Last year, or last season, I don’t know which sounds fancier, probably season. Last season I interviewed amazing photographer, writer and inspiring human being Hannah Siddiqui to try and get answers to all my questions about the world. I remember her telling me about astrology, right before literally opening my eyes by teaching me what “cis-gendered” meant and all the kinds of priviledges out there… We talked about so many different things that I can’t possibly sum it all up. What I do remember though is being struck by her vulnerability and how honestly she shared all her stories to the stranger that I was. As an interviewer, people like Hannah are literal gold. So having tons of questions to ask her and only one hour to do so, I asked her if she’d like to come back on the show later, which she accepted… And here we are!
I know I probably say that way too often but this is the best episode so far and you don’t want to miss out.
Hannah and I talked a lot about what it is like to be a creative person and deal with our emotion, and then progressively got into the business side of it all. Like… We actually talked money, which is usually a big taboo for everyone but maybe even more in the creative industry. Now the reason we talked about isn’t that we suddenly turned into money-driven monsters who only “practice their art” to get rich and famous, but because Hannah brought us there by saying a phrase that caught my attention.
Know Your Worth
When she started out as a photographer, Hannah told me that she would work for very low prices, with clients that were disrespectful of her work and sometimes straight up mean. Some even threatened to sue her because they didn’t get the exact picture they wanted… Even though they paid half the price they should have paid for what they got. She was still happy doing it because she was getting paid taking picture, which was amazing to her. She thought she was lucky already to make a little money doing that, until she talked to her father, an entrepreneur, who taught her an important lesson. He told her that she HAD to up her prices because she was working for less than what she was worth, and that her fear of losing clients was not well-founded. I mean, sure, she would lose those clients she had – clients who obviously toxic and did not appreciate her work as they should – but she would make new ones in the process, new customers that are ready to pay a higher price for higher quality pictures and find her work worth a few hundred dollars more.
It was obviously hard for her to make that switch but now, looking back, she told me that this not only helped her career and finances (as she could afford new gear etc) but changed the way she works and sees her work. Why? Well because the clients she now gets aren’t the same as she got before. No one threatens her, they are nice… So naturally she enjoys working with them a lot more. The interesting thing here is that her talent and passion have not changed at all. Her pictures are probably just as good but changing the way she looks at them and really assuming their worth has helped her enjoy taking them a lot more!
New Projects And Staying Busy
Another thing that always gets me when talking to Hannah is when I ask her “so what are you up to these days?” and she gives me a 5 minutes answer in which she talks about 157 different projects that she’s currently working on. It’s always inspiring to talk to her because as busy as she is right now, she still finds time to think about new projects and actually get them started… Which I’m personally not the best at. I am gradually trying to improve that and I would be lying if I said that following her on Instagram and even talking to her once in a while has not helped me do that. I now have a podcast AND an ACTIVE YouTube channel while working on other projects that will come in 2020, and knowing that there are people out there like Hannah who do it too helps me stay hopeful and positive. Yes, it’s possible. Yes, I can do it. Because she did it and she is not a superhero, just a super motivated human being, trying to do things she enjoys for a living.
So if there is one thing to remember after listening to this episode -and the previous one too, give me them listens guys – it’s probably this: It is vital to know what you are worth as a creative and as a human being in your everyday life, in order to make sure you don’t sell yourself short. Once you do that, everything is possible, and all you can make all your projects come to life if you are as dedicated as Hannah!