Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
Hello hello! My name is Hafsah Malik. I’m a British Pakistani who moved to Dubai for a chance to pursue my goal of becoming a full-time Creative Entrepreneur. Currently, I’m working as a Freelance Creative Producer though I hope to build my own brand in the long run.
What does your job involve? What happens on a typical day on set (or off of it)?
The beauty of working as a Freelancer is that every day is different and unique. My job involves working with clients and helping them shape and transform their creative ideas into a visual art form, whether through a photoshoot or shooting videos, etc.
A typical day on set is usually going through a quick brief with one of my colleagues so we understand how and what we will be shooting before we start – then the shoot begins. If there is no photoshoot taking place, the day usually consists of post-production work, either editing videos for websites or retouching photographs for clients.
What’s great about what you do?
The best thing about my job is meeting and working with new people who have a creative vision but need guidance to bring their ideas to life.
What are the toughest parts of your job?
The toughest part that comes to mind as a freelancer is that there are slow periods in the year. There are a few particular months where work can be slow because most people travel, such as in the summer months of June or July.
What are the highlights of your career to date?
When I left my full-time job to become something better for myself, that was the biggest highlight of my life. Initially, I felt like I wasn’t sure if this was the right thing to do, but I’m glad I took that step. I’m still learning and growing each day, and I’m happy with how far I have come. It’s only just the beginning of my long journey.
What was your career path into this job? Have you also worked outside of the arts?
All the jobs I have had were always based within the Media & Arts industry. I haven’t had much experience working outside this field. My career path in this field first grew from my media classes in college. My interest and passion expanded from there, making me realise that this is the industry I want to work in. So, I started to build my portfolio slowly and managed to get my first full-time job in Dubai after graduating from university. From there, that’s when I grew my skills, portfolio and experience, and here I am today.
What’s been the biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?
Dealing with toxic people has been one of the biggest challenges I have faced so far.
In the beginning stages of my career, as a young graduate starting out in the industry with little experience, I think I was naive. I never expected the tough reality that hits you when you first begin to work and the type of people you have to work with daily. I think I’m still learning how to overcome this challenge, but I think a key point that I try to remind myself of is that I shouldn’t take things personally. The reality is that once you start working, there will always be politics or drama within the workplace, but you have to be confident in your abilities and not let anyone tell you otherwise.
Have you noticed any changes in the industry in recent times? If so, what?
Social media's significance has been one of the major changes in the industry. I remember when starting out in this field, people used social media, but it was still in the early stages, and no one created content on these platforms. The concept of [content] creators didn’t exist on the same level as it does today.
Fast forward many years later, social media has become a remarkable aspect of many people's lives. Many content creators rely solely on social media to publish their work online and connect with their viewers. So as creatives, we have a variety of options that are now available to us so that we can create content but also allow it to be viewed by millions internationally.
You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say?
Have more confidence in yourself and your abilities. Never doubt your capabilities.
If you have goals in your mind, then be confident enough to achieve them.
Do you have any advice for young people interested in your field?
Never give up. As cliché as this sounds, it’s the truth. In most industries, many people find getting their foot through the door difficult. But I think it is extremely hard to get into the industry in the media and arts field, especially if you are a young graduate, because there are so many creatives out there competing for jobs. If you are passionate about working in media, you should 100% go for it. It won’t be an easy-flowing road, but you need to remain consistent with your work, network and grow your contacts. You will get to where you want to be eventually!
Where can people find you and your work online?
You can find me on my Instagram: @hafsahmalik14.
Also, check out my other Instagram page: @meuruss. This page contains regular fashion-related content from all of my photoshoots.