Conversations with the Contributors: Susan Zayed

Susan Zayed began taking pictures as a hobby at the age of 12, not knowing she would later pursue the craft professionally. Zayed submitted some visual art under the collection, Hikaya (an Arabic word meaning “story” or “tale”), which follows her own personal lens. We were curious about her story, so we asked her to share with our Welter Online readers!

As a photographer who uses Instagram, can you share some tips with the Welter Online readers about how to best spread their creativity online?

The advice I always give to people who ask me how to start sharing their work online is to simply just start. Often times, we as humans get so afraid of sharing our creative abilities with the world because we convince ourselves we are not “good enough” or that no one will pay attention to it. Every time we convince ourselves to not share with the world, we are making the biggest mistake of our lives by depriving others from our work.

With the power of social media today, you never know who you will be able to inspire just by hitting that “publish” button and not thinking twice about it. I think it’s also worth saying that social media and technology are often times frowned upon due to the perception of it not being good for one’s overall health. I do believe, though, that authenticity is a moral and social issue, not a technological issue. Even before social media existed, morality and social standards were the problem, never the tools used in order to get to where we want to be. Never be afraid of being the first to do something and breaking barriers!

The Welter Online team compared your photography to National Geographic and we were just wondering, what camera do you use?

I’m flattered to have my photography compared to National Geographic, especially since I have always dreamt of being featured by them! Honestly, I use whatever camera is on me at the moment – meaning, if my phone is the only camera on me, then I use my phone. If I’m carrying around my DSLR, then I prefer using that over my phone due to having more control of the settings.

To answer the question, I have always used Canon DSLR cameras with my professional work. However, the camera being used is only a small fraction of the equation—the person behind it is always the true mastermind. The way I see it, anyone can pick up a camera and push a few buttons, but not everyone can see the world differently and be able to capture it through a lens for others to see as well.

The best camera is always the one you already have on you. It’s kind of like baking a cake: anyone can own an oven and the recipes needed for it, but not everyone will bake it the same way or always have a successful end result—it takes a lot of practice and patience.

Where can our Welter Online readers find you online? What kind of visual art do you post?

I can be found on Instagram @HikayaPhoto. With social media always progressing, who knows where I will end up a few years from now! Currently, I mainly stick to posting portraiture and travel photography but I’m always experimenting with concepts that are new to me. I really love the digital world and it never seizes to amaze me how far technology can take us. Being able to express my creativity makes me feel like I am able to transport into a different world where I make the rules and possibilities.



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