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Life and Work with Diva Hammad

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diva Hammad.

Diva, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I have always been into photography as a kid, I taught myself how to use a camera but I didn’t go to school for photography until 2013. I started getting into the EDM scene at 18 years old and I would sometimes bring my camera just for fun. At 21, I started getting into the bar scene. I went to a party at the red balloon and was taking pictures of my friends. A guy walked up with his camera and my friend said it would be funny to take a picture of each other and we did.

The other photographer and I talked about how long we have been shooting and hit it off. He asked me if I wanted to be apart of him and his brother’s entertainment company. I said sure and met his brother Carlos Ramos of (the website isn’t around anymore unfortunately). Carlos automatically took me under his wing, taught me about the nightlife scene and I learned A LOT. In time Carlos moved to Bakersfield and for the next 11 years I moved on to work in San Diego and Los Angeles.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Yes and no. When I was younger, I did not understand a lot of things, especially when it came to understanding how the world and the industry worked, it was very frustrating. San Diego is SMALL and there is a lot of competition. I had to remember that there is always room to change and grow. It’s part of the journey. One of my main struggles as an artist is that I am my biggest critic. I always second guess myself and think I did a poor job even though I did a badass job. I have a hard time sharing and posting my art on social media, not because I don’t want to but I like to build my craft silently and privately. I always attempt to push myself no matter how hard things get. Some other struggles are Investing in equipment, having a full-time job, having the time to edit photos and having time for myself.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I travel from San Diego to Los Angeles and work with businesses like Fresh, Hardstyle Arena, Organized Grime, Bewaterphoto, GoodvibeSD, SDUnion, Soul on Beat/The Deep End, LED/CRSSD, Tribe Of kings, Techniche, The Saturday Rewind, SPIN nightclub, Cuffin’ SD, Urban Network, Little Black Diamond, San Diego Pride, Divinity and The Holding Company just to name a few.

I do a variety of different things. I shoot engagements, weddings, birthdays, portraits, models, family, nightclub, events, live band photography, food, conferences, baby showers, maternity, accessories, clothes, landscape, street photography, sports, I edit and retouch. I’m working on how to edit videos so I can do videography and I am learning how to sew as well. I’m able to capture emotions and make a story out of my photos. Candid photography is my favorite because I can catch someone in their most vulnerable state.

Often it feels as if the media, by and large, is only focused on the obstacles faced by women, but we feel it’s important to also look for the opportunities. In your view, are there opportunities that you see that women are particularly well positioned for?
Yes, I feel men and women should be created equal. Women can have any career that they choose. Not everyone can do a certain job so it just really depends on the person regardless of their sex.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
My portraits: Ryeo Lee
Girl in purple light: Little Black diamond

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