We had the good fortune of connecting with Hibah Ansari and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Hibah, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I hate to admit it, but I somewhat “fell into” commissioned photography. I was always interested in taking photos and was the one with a camera always in hand. Some of my friends encouraged me to photograph random events of their friends, like small wedding ceremonies, graduation photoshoots, or baby showers. It’s been a rocky learning process but there are a ton of resources online to learn from and get inspired by.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I actually studied animation in undergrad; I remember in my first introductory animation class, my professor said if anyone was interested in photography, they should consider a career in lighting for animation. I immediately registered for a Lighting & Compositing class. I feel like learning lighting for animation also heavily influenced my photography. Both require a keen eye for color, composition, editing, and mood. Animation is different in the sense that you can “create” the conditions you want, whereas photography (for the most part) requires you to work with what you have (if the sun is too harsh, you can’t just bring down the exposure).

As for challenges, I think one of the main difficulties I faced was the interpersonal aspect of photography. As a rather shy person, I felt awkward meeting and directing clients when I first started out. However, rather than seeing this as a weakness, I started to lean into it. I found that I could center the attention more on the couple and understand their own dynamic, quirks, inside jokes, etc. instead of directing them to do generic poses. I also think it helps to have a long lens if you’re shy, because you can stay far from your couple and let them do their own thing while you photograph them. As ultra-creepy as it sounds, I always end up getting the most heartfelt and authentic photos when I do this.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I hate to admit it but despite living in the Dallas area for most of my life, I’ve hardly explored it. When I was little, my mom used to take me and my friends on the DART into the city and we’d just walk around. It was fun (and is now nostalgic) but I’d probably bore a friend to death with that plan so…I’d google something.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My friend, Anu Bandi, deserves a ton of recognition in my photography story. Anu was always ready in a moment’s notice to pose for high school art/photography projects. She never ridiculed my process and it made me feel more confident in trying to bring my ideas to life (even when they were in dire need of *some* criticism). Anu was the first person to push me to get out of my comfort zone and start taking commissions. To this day, I always consult her when it comes to giving quotes to clients or finalizing photo edits before sending them out. She is one of the most genuine people I know and I’m lucky to have her in my life, because I clearly would’ve missed out on countless opportunities if it weren’t for her!

Website: https://hibahansari1.wixsite.com/mysite

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ansarihibah/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hibah-ansari-000/

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