We had the good fortune of connecting with Gillian Kadhim and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Gillian, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
It was a major risk to start a photography business in such a saturated industry but I realized it is what I love to do. I love taking risks. Risk taking breeds ingenuity and causes us to break our systems down to what works and what doesn’t work. You don’t always succeed, but that’s why it’s a risk. It’s important that we are pushing ourselves beyond what is comfortable or average and building up that idea of what makes us unique. I am still figuring out what makes me unique and finding my niche every day. I will continue to hone in on my style with every shoot and edit and it will change with me. I choose to risk putting myself into my work and sharing it with people then leaving it up to them to interpret it.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My photographic style leans more towards editorial fine art. I am heavily influenced by classic paintings and styles and equally influenced by modern trends and energy. There is no ideal shoot or client for me because I fall in love with the different creative processes of each session. I’m from Los Angeles, where you see all kinds of people and things, and this type of inclusivity shows itself in my work. I want my clients to feel powerful and unique, beautiful and cool, no matter their race, creed, age, size, gender, religious preference…
Getting to where I am professionally took me diving into something absolutely 100%, learning from mistakes quickly, having a constant hunger to learn more, paying a lot of money for gear, business needs and education, putting myself out there and building strong relationships. It was not easy. But nothing worth it is ever easy. I come from humble beginnings and have worked in so many different jobs that I am a bit of a jack of all trades. That has helped a lot.
The ugly side to this profession doesn’t scare me away from keeping it up. I am obsessed. I love the way it makes other people feel about themselves. I want to do this for the rest of my life.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’ll just write up a short itinerary for a week of fun:
Monday- Partial rest day, then eating at Xochi for some delicious Oaxican foods.
Tuesday- Definitely need to start this day off with a trip to the gun range then keep the Texasness going with BBQ from The Pit Room.
Wednesday- Visit the Space Center Houston, check out a local brewery then eat something unique like Afrikoko.
Thursday- Enjoy the sun at East Beach then make sure to get street tacos from Tacos Tierra Caliente food truck.
Friday- Enjoy the Downtown Aquarium
Saturday- Go to an Astros game and afterwards, eat at the vegetarian restaurant Hobbit Cafe
Sunday- I wanted to end my BFFs trip right with some light exercise by walking the trail at Buffalo Bayou Park and she HAS to try Whataburger.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Oh boy. There are two people who I really owe my successes to: my boyfriend, Ray, and my mentor and friend, Mayra. I’ll start with Ray. Our relationship has even ground in the sense that we share in most household tasks, and in parenting. We split the bills up, and are open about everything. So he has been my support and sounding board when I am unsure or just worn out. We all get there, and I am lucky to have him. My dear friend Mayra is an amazing photographer in the Texas hill country (check out Mayra Eads Photography). We met on a styled shoot she had put together and she immediately took me under her wing – even with barely knowing me. She has taught me about the photography and business side of things and has catapulted my experience. I would be absolutely nowhere near the number of weddings shot or connections made without her and her big heart. She is a gem in this industry.
Instagram: @gillian_menzie_photography – https://www.instagram.com/gillian_menzie_photography/
Facebook: Gillian Menzie Photography – https://www.facebook.com/GillianMenziePhotography