photography studio, the Ismail Sirdah Photography.
Besides core photography work, Ismail uses the ambiance offered by the studio to train and mentor up-and-coming photography talents in the area. As an advocate of tech-driven photography, Ismail is an adherent of unconventional techniques such as the use of motion on strobe or LED lit portraits and drone photography. The student of art is also a restaurateur and a reputable author. He recently released a best-selling book titled “10 Underrated Photography Destinations” that is now available at Amazon.com bookstore in paperback.
1- Hello Ismail, could you please introduce yourself?
I am a passionate photographer who uses my talents to serve the interest of my client’s. I studied at the Savannah College of Art and Design and went on to establish a photography studio in 2009. The studio is adjoined by a photography school for mentoring the youths and budding photographers. My clients come from across the US and overseas.
2- What are your focus areas and why?
My areas of expertise are wedding photography, event photography and portrait photography. I was drawn to event photography because I couldn’t pass an opportunity to cover events on location. Portrait and wedding photography, on the other hand, presents a picture-perfect opportunity to capture lasting memories, wow the audience and connect with the subject emotionally.
3- Can you expound on your journey in a few words?
After I graduated from college, I had little experience in photography so many of the assignments I took were either on-call or on-demand. With the experienced I had garnered, I moved from taking boutique type shoots to elaborate shoots in studio and on location. The decision to invest in a photography studio and school was in response to growing demand from clients.
4- How did you build up a creative spirit, did you just develop it or were you born with it?
Most of what I know about photography is self-instructed. The experience helped me develop a unique style of photography and psyche to take on more complex endeavors. Learning from seasoned pros also played a part in placing me on the right path to success.
5- Do you think the mindset has anything to do with the success you have achieved so far?
Yes it does because life reflects our attitude. Focusing on creative self and exploring underlying capabilities can make the difference between success and failure in the short term. Sustained success, on the other hand, requires long term thinking. This level of thinking provides sufficient room to hone skills and prepare for onward competition.
6- If you could turn the clock, what one thing would you love to change about your career?
Nothing much except someone would have told me to go with the flow when in doubt. I grew up knowing photography starts and ends in perfection. Looking at the big picture, perfection remains a mirage. Going with the flow, on the other hand, has helped me accomplish so much and edged me closer to my goals.
7- What advice would you like to give to potentials starting a new career in photography?
Photography as an art remains lucrative even with the unending craze about selfies and Instagram. One of the most important areas of photography is post processing. Always use the Save As command to preserve original images and avoid over processing. The whole idea of post processing should be about developing a mood and guiding the viewer’s outlook, albeit subtly.
8- What is the “
one word” advice you will give to our readers when it comes to achieving success in life?
Begin with what you have by making the most out of it.
9- As an expert, do you appreciate the challenges the industry presents? How do you maneuver the rules of the game?
Professional photographers encounter many challenges; among them is expensive photography equipment, copyright violations and competition from other photographers. The other challenge is keeping the business afloat when work narrows down. From my personal experience, this challenge can be overcome by encouraging people to get in touch with you and making your website attractive. It also helps to attend various public events.
10- What is your last word?
Learning is an ongoing process, which can be promoted by meeting other photographers. Besides improving your skills, the exposure can teach you tips and techniques you didn’t know.