If you find yourself picturing your future as a professional photographer but you feel like you don’t know how to begin then you’re in the right place. The talented professional photographer Aishaa Al Shabrawy to answer the questions that could be holding you back from pursuing your passion for photography.


How do I get started if I want to become a photographer?

Practice, practice, and practice some more. Read photography books. Apply them. Watch YouTube videos. Apply them. What also helped me was interning with professional photographers once I decided I want to become a professional. I would watch how they work and copy their methods. I also attended courses, talks, and workshops and you can find centers in Cairo for that like Photopia. Find a photography community or friends who are interested in what you do so you can experiment together. Stay passionate and motivated even if you face obstacles.

Do I need to learn how to edit to be a photographer?

I personally did but very basic editing on Photoshop to guarantee that the outcome looks professional. I personally recommend that so you can get the outcome you wish for. Once I become more established and got busier and needed higher end editing I started sending my work to professional retouchers. Again, YouTube videos help teach retouching and editing and if you want to go more in-depth attend workshops. There are many professional photographers who do their own editing but it’s time-consuming once you are busy.


How do I find out which type of photography is right for me?

By practicing, you will know what you are more passionate about shooting and what you feel like investing your time doing. You will also find out what you do best. I tried out everything in the beginning weddings, streets, interiors, products but I found that i am most passionate about fashion, portrait, and travel.


How do I know which camera is right for the type of photos I want to take?

As a beginner, just a basic DSLR will do if you want to shoot digital. Once you specialize and learn more you will know what kind of camera specifications and accessories you require and will choose according to what you need for the job. And at the end of the day I always believe it’s more about your eyes and skills than your gear.


How can I price my time during photo shoots, so I’m not undercharging for my effort?

In the beginning, you have to be sensible about things, value your work of course and don’t easily give out work for little or free unless you feel it adds value to your portfolio. Once you are more established and have a strong portfolio you have to value your work and its worth. You also have to be sensible about who your client is, for example, you don’t need to charge a small startup on a tight budget the same that you charge a multinational company. Value your work and know it’s worth but if the case requires flexibility and you like the job offered don’t be stubborn and just go for it.


Photo Credit: Hatem Saleh – Deena Wagdy Jewelry