Phind out Phriday: Yusuf Muhammad, The Man Behind the Lens

One of the things I love about entrepreneurship is the inherent nature of growth and evolution. As you are amidst creating, you are amidst learning. As you are amidst learning, you are amidst creating. So amidst his final semester at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, final portfolios and the like, Yusuf Muhammad, freelance photographer and videographer, made time to let me phindout more about his craft.

Phreedum: Who are you in five words?
YM: Aware, honest, learning, Africa, passionate
Phreedum: What is most fulfilling about the work you do as a videographer and photographer?
YM: I don’t consider it to be work. It‘s my passion. And, it’s great to know that I will always have business and be in demand because I believe there will always be art.
Phreedum: It’s important that you are passionate about that you pursue. Passion can help you over the hurdles of the challenges. What has been the most challenging aspect of your work?
YM: Dealing with the artists, or clients. People try to prioritize the importance of your craft and the process of your craft for you. You cannot rush the results. I don’t think people always respect my craft. If you respect the craft, the craft will respect you. It’s a process and client sometimes lose sight of that. Once a client lost sight of that and I gave her her money back.
Phreedum: Wow. That’s crazy.
YM: It wasn’t worth it. I would rather forfeit the money than the integrity of what I am trying to produce.
Phreedum: I can respect that. Standards are important. Tell me about who has been influential in allowing you to phreely pursue your dreams?
YM: Leah Kaufman, my boss at She has allowed me to be the person responsible for almost every other photo on her website regarding concerts. I would say 75% of the opportunities I have had as a videographer and a photographer have been because of her. Hands down.
Phreedum: What does success look like to you?
YM: Infinite. All inclusive. I think it’s not necessarily reaching a goal. You are always striving. You reach a goal but then that becomes a bigger goal, and so the goal “reached” is like a stepping stone. You don’t conquer success, you live it until your last day. Right now I am successful in film, but next year it could be dance choreography.
Phreedum: How does the work you do change the lives of others?
YM: This summer I have had the amazing opportunity to teach film to kids and that has been really great. These kids didn’t know that they could take their imagination and make into a film. I guess I also change people’s lives by helping other people’s visions come to fruition through my craft.
Phreedum: What’s the best advice you were ever given about your craft?
YM: Once while doing a shoot with Tony Anderson, news anchor for BET news, he just encouraged me to stay true, to the craft and to myself. He said “Don’t let anyone measure your value, don’t let anyone corrupt what you know for yourself to be your worth as an artist and as a young man. “
Phreedum: Where do you see your company in 5 years?
YM: I would like to have a film production company and produce documentaries involving music. I’d also love to be or have been on tour with an artist or several artists as their photographer/videographer documenting the experience.

For more information, check out and Reemyman46 on Youtube.

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