Mohammed emphasizing beauty in cultural fashion through photography

Camila Villarreal, Executive Editorial Page Editor

Coppell High School senior Yusra Mohammed uses her love and talent for photography to showcase many cultural fashions and appreciation for styles throughout various eras. Mohammed displays her photography on social media and earns money by scheduling bookings with clients in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. She is currently working on starting a magazine titled Meridian Magazine, which has received submissions from places such as Scotland, Ireland, England and Australia. Mohammed has been featured in four publications: Picton Magazine, BeautyMute Magazine, RED HOT MONDE Magazine and Vigour Magazine

How did you get your start in photography?

About four or five years ago, I just started taking pictures of still life on my phone, but after a while, I began styling and making my pictures more aesthetic with more objects incorporated. I saved up for a camera and started working with my friends in photoshoots. After that, I started focusing on fashion and explored that path more and more. 

What do you focus on when taking photos?

I focus on the skin tones of my models because different ranges of shades should be shown off for their beauty. When I shoot, I do my best to bring out the inner beauty of [the model’s] individuality. 

What do you use for inspiration during shoots?

My biggest inspiration for photography is a photographer named Jessica Kobeissi. In terms of fashion, I love taking pictures of gowns and dresses, so when I see an era that catches my eye, I like to base the fashion in my photoshoots off of it – something like the Renaissance Era, for example. I definitely do a lot of research so I can get the look I want to have. 

What is your favorite shoot you have ever had?

I worked with a sustainable designer from Project Runway named Nathalia JMag. The whole shoot with her was very fun because she designs her own clothing and it’s a very extravagant style, so it was just a fun experience to see and get to be a part of. 

Where do you get your models? 

I work with modeling agencies, so I typically get models that fall within the 13 to 35-year-old range. But I also get different types of models. Sometimes Internet bloggers, sometimes moms with their kids and sometimes a family event. On my Instagram is just my fashion work. 

What does your family think about your photography work?

It took a while to convince my parents that this is something I enjoy doing a lot. I started this business pretty young, so I relied on my parents to drive me places. My dad would always say I was putting photography before more important things like my schoolwork, but I’ve always considered this hobby to come after those things. Slowly, the priorities started to change as photography became more important to me, but I’m pretty good at planning out my day so I can get more than one thing done at a time. My family is onboard now, but it took a while to get there. 

Other than photography, what takes up most of your day?

I’m on the varsity debate team, so I have to plan my week around that a lot. My upstart magazine also takes up a big chunk of my time, because I always have to be answering emails and maintaining the magazine as it starts to grow. The majority of my weekends are just me editing [photos] too. For client work, editing takes me about 15 minutes per photo, but for my fashion work that I do with models, it can take me anywhere from one hour to five hours for a photo. 

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