Every time I go for a shoot, I fall in love with my clients, and then also their photos. – Waliya Najib
Times of Youth: For those who don’t know about you and your work, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Waliya Najib: Always the hard question is the first! I’m a big animal lover and a big foodie. I’m always in for adventures, love traveling, and going out to new places, but I’m also extremely lazy. Photography has meant a lot to me since I was little. But it has started to mean much more since my dad passed away 3 years ago. Like any other form of art, it has helped me stay sane and let me express the way I’ve felt. I’m working on a lot of different projects nowadays, and Insha Allah going to open a studio shortly!
Times of Youth: Who are some of your favorite classic photographers, and how did they influence you?
Waliya Najib: Oh, too many! Starting with my sister from Nataliya Khan, who was also one of the main reasons that I’m a photographer. Rammal Mehmud, Muzi Sufi, Kashif Qadri, Said Mohammad, and a lots of other photographers on instagram; they’ve all influenced me in so many ways. I get inspired every day by them. Because I haven’t had any proper photography related education, I think I learnt most by looking at the work of others and just wanting to take photos like them. So I kept experimenting, and I learnt a lot by just that.
Times of Youth: What is one question nobody has ever asked you – that you wish they asked you?
Waliya Najib: That’s a hard one, but I think people have asked me all sorts of questions. I don’t think they’ve left anything out!
Times of Youth: How do you interact with your clients to get what you want out of them? How do you handle ‘shy’ clients?
Waliya Najib: The first important thing to get good portraits is for the subject to be completely comfortable with what they’re doing, and it’s my job to make them feel so. If my client isn’t comfortable its going to show in the photos, and I don’t want that at all. I try to be as friendly as I can with them, very often, I even act extremely silly. We talk about the shoot a few days prior to the date, so I know exactly what they’re looking for. So when we meet for the shoot, they don’t feel like they don’t know me and can pose without hesitation.
Times of Youth: Do tell us a noteworthy funny incident or anecdote that you just can’t forget.
Waliya Najib: In my early days of starting photography professionally, I naturally wasn’t always as well prepared as I should have been. I remember once I went to shoot without a memory card in my camera and not even an extra one. That was a real ‘oops’ moment! Now I always check over and over again.
Times of Youth: Is there any piece of advice which you wished someone would have given you at the start of your career? And what should it have been?
Waliya Najib: When I got my first DSLR, Around 5 years ago, the manual settings were too overwhelming and I would shoot in auto mode. That was my biggest mistake ever. So if you have a DSLR, always shoot in manual otherwise just take pictures with your phone.
Times of Youth: How did you end up being a wedding photographer, and what made you choose photography as a career?
Waliya Najib: I actually don’t consider myself a wedding photographer, though I do a few bridal shoots now and then. How I came into this field was even a surprise to me. My friends pushed me into making a page on Facebook, (probably because they wanted me to post their pictures there). But never in my wildest dreams would I then imagine that I would be able to pursue photography as a career and not just as my hobby. I did a few shoots for family friends, small local businesses, and it just started from there. I still remember when I got my first check and the feeling I got, Allah has been too kind.
Times of Youth: What advice do you have for somebody who wants to pursue wedding photography?
Waliya Najib: I don’t consider myself a ‘wedding photographer’. So it would be hard for me to give an advice in that reference. Being a wedding photographer I think needs so much more than being a normal photographer, you need so much energy and your coordination with your eyes and hands have to be amazing.
Times of Youth: Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?
Waliya Najib: This I could never answer. Every time I go for a shoot, I fall in love with my clients, and then also their photos. So I don’t think I could do that, as there’s always a new favourite!
Times of Youth: Which 3 words would your friends use to describe you?
Waliya Najib: Crazy, Loud, Foodie.
One Word Answers:
- If you had to choose one lens which one would it be? Probably a prime lens, 50mm or 85mm
- What is your favourite photography accessory, other than your camera? I think the trigger, because it saves me so much effort! I’m quite lazy like that.
- What type of cameras do you shoot with? I actually shoot with a very basic Nikon, d5200
- How would you describe your style? Because I work a lot with young people, I think its become very colorful and vibrant!
Times of Youth: What is your most used Photoshop tool, plug-in, action set etc.?
Waliya Najib: I don’t edit my photos except fixing the light, contrast, etc. So it’ll have to be mainly just adjustment layers, some cropping, liquefy if needed and that’s that!
Times of Youth: Any message to your fans or followers via TIMES OF YOUTH?
Waliya Najib: Don’t be afraid to follow your dreams, and never let what others think of you affect what you think of yourself!
Times of Youth: Do tell us how can fans can contact you to share their appreciation/feedback/suggestions.
Waliya Najib: My page would be the easiest to do so, so that or Instagram!
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