We had the good fortune of connecting with Arian Mahboubian and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Arian, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I had never imagined my photography career to take off the way it has been, let alone even think I could turn my photography passion into my own business. The first year taking photos was mainly scenic with lots of landscape images of adventuring out into California’s Eastern Sierras, escaping the city life and seeing what nature has to offer. Any chance I got I would take the drive and be in some of the most remote places. Little by little I gained attention from family, friends, and colleagues. I was being asked to take family photos, birthdays, and other various celebrations; next thing you know I’m working on fashion, products, and more. Growing up, my direction in life was limited with the lack of inspiration and guidance; photography gave me that inspiration I needed to guide myself into a profession I not only love, but also one that has brought me a sense of purpose I was desperately craving.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Nothing comes easy in life. There have been many occasions where I experienced failure, but one thing is certain; I don’t give up easy and I thrive from failing, especially when there is constructive criticism behind it. I have always been open to hearing others opinions and truly listening to what one might need out of a session, or even compassionately interested in life/well being in general. Empathy and apathy have helped me separate myself from my competition. I love to work in tandem with my clients to help achieve what they desire; what I offer in return is my expertise in lighting, composition, professionalism, and friendliness, thats what truly helps bring back my clients and introduce any new ones. As much as I love shooting, my biggest lesson to this day is learning how to say no to shoots that cannot compensate for my time, but this doesn’t stop me from coming up with solutions, or referrals, that can help everyone involved.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I prefer to cook for my friends. From barbecuing things on the grill, to making sushi or tacos at home; whatever they want, its more personal for me. If I did have a list of restaurants and places to eat, it would be the following: Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery in Santa Monica, Teddy’s Red Tacos in Venice, Cha Cha Chicken in Santa Monica, Broxton Brewery in Westwood Village, Bone Kettle in Pasadena, Mini Kabob in Glendale, Happy Taco near DTLA, and Mendocino Farms near The Grove on Fairfax. Depending if the friend visiting has never been to LA, I’d take them to all the iconic places and monuments, from Muscle Beach, the top of Griffith Observatory, to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I too like to be a tourist in my own city sometimes, there is so much history and art to see, but if its not their first time in LA, and they’re over all the hype, I usually go outdoors and experience nature, even venture outside the city. Santa Monica Beach, Temescal Canyon, the Malibu canyons hiking trails with some of the most gorgeous views; sometimes I forget we are less than an hour from the city, yet still feeling remote from the rest.
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?
A huge shout out to Santa Monica College and their elite team of professors and mentors who have given me the knowledge to sharpen my skills and develop my craft into something more prestigious. If it wasn’t for them and the life long, talented friends I made being at school, I don’t think I would have been as confident to want to compete in such a competitive and over saturated career choice. The education and the impact it had with my success really paved the way with not only helping me understand lighting on set, but also the light I have within myself. Light is how we, as photographers, paint our canvas.