It is obvious that Instagram is my favourite social media platform. I have been using it consistently for years now and during that time have come across some very talented photographers and content creators. Muzi Sufi is one of them. I absolutely love her photography and editing style, the content she creates, her traveling adventures and ofcourse, her beautiful daughter Layaan. She was kind enough to allow me to interview her and get to know her better.
Hope you enjoy what she shared, just as much as I did.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I’m Muzi Sufi. I grew up in Cairo predominantly but spent most of my life travelling/living between the Middle East, the States and London. I love art, family and old movies. I don't like reading, although most of my artsy work was from the literature I've read. I'm 29, a mom, and living in Saudi Arabia. I love chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting.
What place do you call home?
Wherever I am with both Shahryar (my husband) and Layaan (my daughter). I'm lucky enough to have so many houses in different places, so home is where my heart is, literally.
When and how did you develop your love for photography?
I had a camera that my parents got me when I was 18. I moved to Lahore for a brief period of time and wanted a way to express myself. I found that I really enjoyed photography.
What was your first camera?
A disposable camera when I was 8.
What kind of photography do you enjoy the most?
Travel and fashion photography. I love travel photography the most because those are memories I want etched into my mind - where I've been, what I saw, what I found pretty enough to take a picture of. Fashion is great because you're part of a big team trying to make something work - I love the energy. I also love having pictures of myself taken as well because I want to remember what I wore when we walked all over Paris, or what I looked like when I was working at some shoot. Its a good record to keep.
Did you ever consider going into wedding photography considering it is such a huge industry in Pakistan?
I see that you love traveling - What are your top three places you have traveled to?
JAPAN - Nothing else compares and I feel everything else is a tad bit bland in comparison.
I need to go to Antarctica or maybe even South America to get Japan out of my head. Apart from that I loved Italy, South Africa and Bali, but Paris is probably my favourite city for long term.
How has motherhood affected your job, if at all?
We both have been good. I've tried to bring her along to a lot of my travel trips by flying my sister in if its close proximity. Otherwise at times I have left her with family for a few days. She's a good kid but its obviously tough. I can't take on too many projects and have to be extremely selective in what to shoot. Motherhood comes first.
What was your “big break” as a photographer? Was it a particular project you worked on?
I'm not sure but I got noticed by the right people when I was shooting my out artistic photographs on greek mythology, Shakespearean characters or general concepts from literature. I honestly miss having enough to time to do that.
Do you think social media has elevated the importance of photographers?
Absolutely. Its definitely the best platform to get noticed and showcase your work. People don't even ask for websites anymore, they ask for Instagram handles, which can be a bit weird for me because my Instagram isn't just my work. In fact my work is a small percentage - it’s becoming more about me.
I assume Instagram is your favourite platform to share your work. What do you think about the changes that have happened to it recently?
Yes I love it. Of course the app tries to make the system more difficult. Its frustrating at times, because you put something up and only 15-25% of those following you are actually seeing your work. The stats make it so interesting on a business profile to see who is actually seeing your post. But I think after a while you give up and just accept that you are doing this because you love it, and whoever is going to want to see it will see it.
Are you a Canon, Nikon or Sony girl?
Canon, although I kind of wish I was rich enough to go Sony Alpha overnight and change all my lenses lol.
What advice would you give amateur photographers, technically and in terms of gaining an audience?
Learn the art. Stop shooting in automatic - shoot manual, trial and error, even if you mess an entire (unpaid) shoot up its fine because you're learning. There are too many automatic photographers and I feel they're really not bothered to educate themselves on the technical aspect. In terms of gaining an audience, your work just has to actually be amazing. Unfortunately with the over saturation of social media feeds, good images aren't good enough now. They have to be great. So to do that you should make sure you feel passionately about every post you put up. If its coming from the heart then its going to get an audience.
And that's it.
Musizufi owns the rights to all images in this post.