We had the good fortune of connecting with Mehreen Mahida and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Mehreen, how do you think about risk?
Risk is definitely a much needed factor in achieving any goal, but especially a creative one. From raising your prices, to investing in yourself, to trying out a new process, everything has the ability to work in ways you never thought possible or end up being a step backward. But, it is always all about perspective. Sometimes you get stuck in the same routine and need to try something new. That “something new” may not work out, but more than likely, you’ve learned a new skill that you can apply to a different aspect of your life. Taking that step back was necessary to take two steps forward.
The outcome of taking these risks led to some amazing outcomes (getting recognized by TELFAR will always live rent free in my mind), but one that stands out was getting scouted by POPTIZED magazine (ig: @poptizedmag) after the owner at the time had seen my “Love Me Please” creative shoot. I worked as their creative director, but by the end of the year I had the opportunity to take it over with my now CO-CEO Alyssa Yung (ig: @_alyssayung_).
What should our readers know about your business?
I specialize in portrait photography. Whether it’s studio, couples, lifestyle, creative, branded, or whatever else you could think of, I am here to make it a reality! I love to work with clients to create a moodboard of poses, colors, styling, and dream locations, so they know exactly what kind of look we are aiming for. I remember in school pictures, I was always being edited 10 shades lighter than my actual skin tone or extremely orange. Sadly, the idea that editing and settings are NOT one skin color fits all, is not yet a universal concept. So, something that was really important to me when I started building my portfolio was to make sure it was representative of everyone and to ensure everyone was being represented accurately.
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?
This question makes me laugh because if you were to ask me it a year ago I would not have been able to think of a single thing. My hometown in the Southbay was a place I was very excited to leave after spending my entire life there, but now, I think it has nearly anything you could want from a coastal city.
A couple of spots to grab a bite would be my favorite coffee shop, Corridor flow, for a morning with coffee and a book, and Yellow Vase in Malaga Cove for lunch. A few pretty iconic movies were filmed at my highschool so that’s definitely a must, along with an afternoon spent walking in Old Torrance (especially when it’s the time of the monthly antique fair). Finally, I would not let anyone leave without exploring the Palos Verdes cliffs.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to shout out my model in crime, Mars (@groovychi). We knew of each other in highschool and when I wanted to start taking photography more seriously, they were the first person I reached out to in July of 2019. We did a couple of shoots a month for nearly a year, became good friends, and built our platforms together. But overall, it was just a ton of fun. I am incredibly grateful to have worked and grown with them.
Other: POPTIZED magazine: poptized.com
Single Portrait taken by Mars Azinge (ig: @groovychi) Remaining photos: Mehreen Mahida