Today we’d like to introduce you to Murtaza and Insiya Ezzi.
Murtaza and Insiyah, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
(Murtaza) Photography has always been in my blood – something I was always unintentionally attracted to. When I was a little boy, I owned a film camera and in college, I owned a pin point camera. Since I can remember, I have tried to capture the people around me in a single image. I was always known as the guy running around with the camera. In 2014, I moved to the hustling city of Los Angeles, CA, and I was swept off my feet. I had moved from Karachi, Pakistan and wow, what a change of scenery. It wasn’t so much as my passion for photography that inspired MKEshoots, it was in fact, the gorgeous landscape that surrounded me that really sparked my passion for photography to take off. MKEshoots began purely as a landscape photography page on Instagram which quickly attracted a lot of attention and huge following. I shared my captures as I discovered California and my poems on Instagram. I received recognition from AP News, National Geographic and many other local, national, and international pages for my artwork. Along my journey to discovery, in 2016, I met my wife and partner Insiyah, I was in the midst of converting MKEshoots from a purely hobbyist page, into a business of portraiture and wedding photography services. She hopped along into this journey with me and together, we made MKEshoots into what it is today.
(Insiyah) I remember growing up, at the end of every school year, begging my dad to buy me one of those Kodak disposable cameras. It was so important for me to be able to memorialise the people I had met every school year so that I could look back and relive those moments from my childhood. Every year, even though money was always tight, my dad would give in. The cameras only allowed (if I remember correctly), about 20-25 images to be captured. So, every single picture had to be precisely calculated. I would fill up that camera with pictures of people, people that I cherished – family and friends. Our mutual love for the art of photography is one of the many reasons that brought us together. We actually met via Instagram, he literally slid into my DM’s – HAHA. Together, we have big dreams for MKEshoots and know that one day, through dedication, those dreams are and will come true.
Has it been a smooth road?
I don’t believe there is anything smooth in this world. To earn something you must pass through the bumps in the road. When I started MKEshoots, I had literally no money to invest in gear or knowledge of how to run a business. In the beginning, I also really struggled with making people understand the value of photography.
Many people don’t understand the value of photography or a photographer at its essence – that it is an art form and pictures produced by a photographer are pieces of art and the result of his or her artistic ability. Family and friends would hire and expect to pay nothing or next to nothing because I was the guy who knew how to take good photos. On top of that, many people would hire me and would not allow me to use their pictures for any marketing or business-related reasons. It was difficult to start a business with little to no money and an empty portfolio.
However, there was something invaluable I gained from it all – experience. I always accepted the fact that we must dive into every possible wacky scenario to become great photographers and entrepreneurs. Today, we still have many roadblocks ahead, but what business doesn’t? Considering Covid-19, business has come to a halt, but we are positive that good times are coming. In fact inspired by an article on NBC, we have stated the initiative of doing Porch Portraits – as a photographer, I felt the need to play a role in my community as well and share stories of the families in my community. Therefore we will be offering free ‘Porch Portrait’ for families residing in Woodland Hills. We will take the portraits from a distance and maintain social distancing guidelines of course – that’s why we will take it from your porch!
So, as you know, we’re impressed with MKEshoots Photography – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
MKEshoots Photography, run by a husband-and-wife-duo, specialises in wedding, portrait photography serving people all around the globe.
Over 5-years plus in the game of professional wedding photography, we place great importance on documenting the wedding day and capturing its essence through timeless pictures.
Our style is natural, documentary-style, candid photos with a touch of modern and artistic photography. This allows us to take in all the unexpected but unforgettable moments that happen throughout the day and capture people at their best.
We recently received ‘The Best Wedding’ award from The Knot, ‘The Couple’s Choice’ award from The Wedding Wire and ‘The Best Wedding Photographer’ award from The Lux Life magazine. We are really proud of our work and how our art is being recognised.
What sets us apart from others is that we do not just aim to be photographers. For example, weddings are stressful! Our mission is to provide a service that does not just limit us to being your photographers. We want to be your friend, standing by your side, taking away all your worries so that you can focus on your big day while we capture your magnificent love story. We don’t focus on how many hours are left or that this is not our job. We dive right in on all fours, work with our clients as a family. We become your maid of honor, best man – whatever is needed in the moment, we’re there.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love LA. I love how you can experience the beach, warm weather, the mountains, snow, street food, and world-class dining all in one city. Traffic! Hands up if you hate LA traffic as much as I do. No matter what time of day, somehow, somewhere, there’s always traffic.
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