After being blown away by the work on a few recent client projects, we reached out to StudioNow Creator Mikel Dabbah about his photography, experiences around the world, and staying inspired under the restrictions of the pandemic.
Tell me who you are! Who are you, not only as a photographer but as a person out from behind the lens?
Since my childhood, I have always liked challenges, trying different things, and going beyond normal. I feel uncomfortable being in routines, living in the same place for a long time, I like changes. I guess that’s why I have lived in so many places so far. I also love everything related with traveling and aviation. I am studying to become a commercial pilot – I think there’s no better combination like photography and aviation, excited for what’s coming!
How did your photography journey start?
My family bought a camera some years ago, I occasionally used it on our trips but it all started during the year I lived abroad in Germany. My best friend inspired and transmitted me the passion for photography. We went every weekend to a different city with his camera and to take photos! After that, I took my family’s camera and started taking pictures on my own and I realized it was something I truly loved.
Then when I moved back to Mexico, it naturally started being my business career and I could afford new equipment.
The subjects in your portraits look so comfortable and natural in front of the camera – is there anything special you do to help people feel at ease when you photograph them?
In my opinion, the key is to make them feel comfortable, sometimes being in front of a camera can be somehow uncomfortable for inexperienced models so I always try to have a conversation before the shooting and let them know I am a cool guy who wants the shooting to be a fun experience. Make them feel secure and the shoot will naturally flow.
What is your most consistent source of inspiration or creativity?
Other creators for sure, there are many talented photographers out there who inspire me in a way or another. Also, being the creative guy from my family inspires me to keep creating new stuff and keep believing that hard work always takes you to the next level. My family and friends are always looking up my work so that’s my biggest motivation to stay creative and keep doing the absolute best work I can deliver.
In your biography, you mentioned living in many different places around the world. How has living and experiencing different cultures changed or influenced your work?
The opportunity I have had to be all over the world is invaluable.
I have met people from all the continents and have built very valuable friendships. In my opinion, building relations is the most important aspect to take care of when being a content creator, there are thousands of doors to open out there, and the fact that I have lived in different countries made me an open minded person and that directly influenced my way of working when talking to clients and covering projects.
How has COVID impacted the way you create or work? How do you stay creative in a pandemic?
To be honest, the pandemic forced me to push myself to try new things, it was hard to find clients during those tough times, so I started creating for myself, having fun because besides seeing photography as my work, it is also my passion and something I love. Here are some photos I created at my house during the pandemic.
StudioNow is all about community, and we’re constantly seeking inspiration from one another. What tips or tricks could you offer to fellow photographers?
Working with other photographers is a good way to learn, grow, and create new ideas! As well as looking at other creators’ work can be a good source of inspiration, but never compare yourself with others, that’s a mistake you want to avoid.
Remember photography “has no rules to be followed” a photo with the wrong settings can even end up being a masterpiece with post work! So, get out of your comfort zone, take your camera and be wild! Allow yourself to have fun and not to follow perfection.
Interviewed By: Karissa Ismael