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Exploring Life & Business with Sylvie Damargi

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sylvie Damargi.

Hi Sylvie, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Originally, I wanted to become a pharmacist, but before becoming one, a professor in high school gave me a great piece of advice. She told me before pursuing a career, look at what people do in that profession to see if you like it or not. Then I realized that I did not want to be at a 9-5 job. Instead, I want to become a photographer because I like traveling to places, meeting new people, and capturing cool photos! I took a beginner-level photography class and I loved it so much that I took the intermediate and advanced level classes. I took AP Photography in my senior year of high school and how it worked was that there needed to be 24 pictures in total; 12 photos are a specific genre and another 12 are breathe photos. My concentration was sports photography and I liked it because of the energy and enthusiasm. After high school, I experimented and did different kinds of photography from sports, events, portraiture, editorial, commercial, fashion, photojournalism, product, and more. I realized that I liked doing fashion, editorial, commercial, and portrait photography. My work has been published in magazines such as Marika, Moveux, Enzomnia, and Beautica. I had my work displayed twice at the Pasadena City College The Boone Family Art Gallery. I have worked with brands to photograph their products and clothes.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No, it has not been a smooth road. A lot of people think that photography is easy by just clicking a button, but it’s not. As a photographer, you have to direct and tell people what to do and communicate with models your concept and vision clearly. You have to understand how the camera functions and its settings. Not only that, but you have to know the lighting and the physics behind it. I did struggle a lot with what kind of photography I wanted to do and finding my own style. When I experimented with the different types of photography, I narrowed it down to fashion, editorial, commercial and portrait photography. Not only I had to know about photography, but how to market myself in order to gain clients. Another challenge that I had to face was how to deal with people. I learned that not everyone is going to be nice and it is important to still be professional and respectful so your reputation is not damaged.

As you know, we’re big fans of SDPHOTOGRAPHYLA. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I am a fashion, editorial, commercial, and portrait photographer based in Los Angeles. I feel that what sets me apart from others is that I have a style and not only that but also professional and make sure that people are satisfied and happy with my work. What makes me happy brand-wise is when individuals are satisfied with the photos I have taken of them and they refer other people such as their friends and relatives to me and they come and ask to do a photo shoot. I am happy how far I come and grew as a person and brand. My whole family are dentists and me being in the photo industry was new to us and I started everything from scratch. I took photos with my camera that I thought were interesting. I experimented with different genres of photography then I realized that I wanted to do fashion, editorial, portrait, and commercial photography. I have been published in magazines, worked with brands, and photos displayed two times at the Boone Family Art Gallery at Pasadena City College. The services that I offer are fashion, editorial, commercial, and portrait photography.

Networking and finding a mentor can have such a positive impact on one’s life and career. Any advice?
An advice I would give is to network a lot while being in school because it is easier to connect through people you know. One example was when while I was in college, I needed models and a professor introduced me to a website called LACASTING where you submit a form that you need a model for a project with the vision and concept you are going for. I worked with models and I gained more connections. When a classmate of mine needed a model, I told them about LACASTING and how it worked. I would make sure to have a professor/professional photographer at an advanced level and also takes photos of the same genre and type of photography that you do to critique your work and tell you what works and where to improve. People think critique is scary, but it is good because at the end of the day, it is about improving your photography. I used to be nervous when someone was critiquing my portfolio, but then I realized that without constructive criticism, my work would not have been good.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photo Credits of Portfolio (image 1-4): Sylvie Damargi Photo Credits of action shot and gallery (image 5-6): Gayane Matulian

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