Interview with Ismail Sirdah, an inspiring photographer and entrepreneur
We are sharing our recent interview with Ismail Sirdah. A photographer and entrepreneur who has gained recognition in travel, retail, and wedding photography. It’s only due to his skills, experience and dedication that Ismail Sirdah Photography has gain such appreciation and success.
Pro Media Mag : First of all tell us about the start of your professional career?
Ismail Sirdah : Well like most people I worked the occasional odd job throughout high school, but once I pinned down photography as my passion I immediately invested everything into my photography career. I originally accepted an apprentice style position where I was able to learn the ins and outs of the industry from a seasoned professional. Once I turned 20 I was ready to strike out on my own and I started my own studio, Ismail Sirdah Photography.
Pro Media Mag : How and when you first get into photography?
Ismail Sirdah : Photography has been with me as long as I can remember. In English classes we are often taught about the dueling styles of poetry and prose, but I think imagery should be considered the third school of expression. I feel as though in many cases the old adage is true and “a picture is worth a thousand words.” Through imagery, in my case photography, we are able to express even the most minute of details to really tell a full story of a moment. Because of this I’ve spent my entire life devoted to photography and capturing unique moments to tell the story of the world around me.
Pro Media Mag : When did you realize “I will stick to this craft”?
Ismail Sirdah : I don’t honestly think I’ve had a moment of doubt since I first walked through the doors of my mentor’s studio. There are people who do photography as a means to gain money or renown, but for me it’s a passion that I’m lucky enough to support myself with.
Pro Media Mag : Tell us about your recent book “10 Underrated Photography Destinations”?
Ismail Sirdah : I greatly enjoy travel and there are many corners of the globe where breathtaking scenery is tucked away in relative obscurity. Over the years I’ve done a great deal of research into these locations and I’ve put together 10 of my favorite locations. My hope is for this book to inspire newer photographers to visit some of these under-utilized locations and possibly create some stunning photos of their own.
Pro Media Mag : What was the inspiration behind writing this book?
Ismail Sirdah : My inspiration behind this book was much the same as the inspiration behind my photography school. I think that I’m in a position to help share my knowledge with future generations and hopefully bridge the gap between enthusiasts and the career they’ve always wanted. Life is too short to miss out on a passion because resources weren’t readily available to you.
Pro Media Mag : What kind of response you have received from the release?
Ismail Sirdah : It’s been incredible. I’m admittedly not someone who would call themselves a writer so the whole process has been nerve-wracking, but I can say I’m happy with the end result. I wrote this to support the photography community and not to make a profit, so if a single amateur can gain inspiration from my book I can call the endeavor a win.
Pro Media Mag : What is your favorite part of being an photographer?
Ismail Sirdah : I think I mostly enjoy the ability of a photograph to inspire a reaction in those who view it. That’s a big part of why I’ve focused my career largely on travel photography and wedding photography.
With weddings you get to capture the feeling of a moment that should be one of the greatest moments in the lives of two people. These are pictures that will be looked at for decades and I can only hope they remind the couple of a small part of that feeling. With travel there are certain limitations that many of us experience that can keep us from witnessing the beauty of the world, and I try to bring these locations to life for the viewer at home.
Pro Media Mag : Any piece of advice for those who want to pursue this career?
Ismail Sirdah : Absolutely, you need to start out with an attention to all the minor details of a photograph and work your way up as your practice. Pay special attention to learning your tools and the various techniques that can set a polaroid apart from a National Geographic cover. Things like color balance, depth of field, and composition are what will really set you apart.
Pro Media Mag : What do you do in your off days or free time?
Ismail Sirdah : I enjoy reading when I have the time. I also travel quite a lot both for work and for my own portfolio, so I’ve loved seeing the sights in some exotic locations. Really most of my hobbies still revolve around my work as a photographer and I take my camera with me everywhere, so most of my free time is spent in the studio or with my head buried in photo editing software.