You are a famous photographer, Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?
I currently ply my trade in Miami, where I own a state-of-the art studio and office. Prior to establishing The Ismail Sirdah School of Photography, I spent my early year’s shooting scenes in Atlanta. I studied photography at the famous Savannah School of Art and Design. The creative side of photography really enthralls me and is the reason I specialize in portrait photography.
When you travel on duty, what all you take with you? Why?
Because I always yearn to capture the moments that matter to me, I always tag my camera kit along. The kit typically includes a DSLR camera, lenses of varying depths, tripod, rechargeable battery and memory cards. Even though I also have a bigger shoulder bag for heavy assignments, I also have a dedicated camera bag and pelican case for my lenses.
Almost everyone has access to camera or photo capturing device. What do you think is the difference between a hobby and professional photographer?
Nowadays, there is a thin line between the Joes and professional photographers. However, professional photographers are often hired by corporations and individuals to shoot photos. A professional should therefore be in a position to generate full time income from what he or she does. The quality of photography and level of investments also separates professionals from hobbits.
What’s your preferred lens and why do you prefer it?
I prefer sharper lenses that can handle tonal ranges to my liking. The size and cost of the lens also count for something. My go to lens for capturing the perfect shots are the Canon 16-35mm f2.8 that features wide angle zoom. Recently, I have been trying out the Sigma 50mm f1.4 DG HSM Art for my portraits and it’s amazing gauging by the positive feedbacks.
Who influenced you the most? Which photographer do you consider as a kind of idol?
I really admire the works of famous photographer, Annie Leibovitz. Her works are compelling, especially those targeted at editorial and commercial campaigns. She also has millions of admiring fans and followers on Instagram and that is something I would really like to emulate.
What do you think is most important consideration while shooting portrait pictures?
I believe lighting means as much as the subject of focus. Learning how to control and manipulate light gives me the competitive edge to bring out portraits with great texture, luminosity and hues. I have a plan to invest in an outdoor studio to exploit these effects further.
Among your works, which one is your favorite? Why?
I have been keenly looking at event photography, and I see lots of opportunities to advance my trade. One of my favorite photo shoot was that of a wedding event in Venice, Italy.
Whose work has influenced you most?
In the words of a famous British entrepreneur, Sir Alan Sugar, an entrepreneur who decides to work for himself should never consider working for somebody else. These words always encouraged me to look up and soldier on, no matter what challenge I am facing.
What is the one thing do you wish you knew when starting photography?
I always knew reaching the levels of perfection was unattainable in any profession. When I was starting out, I overlooked the importance of post-processing and relied heavily on what the camera gave me. Today, I very much appreciate the possibilities it offers.
What personal goals would you like to achieve in the future?
In photography, treading the fine line between professional and personal goals on one hand and financial success and creativity on the other hand can be tricky. My personal goal is to open an Ismail Sirdah studio in the North East.
How can we follow you on social media?
The social media is the new front in professional photography. I am fairly active on social media. With a simple search, active users can follow me on Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook.