Rasha Yousuf

Making Passion into a Vocation with Rasha Yousuf

An Entrepreneur Life Published on 16 Nov 2020

Rasha Yousif captures the resplendency and stories of life around her in Bahrain, through her lens. She’s a professional photographer and living her zealousness through a sustainable thriving vocation.

Hi Rasha, did you always choose to be a photographer? Or it was a hobby that grew into a career organically?

I was always interested in visuals, Colors, lights and shadows have always attracted my eyes. I have been interested in photography either through mobile phones, video cameras, or small point and shoot digital cameras.

I liked making videos even when I didn’t have a video camera. I didn’t think of it as a serious hobby while growing up. I was very focused on my career and education.

It was only after finishing my Master's degree that I went back to my hobbies and found my passion for photography.

Many youngsters, at the point of choosing their vocation, struggle to choose between their hobby and what seems like a more viable career choice. What advice you would like to give to them.

Follow your passion. Following industry trends is important but one must listen to their heart.

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The path of a freelancer is laden with many obstacles - the uncertainty of fixed income, challenges of marketing, self-motivation, and striving for a work-life balance amidst others. How to overcome these on an ongoing basis.

Having a routine and self-discipline is very important for freelancers. Waking up every day at a certain hour, setting time to reply to emails, do some marketing, customer care, watch a few educational videos, read, taking online classes, and most importantly self-care. I also found it is important to set some time off, taking days off to unwind and do things that make you happy.

An entrepreneur has to also wear the marketer’s hat and keep thinking of ways to grow. How do you stay ahead of your competition and what channels of marketing work the best, keeping the budgets in mind?

I try to stay updated with market trends especially with apps or new platforms to reach new markets. I believe that mouth to mouth is the best form of marketing. Having a strong rapport with clients and delivering them a memorable experience will only turn them into unofficial brand ambassadors.

Food based Photography

Other than your personal account, you have also created an online community through @Fotobh. What role does that play in supporting your personal brand?

FotoBH is a photography platform that promotes emerging photographers in Bahrain through social media since 2017 through sharing their photos and occasionally having exhibitions and collaborations with entities in Bahrain and abroad.

The platform has helped many photographers within our community to connect and share ideas, collaborate on creative work, and so on. In addition to building confidence and support in photography.

Which photographers have influenced your thoughts and career path? And how do you define your personal style?

Camille Zakharia. He is a Lebanese/ Canadian photographer based in Bahrain.

I’m a documentary and travel photographer I have been documenting everyday scenes and traditional ways of living. I have been interested in documenting Sufism and other religious practices around the world.

With the growth of social media interactions, there has also been a visible increase in the demand for aesthetically pleasing or ‘Instagrammable’ pictures. And many bloggers, influencers, and content creators are becoming ‘photographers’ with a heightened awareness of good looking images.

Where does a professional photographer fit into these schemes of things, wherein a brand wants to go for collaboration and get images at a much lesser cost, along with promotion. 

It has become a struggle for professional photographers to educate brands on the importance of the quality of work. When you pay for a professional photographer you are also paying for their expertise and the investment in camera and lenses.

A real photographer will guide and lead the brand to showcase their product in the best way rather than just clicking a quick photo with the phone.

Architecture Photography

Setting up a full-fledged photography studio is quite an investment. What would be your advice for amateur photographers who have very basic gear, but want to establish themselves? 

You don’t need to invest in a lot of gear. Start with a lens or two and then see where that takes you. There are many resources on DIY gear hacks. You can build your own light modifiers. Otherwise, you can borrow gear from other community members to really test them and decide if you are ready for the investment.

How do you integrate your personal style into a brand’s vision and persona? Please take us through your approach for a brand shoot.

I like to share a bit of my character at the shoots I do. My style is very minimal focusing on the subject with fewer distractions as much as possible. Photography as a business is very seasonal, the inconsistent income flow can be stressful especially if you have many financial obligations. It is also a very expensive investment to get the gear and stay updated with the best accessories.

Photography is seen as a very glamorous profession, especially amongst social media savvy youngsters. Would you like to break some myths for them, especially when one has to make a career out of it?

Photography as a business is very seasonal, the inconsistent income flow can be stressful especially if you have many financial obligations. It is also a very expensive investment to get the gear and stay updated with the best accessories.



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