We love to feature those who break the mould, think outside the box, and strive for something amazing, and that’s just what this week’s Dream Job Diary entry, Akram Hamdan is and did!
Akram Hamdan is a 25-year-old photographer and art director based in Halifax, NS. He attended Dalhousie University graduating with a degree in urban design, as well as NSCAD where he studied photography. Developing a unique take on portraiture photography early on has led to his success, including being selected to shoot Netflix’s Toronto-based set of The Umbrella Academy, as part of the Grammasters North program.
So we thought we would chat with this young and super talented gent to get some insight into what it’s like being Akram and what’s led to his early success.
WHAT’S YOUR DREAM JOB? (AKA WHY ARE YOU FEATURED TODAY)
Doing what I love full time! Photography for a company as big as Netflix or art direction and photography for a fashion magazine/major online publication would be a dream.
WHAT IS YOUR OFFICIAL TITLE?
My official title is Artist because I think there is overlap in many of the things I am involved in. I love fashion and photography, but also like to get into directing as well. All those fields, in my opinion, complement one another.
HOW DID YOU MAKE IT HAPPEN? (THE SHORT FORM)
A lot of hard work! Nothing comes easy in this industry. You have to stick with it, work hard and just believe in yourself.
I believe my work ethic was one of the main reasons I was selected for Netflix’s Grammasters North program. Seeing my photography appear on Netflix Canada’s Instagram, where over 180,000 people can see it, is proof that being dedicated and continuing to work towards your goals pays off.
DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL, THE SCHOOL OF LIFE, OR A COMBINATION OF THE TWO?
I did attend school. I have a degree in urban design, which I guess taught me a little bit, and I took one photography class later on too. Also, a lot of the things I know came after school, so I guess a combination of the two – more so the school of life.
WHAT ACHIEVEMENT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?
I’m still quite young and to be honest, I’d like to think there is still a lot ahead of me. But no doubt the Netflix Grammasters North gig has been one of my greatest achievements yet. It was such an amazing opportunity to meet the cast, especially Ellen Page who, like me, happens to be from Nova Scotia.
WHAT’S YOUR LATEST VENTURE?
I wouldn’t say venture, but I recently took a trip to NYC for the very first time. As an artist, I think everyone should visit that city once in their life. It was just so eye-opening and inspiring.
From a career standpoint, I have been working on some pretty exciting shoots with some high-profile brands – which actually stemmed from the Grammasters North work I did. The program really helped get my name out there.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR SECRET TO SUCCESS?
My secret to success is that there is no secret. Just be yourself and the hard work will pay off.
IF YOU HAD ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR SOMEONE STARTING OUT IN YOUR FIELD, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL THEM?
Don’t care too much about what others think, focus on your art. If you make mistakes, it’s not the end of the world.
Thanks to Akram for chatting with us!