I am shooting love, joy, and happiness in a photograph that becomes a long lasting memory packed with emotions.
- Introduce Yourself
- How Did You Start Your Photography Career?
- What Were Some of The Obstacles You Faced When Starting?
- Where Do You Get Your Inspiration?
- What Was Your First Professional Work Shoot Like?
- What Are The Tools You Use?
- How Do You Get Clients and What is The Process of Working with Them Like?
- What Should Photographers Focus on While Taking a Photo?
- Your Series “Strangers of Tangier” Has Been Successful, Can You Tell Me About It?
- What Do You Think About The Current State of Photography in Morocco?
- What is Your Latest Obsession?
Meet Barnassi Omar, a 22 years old Taurus who’s on the cusp of earning his master’s. Just like many other people, Omar has some regrets about his study choices. Although I won’t get into much detail, Omar learned at a young age that he shouldn’t follow other people’s advice and focus on what he enjoys.
That’s not the only example, Omar’s life is full of lessons (get it, it’s like Lessons and Obsessions), especially in his extracurricular life. For example, one of his hardest lessons came during his time with humanitarian clubs.
Through helping others, organizing events, and undertaking uncomfortable situations, Omar has become grateful for what he has and the people around him.
How Did You Start Your Photography Career?
Omar’s father was obsessed (hey another reference to lessons and obsessions!) with photography and videography. He recalled:
My dad records everything in his life which includes our family. I can confidently say i have an entire picture collection of every phase in my life!
However, his dad’s fascination did not solely stop there. Omar would also learn from his dad. His first advice was to always tell a story in a picture, and he would always receive critique to become a better photographer.
I used to love photography but life happens and eventually, I stopped. It wasn’t until just last year that I fell back in love with it for no reason.
Omar saved up money and took the risk to buy a camera and the rest is history.
You mentioned telling a story in a picture, what does that mean?
A story can be anything, like sharing my perspective with the world and the amazing people I meet […] Framing and colors matter a lot to me, especially color since it represents emotions.
What Were Some of The Obstacles You Faced When Starting?
Throughout our conversation, I noticed that Omar is naturally a confident person. This is why it wasn’t surprising when he told me that there weren’t many issues.
Apart from financial hardships (you know how expensive camera gear gets), Omar got straight into the groove of things. Justifiably so, as his photo session was with his girlfriend which was naturally comforting for him
Confidence makes everything. It takes confidence to be creative, without it you can’t shoot well or do well.
Where Do You Get Your Inspiration?
Unlike other guests featured on this blog, Omar’s inspiration does not mainly come from conversations. Instead, he believes that since photography is a visual medium, inspiration can strike from other visual experiences.
For example, daydreaming and observing other photographers help him create ideas.
There’s this idea stuck in my head that i would love to shoot. Imagine a dark room with a stage. On it, there is this woman playing the violin with a single spotlight shining on her.
I want to capture that scene.
What Was Your First Professional Work Shoot Like?
Omar’s first commissioned work shoot came from a friend’s friend. They saw his work of a certain model on Instagram and wanted something exactly like that.
Proof that displaying your work online yields off tremendously in landing clients.
It was challenging since she wanted to replicate my post, but she was different. I had to simultaneously manage weather changes and fatigue and find the best cross between what she wanted and what works for her.
Out of all the work you did, which one was the most enjoyable?
Defiently weddings. It’s because I am capturing love, joy, and happiness in a photograph that becomes a long-lasting memory packed with emotions; That’s why my username is Captured by Omar.
What Are The Tools You Use?
Omar considers himself to have a budget-friendly setup. In fact, his first camera was a mirrorless Canon M5. While it is a cropped camera, its beginner-friendly aspect makes it ideal for beginners. Pair that with a 50mm f1.8 lens and you essentially have a camera that takes pictures the exact way you see them.
Interestingly, Omar does not enjoy artificial lighting. He believes that by keeping it natural, he can capture the scene authentically.
According to him, Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are crucial for mastering photography. The latter mainly focuses on lighting and color grading while the latter is done for touching up images.
While they can be a bit difficult to learn, Omar argues that the process is worth it.
You can get use apps like Picsart and Pixlr on your phone, but don’t expect something outstanding. Better tools allow you to create your proper signature.
How Do You Get Clients and What is The Process of Working with Them Like?
Omar’s main pipeline of acquiring customers is through his Instagram. People see some of the portraits he shot and they reach out asking for something similar.
You should charge whatever you think you are worth. You can be as cheap or as expensive as you want. For me, I have a rate that i’m comfortable with. But if my client is a small business, i like to lower my prices just to encourage them to grow.
Furthermore, he also agrees on the details of the photo shoot. If there needs to be a special scene or unique clothing, then Omar prepares the location and dresses his clients.
On the day of the shooting, Omar focuses on breaking the ice and easing his clients. He socializes with them and intentionally sets up his camera slowly just so that clients can get used to the camera.
Finally, after receiving his payment, he usually edits his pictures right after the shooting. He asks for the client’s favorite pictures as well as recommends some of his own, then get feedback for his edits.
What Should Photographers Focus on While Taking a Photo?
For Omar, the pose and the eyes heavily matter when shooting. Since the eyes never lie, Chico prefers to have models directly look at the camera. He believes that by establishing this eye contact, the viewer will be more likely to engage with it.
I find myself imagining how a photo will look edited during a photoshoot. I think of the lighting and their facial characteristics, temporary flaws such as acne or pimples will be removed, however permanent elements such as birthmarks or scars remain.
I find that permanent things make you look cooler and your photo becomes authentic.
Your Series “Strangers of Tangier” Has Been Successful, Can You Tell Me About It?
Omar is proud and surprised by the performance and support of the Instagram reel series on his profile. Essentially, he goes out to the street of Tangier, takes pictures of random strangers, then shares them online.
While recording his first reel, Omar discovered a first-hand lesson previously discussed on our Blog. To keep it short, he learned that Moroccans are kind and supportive, which goes to disprove the ingrained idea of a toxic discouraging country.
At first, I thought that i was going to take pictures of tourists since they are more open-minded. However, when I tried to do that almost no foreigner approved doing so.
I thought to myself “if tourists can’t do it then Moroccans won’t as well”. Turns out that the public was encouraging, supportive, and just happy to be included. […] One person even offered to pay me for the picture I took.
What Do You Think About The Current State of Photography in Morocco?
According to our guest, the Moroccan Photography scene has become commercial. From product photography to social media photography, Omar believes that photographers are chasing money over creativity.
It’s not a bad thing, I understand that creatives need to fund their life but a balance must be found. For me, I value passion projects over commercial ones.
What is Your Latest Obsession?
I would say I’m obsessed with my future. Although it is stressful thinking about my Master’s and photography career, I am enjoying the process and living moment to moment.