What is your name and where are you from? Mustafa Rammahi and I currently live in London, England.
How long have you been taking pictures? I would say from 2006 when I started taking pictures with a Sony Ericsson K770i smartphone (not so smart back then)
When did you get into photography and why? Three years ago I was in a situation which involved me questioning my own future. I ended friendships with certain individuals who were not pushing me to do what’s best for me. I found it very hard to trust people and I couldn’t carry on like this. One day I sat on a bench near a canal where I like to think and I saw a man taking photos of a swan with his DSLR. And it then dawned on me to try photography as a means to create and to connect with other people, so I bought my first DSLR and never looked back.
What would you say your style is and has it changed throughout the years? If so why? ‘Subtlety’ with a touch of mood. When I started I didn’t have a specific style it was quite a mixture of everything because you need to experiment with different styles in order to find a style you’re comfortable with
How do you approach a shoot ? Do you pre plan or is it a click and run? I mainly pre plan a shoot. I would tell the model the style I’m looking for and then we would discuss outfit options and location. And on some occasions I would send a mood board or the model will have an idea and we would take it from there
Is there an end goal you’re trying to achieve with your images, be it an aesthetic or story?
The photos that I take is a reflection of who I am on the outside and underneath and who I want to become.
Do you have an influences you can share? Since shooting portraits I would most definitely say fashion would be my main influence.
What inspires you? Shadows and subtle colours. I love playing with shadows as it adds depth to my subjects and truly makes some if not most of my work artistic.
Is there such a thing as a bad photograph? Not really. I believe it to be a matter of perspective. If one was to look at a photograph and it doesn’t exhibit some sort of emotional response out of them then to them that could be construed as a bad photograph. But then on the other hand that same photograph shown to someone else could bring about an emotional response. All a matter of perspective.
Are you looking for a career in photography or are you just having fun?
It did start out as a hobby and then I decided to take it on professionally. And my plan is to make it a full time job but with the photography industry becoming so saturated within the last couple of years, It can be quite difficult to get your foot on the door. But I’m not giving up!
Which social media platforms do you use and why? Mainly Instagram as it is the number one platform at the moment for photographers to get there work out there and connect with other creative.
Which photographers do you mainly follow on social media? Fashion and portrait photographers are those that I mainly follow and a few landscape photographers
What are your thoughts on mobile photography versus DSLR / mirrorless? Mobile photography has come along way in the past 10 years. I’m able to capture some fantastic shots with my current smartphone but it will never replace my DSLR camera on the basic fact that my DSLR gives me full control of my frame and comes with a multitude of options to make my pictures more artistic.
What’s your main go to camera, lenses and how did you make that choice? At the moment I carry a Canon 6D and shooting with an 85mm f1.4.
I started off with a Nikon d5500 shooting with a 50mm 1.8. it did really well but I felt like my pictures could have a more realistic feel to it which my Nikon couldn’t seem to bring out.
So asking many fellow photographers on which camera would suit what I was looking for I ended up with my canon 6d and I tried 2 other canon prime lenses before choosing my 85mm through trial and error. I needed a lens that complemented my shooting style and the 6D with an 85mm came out on top.
What is your dream location to shoot at? I’ve always wanted to shoot in The Canadian Rockies.
Describe your favourite picture and how you captured it? I was at a shoot where I met this model with 2 different shades of eyes. We went to this grimy looking foot bridge overlooking the City of London. I got him to turn his head and to give me his most fierce look.
In three words how would you describe your photography? Moody/ subtle / classic
How would you describe the current scene in photography?
Extremely saturated. Over the past couple of years’ photography has really surged in popularity and this mostly due to some DLSRs being affordable so anyone can really pick up a camera and start shooting.
How do you feel about higher quality cameras being put into smart phones? It is beneficial to some but not all. I myself own a smartphone with a quality camera but I don’t use it much on the basis that I have a camera that can do a better job.
What are your thoughts on expensive cameras? Do you think they create better images? It really depends on where you are looking to take your photography. There isn’t a need to spend 1 – 2K on a camera that you use every now and again and creating a better image never comes from spending more money, it comes from you. The camera is just a tool, just like a paint brush.