By Maha Asif Rizwan
Talented photographer, globetrotter, full time mom, and our latest style crush, Muzi Sufi is the face behind the lens of many beautifully captured fashion campaigns. Her photographs are a glance into her artistic vision and her Instagram is a proof of the exhilarating life she leads. Juggling a career that takes her across the world, Muzi (unlike other photographers) has managed to capture more than what the fashion world has to offer; her photo series depict the bond she has built with her art and her heart. So amidst her summer trips – some spent working and others exploring – we couldn’t help but ask her, how do you do it all?
From photographer and traveller to being a mom – how do you manage it all?
It’s a whirlwind! I love being all three of those things, but it does get tough, especially being a mom and keeping the balance. I think it helps that I’ve spent my life moving around quite a bit. I’ve lived in seven countries, some more than once, so I’m accustomed to a certain level of “gypsy living”.
You’re more than just a fashion photographer.What inspires you to continue doing what you do?
I love the flexibility of my job. I love that I don’t have to sit at a desk from 9-5. I love the rush of creating something I’m proud of and the best part is, that it doesn’t go away! I also find it empowering to be able to have a platform on which I can express myself and that people are actually inspired by it. It’s honestly so flattering and rewarding.
Your Instagram and Blog has a particularly intriguing photo series called #BeautyIsMemory. What is the idea behind that?
It’s more of a realization. I found it in me somewhere between this artless digital age of countless options of photographs/selfies and my fascination for analog photography. I’m slowing down, thinking about what I want to keep in my memory forever, and carefully using up each image of a 35mm roll of film.
I’ve found the art I was losing.
Now, I carefully curate the exact streets, people and memories I want to remember. It’s a concept of actually thinking before photographing something beautiful. Why is this beautiful? Why do I want to remember this? I’m extending these thoughts into somewhat of a blog, hopefully I won’t get lazy with it.
Most people find it difficult to travel with their toddler, but you’ve managed to create another photo series out of the experience called #LittleGirlSeeTheWorld. What would you say is the best part of travelling the world with your daughter?
I LOVE that we’re blessed enough to show her the world. She’s a dream girl and parents do the best they can to give everything to their children. I want to introduce her to different cultures and teach her what respect and humanity is from all walks of life. It’s so rewarding for me as well, to be so hands on.
It’s easy coming from our culture to have the option of travelling with help, and while it has its obvious benefits, there’s nothing like the bond you have when it’s just you and your baby. You’re like best friends and cool flatmates! I know she’s just 18 months but it’s honestly how I feel, although she’s going to kill me for taking her so many places when she can’t even remember.
As a fashion photographer competing in a cut throat industry, how do you work towards being better?
Evolve. Do what makes you happy. Go everywhere, see everything. When you learn to love yourself and your work, others will love it too. The minute I stopped comparing myself to other people, I found beauty in even the simplest of things. And I think that beauty translates into what I want to photograph.
What are your five fashion staples when you’re travelling?
It’s different every trip to be honest. You can never go wrong with lace; beach or city it’s a definite staple. Cropped jeans and solid pastel shirts. I’m really into long dresses these days – you can roll them down into a skirt for a more festival look as well. And kitten heels – they’re perfect because you’ve suddenly gone from casual to chic in under two inches and they’re comfortable enough to walk in all day.
Tell us something about yourself that no one knows.
I don’t read books. I mean I’ve definitely read books during school; literature and mythology have inspired me in a lot of my photographs. But I haven’t really read anything in many years. It’s quite sad, but I’m too visual to appreciate it. Every time I try to read a book, if I’m not totally engrossed by page 3, it’s over.
You play a lot of inspiring roles in your life, which one of them would you rather be famous for?
Mom and wife; daughter and sister. Family is everything and success should be measured in how beautifully you maintain your close relationships. Everything else is secondary.