We had the good fortune of connecting with Hasan Yousef and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hasan, why did you pursue a creative career?
The plan heading into College had always been to get some degree that would land me a job that paid good enough to where I could fund my own hobby in Photography and Videography. I thought I’d continue doing that until it reached a point where I didn’t need that original job anymore and I could be financially set and free to pursue my hobby as a full time job. As we all know, things never really turn out exactly as we plan and after some health problems I had dropped out of College completely. After that, I realized I didn’t want to waste so much time and put so much effort into something I didn’t even have a passion for apart from monetary gain. I’ve always been very good at just adapting to things on the spot and so I invested nearly all the money I had into my camera equipment and threw myself head first into building a business. I started practicing taking photos of everything until I found my own style and got good enough to where I felt comfortable to start charging for my skills. Now, photography is my full time job and I absolutely love it. Since I’m so passionate about it, it truly doesn’t feel like I’m ever working a day in my life, I just go out and do what I love and am able to market it to people and create value to them from my art.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love shooting Street, Product, and Food photography. My style is usually pretty moody but I also like incorporating people into my photos, especially when it comes to food. You’ll see a lot of pictures of food where it’s just a flat lay or straight on shot and although that’s great and works it gets boring if you never see how people actually interact with the food. When I first started I honestly didn’t know what I was doing but would network myself and learn as I went. As different clients asked for different things from their previous experiences with photographers, I’d take those things they asked for, research them, learn how to do them, and then apply that with my other/future clients. One huge thing I learned is that for anyone wanting to get into freelance work, you need to learn about contracts and write one for your services and have people agree and sign it before you do anything for them. People will try to get the most out of you for as little as possible so you need to know how much you’re work is worth and have them agree to it. For people that are into any form of art but are told constantly that it’s just a hobby, maybe it is your hobby but you really can make a living off of it if you continue to improve your skills and find a way to monetize it. All I’d like from this career is to inspire other people to pick up photography and share the love I have for my passion or simply for them to enjoy the work I produce.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would get breakfast at Urban Eats, not only do they have great food but the view from their patio is amazing. You can see the skyline of the city and at night it’s an awesome place for some drinks. I love going to Buchanan’s as well, it’s a plant store in the Heights and even if you don’t buy anything it’s very peaceful and their Green House is so pretty. I also absolutely love eating pho and a really cool spot to get some is The Pho Fix, it’s in The Underground Hall which is in downtown and we’ll it’s underground so it’s a cool spot that has great food. You can rent a bike and go riding around buffalo bayou park or walk from the park to the aquarium. There’s also going to be a new place called Post Houston opening up in November which is going to be so nice, their rooftop has trees and grass and you can see downtown. There’s also a bunch of stores and restaurants inside and even a music hall! While there you can stop by Lucy Pearl’s and eat some amazing cake and if you get to meet the owners they’re the funniest and sweetest people ever. In montrose there’s the Technicolor Night Market which is a really cool event where you can try different types of food and chill with friends and then go thrifting after.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My best friend Edward has always believed in and supported me and now we’re also working together on building a business.