We had the good fortune of connecting with Yasmin Tajik and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Yasmin, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Photography was a long time hobby of mine, and it wasn’t until I finished my Masters in Business Administration that I started taking it more seriously. As I was learning more and refining my skill set, I was working a full time job as well as working 1 day a week for a local photography studio. I was really fortunate that the studio owner took me under her wing and became my mentor. Up until then I was considered the family archivist for my own family, documenting family activities, learning about my family heritage and ancestors, and using that to form a deeper understanding of who I am and my family roots. Photography became the avenue for my to do and offer the same for others. So when the time came to start my photography business, I wanted to choose a name that reflected my culture and heritage, and took Shalimar from the famed Shalimar Gardens in Lahore, Pakistan. Thus Shalimar Studios was born to photograph and capture family portraits and life events that will be cherished for generations to come.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I think for a lot of artists as we evolve and gather more life experience, our art evolves as well. My photography studio will always be based on creating contemporary and heirloom family portraiture and documenting important family events and milestones. Since starting Shalimar Studios, it has grown from the Las Vegas market to now encompassing the Scottsdale/Phoenix area. And now includes portrait niches such as Editorial Personal Branding, Fitness and most recently Equestrian Portraiture.
For me, I feel very lucky to have a business background having received my MBA, and then finding a mentor specific to the photography industry. My academic background is what really drives me to always research, learn more and practice so that I’m proficient in my craft, and be an early adopter to innovative tech so that I can provide the best quality of product for my clients. That includes upgrading cameras, lenses, on-site and off-site archive storage, continuing to be a student of entrepreneurship and staying informed of what is happening in my industry. I firmly believe the more I know about how and what tools are available, the better I can create impactful images for my clients.
The road to where I am now was not easy, and as any business owner will tell you, there are long hours, no days off, and it is my passion for photography that drives me to continually be in learning and growth modes. Any challenge to me can be overcome through being as educated as I can, whether it be the legalities of copyright, sales tax, or any other business responsibility, to testing new gear, knowing what is on the market so that I can best serve my clients and finding the highest quality to preserve and document precious life moments.
From all this, I want the world to know that Shalimar Studios strives to take every day moments and turn them into art that will far outlive us. The portraits we create are the pictorial narrative of our lives, and will tell our stories for generations to come. I like to think that our grandchildren’s grandchildren will be fighting over these portraits.
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?
I love the variety that the state of Arizona showcases. It goes far beyond the iconic saguaros, so introducing friends and visitors to all parts of Arizona is very exciting. I think for restaurants I would definitely take them to great healthy options such as True Food, Herb Box and Sumo Maya. The variety of restaurants with outdoor patios also makes for such a pleasant evening, especially if we’re treated to an iconic Arizona desert sunset. For around the valley, I would take them to walk around Old Town, visit the Desert Botanical Garden, drive the Bush Lake Highway and look for wild horses, and maybe spend some time out on one of the lakes. If time permits, I would most definitely take them to Sedona for some hiking and Pink Jeep Tour, and to the Grand Canyon. I’d also drive them through Rim Country to see the largest Ponderosa Pine Stand in the world.