Hello, hello, hello Samin! How are you? Is 2018 treating you well so far? Hi there, yes, very excited to start the year with even more food related projects than before and a magazine/book that I will be launching well soon with the collaboration of other creative from the UK and beyond. Thanks for having me :)
Let’s start with a little introduction... For those Gluggers who’ve never heard of you: who are you, where are you from, and what do you do? I'm Samin Ghiasi, I'm originally from Tehran, Iran but I grew in Paris, and moved to London in 2010. I'm a photographer and I've been working for a lot of clients both commercially and editorially in Paris and London.
I've been travelling to Italy, Milan and Florence, a lot in 2017 to connect with other creatives such as Nicola Samori to create creative stories and boost inspirations. I specialise in portraiture and food photography and work all the way from production, creating concepts and directing on set as well as post production. My main goal is to be able to create an image full of storytelling, for a client or sometimes even myself. I love having one or more projects on the go, it's a fantastic stimulation for the mind, and it keeps me learning and developing as well.
I've recently been thinking of giving workshops in Florence with collaborators – not only would that be an excuse to visit one of my favourite cities in the world but also an opportunity for me work on my Italian... Stay tuned!
How did you end up doing what you’re doing now? What’s your story? I knew photography was a dream job first time I had a camera in my hands when I was 19 years old. It was a small compact Sony Camera that my dad didn't want anymore, and gave it to me to play with. I became, perhaps like many other colleagues, completely addicted to making images from there. But before that happy accident, I was drawing a lot and I've been interested in Art since forever. It was in all honesty a relief to discover a tool and a practice that allowed me to explore creativity in the way that photography does, and it really changed and reshaped my whole life...
As a kid, did you always dream of working in the creative industry? At 8 years old something shifted in me as I realised I didn't want to grow up and 'just work' — I wanted to have fun, and I found the process of creating with photography and arts a fun, liberating and explorative way of expressing this need. I felt that the processes involved was empowering, spontaneous and made waking up everyday a little bit easier. So it became a goal to be able to get a creative job role some day... But yes, sometimes I do doubt that decision (haha) as things could have been simpler if I followed another route. It's never 'simple' in this industry, but that's also why we love it. You can do what you want and shape your own destiny.
Who would you say have had a significant influence on yourself and your work? Plenty of things and people, of course. It's really hard to pin point just one. I would say every year/month/week(?) there is wave of other artists that influence me personally, professionally and creatively and with the internet it's literally at the end of your fingers to explore someone else's world and work. There are too many people to name, but I never had one person specifically. Might be bizarre, but it is what it is. I know that music have had an immense influence on me too, but again, this change constantly as well.
This is always a charged question, but with your hand on your heart… Do you love what you do? What is the best part? I do love what I do. Even more when I stopped in 2012-13. I had a middle life crisis back when I was 25-26 years old and I'm glad I had it sort of early on in my career. I basically came to London to be a Fashion Photographer when I was 22, and I realised it wasn't making me happy. This made me reluctant to fully dive in and press onwards as it wasn't where I wanted to be and that was making me depressed.
Accepting not being into something that I thought I was, was a hard pill to swallow because suddenly taking pictures became meaningless, and it made me feel the same...
So I started looking around as I didn't want to become stagnant, and tired so many different things (like, so so many!) and one of them was working in a hairsalon and being a hairstylist on set and I loved it! Funnily enough, I couldn't stop myself from shooting so for many projects that needed this service I delivered photography for the salon as well. I got back to into the swing of things and when I realised how pricey 'Vidal Sassoon' training was (haha) my first thought was with that money I would open a photo studio... From that moment I knew I wasn't completely done with being a photographer.
I see this like being in a relationship almost, photography was my first love, we had a moment growing up and then a moment growing apart but life brought us back together. Since then, I love what I do a millions time more, from all aspects. Some parts, of course, more than others but for me it's important to love the process of creating, more than the results. But, I do care about the result of course, but I'm also conscious that I want to have a good day surrounded with an environment that understand me, and I understand back. Good energy and people.
In 10 years time, do you see yourself doing the same thing as you are today, or are you hoping to evolve into another practice or try another area of the creative industry? Videography is something I would like to try a little more, but I will never stop to shoot or direct. I believe it's good for your brain to change tasks every now and again – like picking up sculpting for example, which I'm doing now – and just making sure to take the time to do other things than work. I'm also into health so that's another part of my life that could be more worked on, like making actual natural friendly products which I'm already experimenting with, such as soaps, cream, oils etc.
If you were to give ‘your younger self’ some advice relating to the first couple of years in the industry, what would that be? It's funny someone asked the same questions a couple of days ago on LinkedIn and really I wanted to remind him and myself something along the lines of 'without that young spirit and determination to chose a creative path and making it happen, none of us would be sitting here and talking about a job we chose doing'. How many times you heard at school 'you will end up doing something completely different once you're out'? So, I'd say let's celebrate our young selves for being brave enough to take “risks” to be happy. We've all probably had so many opportunities to let it go because “it's hard”, but still... here we are. Nothing comes easy, anyways.
If you’re having a bad day, or running low on inspiration, what would be your number 1 tip to back into the swing of things again? I connect with my loved ones. I sleep and eat better. I don't actually think of work, but I try to reconnect with myself on an other level. If I'm not feeling right I can't deliver something I'm proud of, so I take those days off to reconnect with myself and so something that will help my body and mind to reset. Sometimes it can be just to get enough sleep or accept you are tired. Do what you feel is right and it will pass. Everything eventually pass. The good and the bad.
Let’s go a bit dreamy, shall we? If you could swap job with –anyone- in the industry, who would this be and why? I actually don't want to swap with anyone, I'm happy. But I would definitely swap right now my location to somewhere more sunny (haha). Make the winter go and the sun more present!
Thank you so much Samin. If you'd like to check out more of Samin's work or get in touch for some kickass photography, here's her website: www.saminghiasi.com
This articles is part of our Glug Profiles series – a series of interviews aiming to highlight journeys and insights from creatives, makers, doers and cool cats from all walks of life in the creative industry, and the world. Get in touch with Malin if you'd like to take part: firstname.lastname@example.org