This month—the unofficial peak of wedding season—we’re profiling a diverse set of wedding photographers across the ONA community. Today we speak with London-based Zohaib Ali (@zohaibali.co.uk), who specializes in destination weddings and expansive, awe-inspiring portraits. Read his full Q&A and see selections from his portfolio below.
Zohaib carries the nylon Bowery bag.
Name: Zohaib Ali
Hometown: London, UK
Go-to gear: Canon 5D IV, 85mm 1.2, 70-200mm f2.8, Profoto B2.
Describe your aesthetic in five words or less: Contemporary, chic, pastel, effortless, honest.
Biggest creative influence: I look for inspiration from outside of my industry. This can be everyday art, magazines, fashion campaigns etc.
What motivates you: The reaction I get from my clients when I’m able to create and document the most important day of their lives. The smiles and emotion is what motives me the most.
Biggest challenge: Controlling my ADHD! I have the smallest of attention spans and find my brain works at a million times a minute. Controlling that and using it to my benefit is the biggest challenge.
Mistake you’ve learned from: Being over creative when not needed. As artists we can often over think things which sometimes stop us from seeing beauty in simplicity. Realising that has been my biggest learning curve.
One piece of advice that stuck with you: Never let someone tell you that you can’t do something. There is always a way.
Time of day are you most creative: Sunrise and sunset! I just love chasing light. When I find that light I just can’t stop myself!
One thing most people wouldn’t expect about you? I’m extremely camera shy myself. I hate having my photos taken!
Things you can’t live without: Food, my laptop & the lady I’m proud to be marrying this year.
One piece of work you are most proud of: It has to be a shoot I did in the hills of Tuscany a couple of years back. It was technically challenging but I managed to create some unique images. One of which received a finalist winner at WPPI.
Most recent “a-ha” moment: It has to be the dual pixel tracking on my Canon 5D IV – Ive fallen in love with how fast it can track a subject!
Dream project: It’s a secret! What I can say is that there is this one location in south Europe that I am planning a dream engagement shoot.
Goal for this year: To keep chasing dreams.
Cats or dogs: Cats
Sweet or savory: Sweet
Childhood celebrity crush: Priyanka Chopra
Favorite album: Drake Take Care
Most used phrase: Can I get some mayonnaise with this?
Favorite book: Never completed a book! I blame my ADHD.
Biggest fear: Mice, rats – all creepy things.
Earliest memory: Choking on a piece of gum when I was 4, thinking i was going to die.
Hidden talent: Barbecuing – give me a grill and some meat. I can do my thing.