Reema Desai
Photographer / Content creator

Reema Desai

Photographer + Content Creator

Washington, D.C.

http://www.reemadesai.com
Instagram
Twitter
Pinterest 

 

WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a travel, lifestyle and food photographer. I work with businesses and brands on creating high-quality visual content for their websites and social media channels.

In addition to my work with brands and businesses, I also work with magazines and various publications on editorial images. 

 

WHAT STEPS DID YOU TAKE TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW?

Like most creatives, it didn't all happen overnight. I worked a day job and did photography on the side for a long time before being able to transition to a full-time creative. It was a lot like having two full time jobs for about a year and a half (I'd work 7:30am-3:30pm at my day job and 3:30pm-very late working on my photography business). During that time, I made every effort to meet everyone I could that could help me with my business, post my work online constantly, and create as much as possible whether this meant waking up at the crack of dawn for a shoot or lugging my camera with me absolutely everywhere to make sure I was getting great work for my portfolio. It was also important to me to create lasting relationships with the creative community and people around me.

 

FOR OTHER PEOPLE IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT DO THEY USUALLY LACK?

I think in general, it's easy for creative people to lack the confidence to charge what they deserve. They know their work is challenging and worth their rate, but I see people struggle to confidently charge clients their fee. I used to be like this too, and give a long-winded justification about why my rate is what it is because I was nervous which is really silly. I think it's really important to charge your rate with confidence.

 

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON RIGHT NOW?

Right now I'm working on creating a media kit. My goal for my business this coming year is to be more proactive about finding and reaching out to clients vs. waiting for them to come to me, and I think this media kit will be a big help. I also recently created a new social media content creation package options for clients, and am designing a kit that details that. On top of that, I recently started working with a new food delivery start-up called Hungry to create photo content for their website and app.

 

WHAT'S YOUR STYLE/PERSPECTIVE/TASTE? DO YOU HAVE A PROJECT THAT REPRESENTS THIS? 

I love more minimal, bright and airy work, and I absolutely love negative space. I am drawn to warm weather, palm trees, and a tropical vibe, and find that it comes out in my work a lot. Even though I live on the east coast, I find that my taste and perspective feels a lot more aligned to the west coast if that makes sense! I think that this comes out most in my travel work 

 

WE ARE ALL SLASHIES WITH MULTIPLE SKILLS, WHICH ONE DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO MORE OFTEN?

I really enjoy styling and art directing my own shoots, but I'd love to explore ways to expand upon that. I think it's an important part of photography in general, and I'd love to expand my services to include art direction some day!

 

WHAT IS FRUSTRATING YOU RIGHT NOW?

As the year ends, I'm trying to get on top of all my outstanding invoices which I absolutely dread. I had a client make an error in my payment, and then stop responding to me for three months which made closing the books on the year really difficult.

 

IF YOU COULD HIRE SOMEONE FOR $20/HR, WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE THEM DO TO MAKE YOUR DAY EASIER?

In general, having someone help with office work like invoicing, email, scanning receipts, and accounting would be supremely useful. I also wouldn't mind someone delivering me healthy meals here and there too!

 

LET'S BRING OUT THE TIME MACHINE. WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE TOLD YOURSELF, WHEN, AND WHY?

I'd love to go back a few years ago when I was still trying to figure out if I could do photography full time, and encourage myself to be confident enough to share my work. I was so shy about sharing my work when I first started out, and it held me back for sure.

 

IF YOU COULD TALK TO AN EXPERT TO GAIN MORE INSIGHT ON SOMETHING, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?

I'd love to talk to a more seasoned photographer about working with an agent, the pitfalls of it, when to consider it, etc.

 

WHAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITIES/PROJECTS ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

I'm open to all kinds of creative projects, but would especially love to work on more travel stories. I love getting to know new, creative brands, and would love to partner with more of them in general.

 

DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL JOB/CLIENT/COLLABORATION.

To me, an ideal client is one with a clear vision that trusts me to execute it is the dream! Luckily, most of my clients are absolutely wonderful, and trust me to deliver them great work. Good communication and clear expectations are absolutely key to me.

 

WHAT IS YOUR HOURLY RATE, RETAINER, OR SALARY RANGE? 

This varies pretty significantly depending on the project at hand and if it's a one-off job vs. something ongoing. My rates can be project-based or just be a flat day rate or half-day rate depending on the job.

 

HOW SHOULD SOMEONE APPROACH YOU ABOUT WORKING TOGETHER?

Shoot me an email and let's chat! mail@reemadesai.com

 

HOW DO YOU STAY CREATIVE?

travel and take breaks!

 


This member profile was originally published in December 2016.