A renowned photographer and a designer baker…. Rammal Mehmud and Nabia Mehmud are the entrepreneur celebrities of Islamabad…
We had to interview the amazing Mehmud sisters. They are now an inspiration for all the females living in Islamabad and want to establish their own business.
Here is the interview
• Tell us something about yourself?
I am Rammal Mehmud, a MBA from Fast Business School. Now Islamabad’s premium wedding photographer who pioneered in creative wedding photojournalism. I believe that every couple is different and their story needs to be told in their way.
Hey, I’m Nabia Mehmud, a MBA from Fast Business School. Sugar ‘n’ Crumbs is my brain child, which is the name for premium couture wedding & celebration cakes and novelty cupcakes.
• What prompted you to be a wedding photographer / baker and how did you manage to book the first client?
Well, I was doing fashion shoots and pursuing my passion for close up photography, when a friend of friend’s saw my work and was adamant I shoot her wedding. Me & Nabia met with her and discussed her expectations of me. I told her I’d never shoot a wedding before professionally, and it was amazing how much she still trusted me blindly. It was then, I knew I couldn’t disappoint or let her down. And i want to take this moment to thank Ayesha for the leap of faith *mwah* From then, there was no looking back from the beginning; December 2009!
I was content experimenting with designs and posting pics of my latest sugar endeavors to my fb for my friends to share. I was approached by my friend who wanted a birthday cake for his mom’s birthday. I had no idea who time consuming one couture cake was and We ended up pitching in a nighter; making sugar roses petal by petal with help of my sister. The cake design was original and it was well worth the effort in the end! My friend’s sisters wanted to preserve the sugar roses as they couldn’t bring themselves to eat them
• Based in a place where women are not encouraged to be wedding photographers/ designer bakers, what was the response of friends and family?
Well, I’d say we’ve always been pretty unorthodox even through our bba student life we interned in advertising agencies; Channel 7 and IAL Saatchi & Saatchi and the likes. Nabia also worked in UNDP and Save the Children but resigned, ultimately to invest in her own startup. So they knew that we wouldn’t be content with a 9-5 desk job. Our friends and family are our ardent fans and we get calls asking for baking tips or photography queries from them now & we love them for their support.
• Speaking of family, are your parents supportive?
My mom was very supportive of us, she funded our initial camera purchase. However, our dad being a seasoned banker and a traditionalist believed in steady paychecks and job security. It was tough but we ‘ve made a believer out of him too! It would suffice to say that He’s our biggest boaster now lol
• How do you manage your time? After all you’re always working under deadlines…
We organize our workflow by prioritizing projects. The clients who have submitted their selection on time will be prioritized over the one who delayed selection. We also Making lists. Lots of To Do Lists, To Email, To Call, To Print and to Meet!! Lol
Lastly, we alternate Wedding cake orders and cakes so there’s no over lap.
• Word on the street is that you are registering your business entity and opening a new office. Any comments?
Yes, we believe in being registered and it’s one of our pipeline project. Being a business student we know the importance of a registered business entity and it’s perks. and we have shifted to our office in F-11 and are setting it up!
• Your favorite shoot/order?
Rammal: it has to be Amna & Sajid’s pink wedding! Me & nabs loved her enthusiasm and aesthetics when we met her. She had customized her wedding from guest books to napkins to beautiful crystal candle stands with pink roses entwined. And we discussed with her ideas, she agreed to get her session done after the Barat,(she set a day wedding so we could shoot her in the day light) prior to the sunset which gave us amazing ideas and creative shots! Here’s a link to her gorgeous set up:
Nabia: Well, for me it would have to be my first wedding cake. Despite the chaos I managed to pull it off! The cake had to travel to Abbotabad. I had pulled off a three tiered cakes before this order but when a cake has to travel for a destination that has bad and curvy roads well, that pretty much changes everything! The support system has to be strong enough, the decorations have to iced on more strongly.
• Is it cool if you tell us the photography gear used at wedding?
* Creativity – to present something NEW on the table, always!
* Vision – to see what people might usually, miss!
* Aesthetics – to be able to unite color and design in the image, beautifully.
* Empathy – to connect with my clients on a comfort level, it depicts in the shots.
* My impulsive, challenge accepting personality – Up for all kind of adventures
* Canon EOS 5D mark II
* Canon EF 85mm 1.2 II L
* Canon EF 50mm 1.8 II & 50mm 1.4
* Canon EF 100mm 2.8 USM
* Canon EF 24-105mm f4 L IS
* Canon Speedlights 580ex II
* Various Studio Lighting Equipment consisting of Umbrellas, Reflectors – the works!
• Any plans of conducting classes in future?
Given our schedule, it gets hard but it is one of our pipeline project. We would love to offer something different to the masses.
• Any giveaway’s coming soon?
Oh yes!! Stay tuned to our Fb pages for our Eid cakes give away!!
• What would you recommend to young photographers and bakers who want to go pro?
Rammal: We would ask them to do their homework, choose a field; be it fashion photography, landscape photography, portrait or pet photography and stick to it till they establish a strong repute and name.
Nabia: would suggest Trying out various recipes and then innovating them and adding some of your touch. that’s what creativity!
• What can we expect from you guys in future?
Rammal: a photography & cinematography school
Nabia: A culinary school that thrives on ingenious caking and designs.
All the best for your plans. It was a pleasure talking to you guys ..