#FRESHTODEATH Interview: Reema Desai

Photo credit: Reema Desai Photography


The Cloudy Day Edition, its all about slower movements, quality time, and fresh thinking.  We talk to the expert, Reema Desai, full-time non-profit employee, photographer and do-it-all #GIRLBOSS at Reema Desai Photography.  We're asking her, what "creative" and "photography" really means, in this new digitized (and somewhat commoditized) world.


Tell us about yourself -- what made you start your own photography business?  How do you manage your time between this and your full-time job? 

My name is Reema and I am a freelance photographer based in DC. My focus is mainly on travel, food and lifestyle photography. Aside from doing my photography, I work for a local non-profit and as a Travel Editor for theeverygirl.com. I’ve worked in photography for years, and payed my way through college working for wedding and editorial photographers and for a newspaper. It’s something that I have always loved doing. It wasn’t until I moved to DC, and missed the creative world and photography that I realized I could start my own photography business. Balancing time between my photo work, my work at a non-profit and my work as an editor is admittedly pretty challenging. You definitely have to be ultra-organized, and really love what you do. It can get difficult but making time for myself and being healthy makes it a lot easier to balance.


Amidst the hundreds of photographers out there, how do you keep your portfolio rich with fresh ideas?

It’s really easy to fall into the comparison trap in a field like photography, but the most important thing is to just shoot work that is true to you and your style. I think staying interested in what is going around you and picking up a camera every day (even if it’s just an iPhone) is the best way to keep your work fresh.


What gets your creative juices going and do you think "creativity" is something you can cultivate on-purpose?

I always feel much more creative after I’ve traveled somewhere. It helps so much for me to just experience a chance of scenery and get a new perspective on things. It’s hard to force creativity though! I do find that when I take care of myself, get enough sleep, drink enough water, etc. my mind is generally clearer and it’s easier for me to be creative “on the spot”.


What do you think of modern day technology -- iPhones, Instagram, etc. -- that have immensely impacted the film industry and the way we share content?  

I love mobile photography in general. It’s completely changed my business for the better and I think it certainly has its own place in the photography world. It’s wild to think that an app has generated clients for myself and so many photographers out there. It does level the playing field a little and allows for a lot more people to share content easily. 


Lastly, tell us how you stay fresh, despite your busy schedule!  

My work schedule is pretty crazy at the moment and it is very, very hard to make time to eat right when you’re working 12+ hour days. Having an easy way to get some greens and veggies in is a godsend, thanks to JRINK.  It’s so easy to grab a cold-pressed juice in the morning and be on my way -- which is great.  


Check out Reema's work here and follow along her creative pursuits on Instagram