I can’t tell you guys how much I’m enjoying my current blog series to feature amazing inspirational mums here in the UAE! So my 3rd one is the very talented ‘Scheherazade Safwan’ – A mum to two year old little girl.
Last week, I met her at the La mer beach- the new beautiful and happening area in Dubai for a small photo shoot. One thing that I learnt about her – she is extremely good with kids and super patient as Nayel made her run after him all over the place! 😝😬 Despite him being a typical toddler, Scheherazade clicked beautiful pictures of him and some for us together too !!
1. Can you tell us something about yourself?
I’ve always been the creative type and wanted to study architecture, but an ‘istikhara’ sealed my fate and I ended up being an engineer, ha! After graduation, I got interested in DSLRs and photography, and when I got a job I bought my very first camera, a Canon 40D. A couple of years, lots of self-study and loads of bad photos later, I finally felt I was good enough to start my Facebook page and charge money for my photos! It has been an uphill battle since then but mashallah all the hard work is now paying off!
2. Why Photography?
My friend got a DSLR and the quality of photos her camera was taking blew me away (she is an amazing street photographer!). So for me, initially photography meant striving to take good quality photos and learning as much as I could about my camera. Google was great for this but I also took a few classes to round up my knowledge.
I started a 1 object, 365 days project where I had a toy figure, lovingly called ‘The Creep’, lol, and I would take 1 photo of this toy for 365 consecutive days!! It was tough coming up with new ideas every day and I quit after 62 days but it was the best thing ever in terms of learning the rules of photography. I would come home from office, tired, but ready for another chapter in Creep’s life! The storytelling part was fun too.
I decided to start a 52 weeks project on Facebook after that (www.facebook.com/52weeksproject), where I would take 1 photo every week for a whole year, which was definitely much less demanding on my time. This was my first ‘page’ and I loved watching other photographers participate. Ultimately the page grew to 2000+ people and mashallah we are now in our 6th year and going strong!
‘100 Strangers’ was another project that I started way back in 2011. For this, I had to approach random strangers and ask them if I could take their portraits and chitchat with them about their life. This was very interesting for two reasons. One, I was and still am an introvert but the project helped me to be more comfortable in the company of strangers. Two, it showed me the kind of photography I wanted to do and excel at, which was portrait and family.
So I believe what started as a mere hobby, shaped into a freelance career that I thoroughly enjoy because of the projects I took up in my early years!
3. How do you manage your amazing work with home and your daughter?
Oh, that’s easy! I’m able to manage it all because of my incredible husband who never shies away from taking care of our daughter and supports me in every possible way. That’s how it should be and that’s how it is 😀
4. What are some of the packages that you offer?
I am currently taking bookings for all kinds of family shoots including wedding, anniversary, birthday, newborn, maternity, cake smash etc. I also dabble in fashion photography and model portfolio shoots and am open to collaborations with makeup artists, models and designers as well. Clients can contact me directly on call/WhatsApp at +971-553632979.
5. What message would you like to give to other fellow mums?
I’d say, I know first hand the laziness and apathy a mum can experience after childbirth and how difficult it is to take out time for your interests, and how easy it is to just complain about how you don’t have time to do anything other than raising good, God-fearing children. But there’s lots of time! Let your house be a bit messy occasionally and utilize the free time to pursue something that makes you truly happy. It doesn’t necessarily have to be something that would earn you money. It just has to make you proud of yourself! And of course, a happy mum means she’s not going to be nagging at the kids and the husband all day long…or is she hmmm? Haha!
For anyone who is interested to book her- please contact her directly on her number mentioned above . She is super reasonable as compared to many in Dubai! You can also find her on instagram and facebook:
Happy snapping and preserving memories!!
Until next time with another amazing mum!!