Name: Hana El Zohiry
City: Mississauga, Ontario
Main Hustle: Fresh out of university, I am a Development Assistant at the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada in their International Missions department. I have been an employee since August 1st and have been mainly handling all of their social media channels, as well as helping in the designs for the campaigns and initiatives that the company has.
Side Hustle: My side hustle is my photography. Working 9-5 during the week, I have my photography in the evenings and weekends to help me get creative!
Despite how busy it may get, I never feel ‘bored’ because I’m still doing the thing that I love the most: capturing love and confidence.
It’s hard sometimes, stressful even the months I’m constantly moving and never having rest, but I find my energy by talking to people and being immersed in an environment that is just fantastic!
How did you get started?: I started out by getting close friends and family members to pose for me. Studying photography at university was a bold choice because I know how hard it is—especially for someone in Toronto—to make photography a full-time job. By photographing events, couples, and families for free, I was able to really let myself fall in love with the vocation and pour my heart and soul into what I love doing!
When/where do you work on your Side Hustle?: Online and through university!
What are the challenges of your Side Hustle?: Working full time, I sometimes find it hard to find the time or energy to focus on my Side Hustle. I’m not able to really put the time I want into doing what I love, and I miss out on opportunities to photograph weddings and events because of my full-time job.
What are the rewards of your Side Hustle?: Honestly the greatest reward is that I’m always pushing myself, getting out of my comfort zone in terms of travelling by myself, doing things that I’ve never done before (aka weddings and events). I also get to use what I studied to the best of my abilities, always learning more about the field that I’m in. I’ve made great friends who were either clients or are photographers, and I have been blessed with a great support system!
Who is your greatest supporter?: My mom. She has been absolutely amazing, constantly helping me with ensuring that I either take a break or go to bed at night! I also think my greatest supporter is God; He put the right people in my life to help me get to where I am.
Who/what is your greatest source of inspiration?: This one is hard; but I would say one of my ultimate photography inspirations would be Monique Serra: she’s a mom, a photographer, a friend, and a wife, and it’s just amazing to witness how God has used her to share His story and how she captures the love between two people at weddings.
What is your dream for your Side Hustle?: I hope that one day my side hustle actually does become my main hustle. I love my desk job, but I would LOVE to travel and photograph events and locations. And hopefully one day this will be possible.
Do you have any advice for others working on a Side Hustle?:
Never stop hustling. I think one of the hardest things about a Side Hustle is that sometimes it takes years to build. It took me four years before I photographed my first wedding. It took me three years before I got my first paid family session. Yes, it was on the lower end in terms of cost, but it got me started, gave me experience, and helped me find out what style, look, and feel I want to showcase. It is a hustle, and it is a struggle, but it’s definitely a good pay off in the end!