This week’s ambassador spotlight shines a light on Maryam Salassi of Hi + Hello Photography. Read on to find out more about Maryam, see some of her beautiful work, and which bluebird chic strap is her personal favorite! (For this week, her pick will be available at a discounted rate in the shop.)
Maryam Salassi of Hi + Hello Photography is an in-home family lifestyle photographer in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is super chill and tends to choose sneakers over heels. When she’s not photographing fun families, she loves experimenting with film cameras, spending time with her own awesome family, hiking, reading, or just generally being supercool.
How long have you been a photographer?
I took my first official photography class in college and immediately changed my major because I felt that I had found my true love.
How has your photography evolved over the years?
In college I mostly took photographs of still lifes and street scenes. My degree program mainly focused on fine art versus portrait photography, and I didn’t really think about portrait photography as a career until years later. Then I tried to do what everyone else was doing which didn’t really work for me. I did it ok but it never quite felt right. Once I started honing in on what I wanted to share with my photography things just sort of felt right. Now, photographing people in their homes and capturing more intimate interactions gives me so much happiness and life. I just want to do it forever.
What advice do you have to other women who are thinking of starting their own businesses?
I think what I wish I had known when I first started out was more of the business stuff. As an artist it’s easy to just think about the art and not think about business. The art is important but the business side is more important. You need to think about what an actual business entails from insurance to paying taxes to marketing and creating a product your clients can’t get enough of. There’s a lot of hustle and struggle and love and sacrifice and it’s definitely not easy, but it’s so worth it.
What impact do you want your business to have on others?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially in the world we currently live. The ultimate goal for me is to photograph diverse people from diverse backgrounds and share their stories. There is so much division in our world that I feel comes from not listening to each other, or taking the time to understand where each of us is coming from. I hope that I am able to show humanity through my photography and help to open hearts and minds.
What kind of camera(s) do you own and what role do they play in your life?
My main camera for work is a Canon 5D Mark III, but I’m currently in the process of trying out various mirrorless cameras to replace it. I love the Canon but it gets heavy after a few hours of shooting! I’m also starting to incorporate film into my work and have been shooting with a Canon AE-1 Program. In college I did most of my work on film and I love the feel and look of it, but after shooting digital for so long I felt very unsure of shooting film so relearning it has been really fun. On trips I usually bring my Holga and snap a few pictures here and there, and I love the happy accidents and surprises you get with that camera. I have several other toy cameras and an Instax that I use on occasion but the first three are my most used cameras (along with my iPhone 7 Plus!).
What’s your favorite thing about your bluebird chic strap?
I have the Bon Voyage Scarf Camera Strap. I love to travel, I love illustrations, and I love fun styles. This strap hits all three!
I also love that the wider strap distributes weight evenly so it doesn’t feel like my neck is getting weighted down as much as it does with a skinnier strap. It also has a ton of style points, and the pattern catches babies’ eyes as I’m taking their photos!
This week save 20% on Maryam’s ambassador pick! Offer ends 05/14/17.
Thanks for sharing with us today Maryam and for supporting the bluebird chic brand!