Najibe Kirameddine is a teacher and photographer. she also owns a small side business that sells cotton candy & snow cones for large events. Her photography company is Kirameddine Photography, and she started this business six years ago. She does a wide range of photography, but her favourite shoots are family, engagement, and headshots. She is located mainly in Leduc but often travels to Edmonton, Beaumont, and Wetaskiwin. What makes her unique is that she loves solving problems, a skill she brings to her jobs as a photographer and math teacher.
When did you start your business? What was your mission at the start of your company?
I started my company in 2016 as I have always wanted to be a photographer. When I had my first child, my husband bought me my first crop sensor lens, Canon 70D, so I could start capturing her, Alhumdulilah.
Why did you choose this industry?
I chose this industry as I love looking back at my old photographs with my kids and reminiscing about my childhood. I also fell in love with it in my high school photography class. One specific moment was when I developed a black-and-white photograph and learned how to colour the image with chalk. I still remember the gigantic tree in the picture and me colouring it green.
Would you say you reached all your goals since you started, or do you have more to achieve?
I still have more to achieve. I want to expand my sessions. I am creating an indoor studio in my house to incorporate portrait shots of kids. Their uniqueness is just too captivating when you see the photos post-shoot. That is my favourite part, by the way, editing the images. The subject makes you joyful when you get “The Shot.” Mashallah.
How much of yourself do you dedicate to your business? In terms of time, money, creativity etc.
I have dedicated over $10K in my equipment and don’t see it stopping soon. I never stop thinking about what I can do next for ideas on what I want to shoot. I am constantly researching new ways to position people & groups in my viewfinder. Right now, I mainly do my sessions with clients on the weekend.
What type of personality or attitude would you say defines your business?
Empowering is how I would like to define how I work with my client. Too often, my clients ask me to make them skinnier, smooth out their skin, or change something in them, and I can’t, as they are amazing as who they are. Mashallah!
Who is your target market or potential customers?
Anyone really, If I had to choose families, kid portraits, headshots, and engagement sessions. I also get hired a lot for capturing large events like Islamic Relief and Cystic Fibrosis.
Tell us more about yourself (family, background, education etc.)
I am 39 years old, married, a mother of 2 kids (alhamdulillah), Muslim, and graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Education. I am currently teaching high school math at an Outreach.
How do you juggle photography and educating all at once? What struggles have you encountered, and what have been the rewards?
I am VERY organized. I have my Google Calendar with me everywhere. My main focus is my kids, and then I branch out from there. When I have a client who wants to book me, I schedule myself around my primary career, teaching, and my children. I work evenings, weekends, and most holidays. So far, Alhamdulillah, I haven’t had a time where I couldn’t take on a client.
What do you like most about Photography? What’s your favourite camera? And why?
My favourite would be interacting with my clients and editing the photos. Editing is so much fun to make my clients “pop” and become the main focus. I would say my Canon 5d Mark III so far. I have worked with the 6D Mark II and the 70D and found that the Canon 5D Mark III is most accurate to colour and sharper when taking photos.
What’s been your favourite shoot so far?
My favourite photo shoot would have to be all my family sessions. They are all different in the best ways, which keeps me interested in wanting to take them again and again.
What’s your favourite part of teaching?
There are a few things:
1. When my students learn that making a mistake, even in front of others, is OKAY. Make more and keep making them, as this is how we are supposed to learn. Making mistakes needs to be the norm, and we must eliminate the idea that you must be perfect on the first try. I hate the pressure students put on themselves that if they don’t get it on the first try, they are “not smart.” I make mistakes daily, but I learn from them and apply what I have learned through my trials to improve on what I can do so I don’t struggle in the future. The struggle needs to happen, or we won’t evolve.
2. All the relationships that I have made throughout my years by connecting with others who challenge me to keep learning. This includes my students, as I love being challenged to differentiate my teaching practices towards the individual instead of making them fit into a box.
3. So, I am a bit of a nerd. I love math. My family and I do the math for fun, as I love math. It doesn’t mean that I am working on quadratic functions or worksheets every minute that I have. It could be as simple as challenging my kids with basic math facts so we make math fun. Sometimes it is a simple math board game (as all board games have some math in them). I was just part of a math session and have learned that I need to up my game to make math even more fun in my house and classroom. I am excited about how I can make math a subject that more than a handful want to do.
Where can people find you online?
Website coming soon: www.kirameddinephotography.com