We had the good fortune of connecting with Sylvie Damargi and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Sylvie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I believe that the most important factor behind my success/the success of my brand is to be nice, respectful, and professional. I took a class in college and one thing that stood out to me the difference between a professional versus an amateur photographer is how they behave towards their clients and not just about the age, degree, or level of experience. I feel that a lot of people underestimate me because I am only 22 that just graduated from college and think that I don’t have a lot of experience. In reality, I do have a lot of experience and I accomplished goals that I had such as working with models, being published in magazines, and having my photos displayed at an art gallery twice and more and when I tell people my accomplishments, they are really surprised. I do believe as a photographer that has their own business think that it is important to be nice to people so they refer others to you. Listening to a client’s wants and needs is an important factor because you want them to be satisfied with the results. Being professional is crucial from being prepared to the way photographers communicate with their clients. Before doing a photoshoot, I think of a concept and put together a moodboard of the vision I am going for. I make sure that I have my cameras, all of my lens, batteries fully charged, and SD cards empty. If you don’t have your equipment with you at the shoot, it will not look good. Being professional does not only mean being prepared, but behaving nice towards others even if they are rude because at the end of the day, you don’t want your reputation to be damaged and ruined.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Before becoming a photographer, I wanted to do pharmacy. Then a professor told me that before pursing a career, look at what people in that profession do to see if you like it or not. Then I decided that I wanted to be a photographer because I like traveling to new places, meeting people, and taking pictures! To be honest, it was not easy because I come from a family where almost everyone is a dentist and me being in the photo industry was new and I had to start everything from scratch. So I picked up my camera and took many photos that I thought were interesting. I experimented with different genres of photography such as sports, events, portrait, fashion, editorial, commercial, photojournalism, and more. I narrowed it down and realized that I enjoyed doing fashion, editorial, portrait, and commercial photography. When I was doing fashion photography, I was having friends be my models. Then I started photographing professional models and submit photos to magazines. My photos have been published in a lot of fashion magazines which I was really happy about. Then I have worked with brands that asked me to photograph their products and clothes. I am proud of myself that I stepped out of my comfort zone because it made me I grow as a person. For example, I am proud that I have actually worked with models and got published in magazines and people can take me seriously as a photographer. Lessons I have learned along the way is to always practice, practice, practice. The more I practiced my photography, the more I learned and saw what I was doing good and areas that I needed to improve and the type of photography I wanted to do. I have learned that as a photographer, it is not just about pressing the shutter button; it’s about knowing where to position the light and the physics of it, understanding how the camera functions, and communicating to people your vision. Another important lesson that I have learned is that not everyone you are going to meet is going to be nice, but still be respectful back because you don’t want your reputation to be damaged. I want the world to know about me and my brand and story is that do what you are passionate about and to never give up even if you are starting from scratch.

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.
If my best friend was visiting LA, I would take them to 85 Degree Cafe, Dave’s Hot Chicken, Teddy’s Tacos, Bottega Louie, 626 Night Market and Trader Joe’s because they have really good dessert snacks. Places I would take my friend to hang out are, LACMA, The Broad, and the Pasadena City Hall. I would take them to the beach to relax.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to dedicate a huge shoutout to my mom for being there and supporting me and without her, I would not have been where I am today with my accomplishments. My family, friends, and teachers that cheer me on and celebrate the goals I have achieved. I want to thank my professor Chris O’Leary for pushing me to do better and improving my work. I want to thank my models that have helped me reach my goal and vision. Last, but not least, I want to thank god.

Website: sdphotographyla.wixsite.com/sdphoto

Instagram: @sdphotographyla

Image Credits
Photos of me at the art gallery and behind the scenes: Gayane Matulian

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.