Abbie Asadi is an award-winning iPhone photographer based in Wiltshire in the UK. She describes her philosophy as ‘community, connection, food and photography’ and shoots across a number of genres including portraiture, product and events. In 2021 she started the Inspiring Women in Business project, where she photographs women running a huge variety of businesses. I spoke with Abbie to find out more about her hugely varied career.
What got you into photography?
It started as a hobby and I’d dabbled with a DSLR and some courses. But it wasn’t until I’d had my children, packed them off to school and had plenty of periodic nudges from family and friends that I decided it was time to do something for myself.
I applied for a job (which I didn’t get) but was asked based on my social media content if I would like to take some photos for a brand and their products. That was my ‘in’ and I’ve been working hard creating and connecting ever since.
Do you have a favourite genre of photography and why?
Food or anything that gathers people together. Throughout my storytelling, one of the main values I try to honour and showcase is that of connection. If you can look at my image and feel connected or see connection, then I’ve fulfilled the brief.
Food has always played a big role in my life. Most of my earliest memories are of sitting around a dinner table or rolling and folding cutlery for my grandmother. My education is within the Hospitality Industry so again, through images and especially those that I shoot for myself, food is a massive extension of who I am and what brings me a lot of joy in this world.
What kind of influences do you draw inspiration from?
It’s second nature now to always be on the lookout for inspiration. It comes in many guises. It could be the way you see shapes or patterns within buildings, the way the light hits an oven tray, my daughter holding her hair in a particular way. I always draw inspiration from my friends who are photographers studying similar and differing genres, and I love creating mood boards on Pinterest.
Do you have any favourite photographers or creative influences that have informed your photographic style, and why?
My celebrity inspiration (if you will) is David Loftus. I’ve always enjoyed his work from the early days with Jamie Oliver and I follow his work across social media. There’s vibrancy, life and love in all the imagery, whether it’s light and bright, or dark and moody, and often the simplicity or rustic style of the photos just gets me totally caught up in it. It feels real and relatable. I’ll work alongside him one of these days.
What kit do you shoot with and what’s your favourite bit of kit?
Currently I shoot with an iPhone 12 Pro Max. I started professionally with an iPhone 11 Pro but have worked my way up through the ranks. I also carry my Fuji Instax with me for fun and to add spontaneous shots (especially if I’m shooting people). It also means that I can give the clients a souvenir to walk away with.
As a female photographer, do you feel that you face any particular challenges? Do you feel that the industry is favourable towards women, or would you like to see any changes?
So far, I’ve not come across any challenges with regards to my gender. Folks are more interested in the fact that I shoot with an iPhone. It often baffles them and I like to challenge their perceptions of what a photographer is. I’ve worked hard on my values over the past couple of years and I now don’t actually describe myself as a photographer but rather as a story teller. I like to let the imagery speak for itself and if you connect with it, great, if you don’t, then keep searching for your person. There’s enough love and work to go around and I don’t feel that there is any bias with me being female.
What advice would you give to budding photographers?
Have a go! Wake up, grab your camera, go exploring and do it just for you, no one else. If you want to, that will come. Don’t get caught up in needing to specify a genre, a style, because who says you can’t do some or all of what you love? You get to decide your journey.
Learn as you go, make mistakes, be open to feedback and reach out to those who inspire you.
You’re never stepping on anyone’s toes. We want to help you to succeed.