I am so excited! I finally had the honor of interviewing Huda Alawi, a brand photographer and creative director based in Phoenix. Although, there is some good news and bad news.

Here’s the good news: I had a wonderful time chatting with Huda, and she made some AMAZING points that I can’t wait to touch on.

The bad news: I had such a wonderful time chatting with her about her business and work as a photographer, that I didn’t realize my screen wasn’t recording! To say this was a disappointment was an understatement. My head was screaming noooooooo as I desperately searched for the interview that was never recorded. Although, the world is not ending (even though in the moment, it definitely felt that way!). Thankfully, Huda managed to capture a picture of our little moment after the interview was over!

thatDespite the technical difficulties faced on both ends, I’m so grateful to Huda for taking the time to chat with me about herself and her career. One thing I have learned from interviewing women is that there is something to be learned from everyone! Each one of us has a story to tell, and Huda’s story is just as fascinating to me.

Huda made such a great impression on me that I still remember some of the great points she made! I even told her during the interview that I felt as if I was listening to a TED talk. It definitely felt like one! She is a very eloquent speaker and is very easy to talk to. I’ll do my best to capture those few nuggets of wisdom and inspiration Huda gave me during our interview. Overall, there are three things that I learned from chatting with Huda. But first, here’s a little bit about her story!

Huda was born in Saudia Arabia, and eventually, she moved to the U.S. and ended up attending high school in Cincinnati, Ohio. She graduated from college with a degree in Communication. After graduating, she felt that it wasn’t time to jump right into a career and decided to travel instead! She traveled and lived in many different countries including Chile and Sydney, Australia where she lived for four years! Huda had a sales job in Australia which led her to do photography work with brands and businesses. She also had a professor who told her that she had an eye for photography. So, she combined these two things about herself – her career in sales and her talent for photography – and those two things eventually influenced her to start her own photography business! Now, she has been running her photography business for three years.

Something I really love about Huda is that she used the skills and talents she already possessed and turned them into a business! She recognized her talent for photography (as pointed out by a professor) and knew that it was something she had always been interested in. So, she found an opportunity and seized it!

I can tell how passionate Huda is about photography from the way she spoke about it. Being able to capture a moment in time with people and businesses is truly special! That’s what photography allows you to do. Huda said she will look back on old pictures of herself and is reminded that she does change! As a photographer, you get to capture those moments in time not only for people but for businesses as well. And Huda is absolutely fantastic at this: if you haven’t looked up her business yet, definitely go check it out! Huda also has some amazing work on her Instagram @hudashoots.

There are SO many wonderful takeaways I have from interviewing Huda, but here are my three favorites.

1. If you don’t know where to start, just start!

When I asked Huda what her advice is for other young women who might be interested in owning a photography business, I was pleasantly surprised by her answer. “Just start!” she said. I love that! You have to start somewhere, and Huda reminded me of this. Everyone starts at ground zero. There isn’t any shortcut to success.

Huda talked about how she just took the leap and started her photography business. And because she did so, she actually has a business! If she had just thought about it and talked about her great idea, she wouldn’t have a business today. One thing I learned from Huda is that it is vital to take action! So for those of us who have great ideas but haven’t quite started working on them, let’s take Huda’s advice and JUST START! You can’t ever learn, grow, and make mistakes if you never try anything new. If you never try, then you are guaranteed to fail.

2. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Time is limited, but you have more than you think!

Another good point Huda made is that time is limited, but you still have so much! She talked about how as she has gotten older, she has become more aware of time. After graduating college, she decided to travel the world! I think it’s amazing how Huda has traveled and lived in so many different places from Australia to Chile and Saudia Arabia. Huda said that time is limited, but you have more than you think! I think this is great because it’s a reminder to take time to discover ourselves and explore.

I am inspired by Huda because of the way she has spent her time traveling the world, starting a business, using her talents to touch the lives of others, and living life to the fullest! If you think about it, we all have the same 24 hours in a day, yet our lives are all vastly different. How you spend your time is really up to you! We can follow Huda’s example and use our time and talents to create and share things and discover all that this world has to offer, or we can waste away our days doing things that don’t really matter. The time is there, so what are we going to do with it?

3. Stop comparing yourself to other people, there’s always going to be someone better than you. Do what’s right for you.

Finally, the last takeaway I got from interviewing Huda was this: stop comparing yourself to other people! I feel like women especially tend to compare themselves to other women. Whatever it is that we are comparing, whether it is the size of our dress or the number of followers we have on social media, we just need to stop!

When I asked Huda about her social media following and how it has helped her business, I was amazed by her answer. Huda said she never started a photography business with the intent of being an influencer. I love that! Huda is authentic, and I think that is one of the traits that has made her successful. She explained to me that if she had focused on what other photographers were doing and comparing the size of her following to theirs, she wouldn’t have a business! I think that is so true. In order to be successful, you have to be authentic and you have to do what’s right for you.

Overall, I learned so many great things from interviewing Huda Alawi. I’m inspired by her confidence, authenticity, and success as a woman business owner. If you want to learn more about Huda or are inspired by her work as a photographer, definitely go check out her website here!

Also, a huge thank-you to Huda for taking the time out of her schedule to share her advice with young women! Even though our chat may not have been recorded, I hope the advice she gave will continue to inspire women for years to come.