July/August’s – ‘The Summer Escape Issue’ – Download Now

Words & Creative Direction: Amy Sessions
Creative Direction & Styling: Oumayma El Boumeshouli
Photographer: Aicha Abdoun

Creative duo Oumayma El Boumeshouli & Aicha Abdoun shot on location in Mexico at Casa Etérea an eco-powered house set on an extinct volcano.

Oumayma El Boumeshouli – Stylist, Art Director & Content Creator

What do the first 30mins of your day look like, your morning routine?

Well, I start with a bad habit that I really need to get rid of; looking at my phone. After I’ve checked everything online, I continue with a shower and my morning skincare routine. Skincare is a very important part of my lifestyle, I take care of my skin very well and try to stay hydrated, that’s why I drink 1 to 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning. When I don’t have to be somewhere immediately, I like to take time to prepare a healthy breakfast such as oats in coconut milk with bananas or avocado toast with mushrooms marinated in truffle oil and rocket. I always have breakfast alongside my laptop, this is how I usually start my day.

How do you prep for a shoot in terms of research?

I like to plan everything in detail as much as possible. When I have a content trip planned, I write the looks down and take mirror shots of the looks so I won’t forget to pack them and remember how I wore certain pieces. When it comes to the shoots; I like to make shortlists of inspirational images I found on the web, on travels, or in magazines. When I see a location I try to visualize a story. It’s always an exciting challenge to tell the story through the images we create. We did a lot of research for our trip to Mexico and based on the location I tried to come up with interesting looks that would fit perfectly.

Oumayma Casa Eterea

What has been the biggest advantage, working together to create content?

We share the same vision and mind and expect each other’s valuation and honesty as we are both aiming for the same result. It makes things so much easier when you can expect clarification from each other. We both also love to plan everything before we start with a shoot, everything needs to be written down. It’s such a nice way of working.

How would you define your taste DNA?

I would say masculine with a feminine touch!

How do you balance creating content with driving revenue?

For me creating in itself is my main priority. It is the thing in life which gives me energy and the feeling of freedom. From the first moment I started my platform, I started it out of a love for fashion, photography and styling. With every image, I want to tell an authentic story. I believe that because I’ve started from the point of pure creativity I can say that at this moment in my career I am fortunate to work with partners who really understand and see the value of creativity. Therefore the creative and commercial parts come together very naturally. Additionally, I love the challenge of seeing and creating beauty with every (commercial) collaboration I do.

What do you feel is most important when building your own brand?

Staying unique and true to myself. There is no one like you and I’m trying to show that. I also try to push for higher standards every time I’m shooting something. It needs to be better than the previous shoots. This really keeps me motivated and excited. It’s also good to take a rest sometimes because our job can become very overwhelming. Sometimes finding inspiration can be very challenging and that’s when I know I have to take a little break. Breaks are totally fine.

What advice would you give any entrepreneur starting out?

To just do it. This is also how I started, you don’t need to think that you need more to start. Don’t procrastinate. You are in a process and growing your business is part of that. Also, don’t be afraid of failure and when things are falling down, make sure to stand up again and continue. You can only learn from your mistakes.

What do you always pack when you travel?

I try to take key items with me and essentials such as a good black blazer and a pair of slides that I can wear on a daily basis. I have a standard skincare routine I take with me everywhere and my electronic items are always by my side.

This is ‘The Summer Escape Issue’  – where would you like to escape to this year?

To the South of America. I always had a thing for the Latino culture – the atmosphere is amazing, the food is delicious, the people are friendly and the locations are inspiring. I get most of my inspiration and motivation from travelling.

Aicha Abdoun – Photographer

What do the first 30 mins of your day look like, your morning routine?

I’m definitely not a morning person and with a lack of routine, I mostly spend the first 30 mins of my day sorting out the plan for the day ahead.

How do you prepare for a shoot in terms of research?

I always start with creating a mood board based on the location or theme. Then I like to dive into the history of everything related to the subject, this inspires me a lot. I can read for hours and hours about it once it catches my interest. In that process, I analyze and visualize what I read and see into our own shoot and write down ideas that pop up in my mind. From that, I build a shot list based on the knowledge I gained in the research phase. The shortlist is very important for the next steps where we connect all components. I’m very much of a control freak and like to have written down exactly what we’re about to shoot. I only feel prepared for a shoot when I went through all aspects like styling, hair, makeup, location, light, and composition.

What has been the biggest advantage, working together to create content?

I mostly value the way we motivate each other in the process of creating but also as the artists behind the creation. We both aim for the best and push each other to achieve that by being very strict and honest. Having a creative partner gives a lot of creative freedom.

How do you define your taste DNA?

Creating a perfect balance between recognizable beauty and unrecognizable art is what defines me as an artist. I try to see beauty in everything, everyone. And sometimes you can name it… sometimes you only feel it. I want to make you see and feel how I like to see the world. That way of control, how I can make you see and feel something, is my main goal with every image I take. And then it’s still a process, there’s so much I want to create and discover in my own style/DNA. That’s what makes it fun, knowing you’re never done learning, trying, creating.

How do you balance creating content with driving revenue?

Do you know what Helmut Newton said when he proposed to his wife, June? He told her, “We will never be rich, we’ll always be poor and photography will always be my first love, you will be my second.” Of course, driving revenue is needed and financial independence gives a lot of space for inspiration but the more specific I’m becoming as a photographer the less I care about paid jobs. I believe in the bigger picture so I’m spending most of my time and thereby money on my career.

What do you feel is most important when building your own brand?

Knowing why you want to build your brand, knowing who you are, what makes you unique and what makes you happy. If you can answer these questions by staying true to yourself, nothing can hold you down from achieving your goals. You just have to put in the work, do what feels good for you and have faith that things will unfold the way that’s best for you.

What advice would you give any entrepreneur starting out?

Enjoy the process, that’s 99% of the fun. We want materialism, careers, and relationships because we think they will give us happiness. But remember as soon as you get that certain thing, you will want more, you will want different things. Goals are only our guide to keep moving in certain directions. Taking control of your own future and having faith in what you do is the real fun part, the process of developing.

What do you always pack when you travel?

Face wash, my camera, and a way too overdressed dinner look.

This is ‘The Summer Escape Issue’ – where would you like to escape to this year?

This summer I want to eat pasta next to Lake Como in Italy. Dive into the clear blue waters and dance the night away at the Côte d’Azur, France. And last but not least, go horse riding at the beach in Essaouira, Morocco.

July/August’s – ‘The Summer Escape Issue’ – Download Now

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Images: Supplied