For Los Angeles-based commercial lifestyle and editorial photographer Tiffany Luong, capturing authentic moments for brands, businesses, and individuals that empower their stories and identities is an important part of her craft. With every shoot, she strives to provide clients with emotionally honest images that remind them of who they are and what makes them unique.
In a recent OOH campaign for YouTube Canada, Tiffany visited Aysha Harun in her Los Angeles apartment to document a “day in the life” of the beauty and lifestyle creator. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Aysha demonstrated her typical YouTube activities, such as folding her hijab, trying a new beauty item, or reviewing a shopping haul as part of a national campaign celebrating 16 creators who are thriving on the platform.
One of my photographic specialities is working with solopreneurs in personal branding and making environmental portraits of them. Since the YouTube campaign focused on content creators in their spaces, it was definitely a project I felt comfortable with.
Narine Artinian, the producer of the shoot, reached out to Tiffany after finding her through a google search. Tiffany sent Narine an estimate following a short discussion of timelines and budget, and after her approval, the project was underway.
To prepare for the photoshoot, Tiffany watched Aysha’s “day in the life” video content to get a sense of her brand messaging. Aysha started making videos at the age of sixteen, partially due to a lack of black Muslim YouTubers. She uploaded her first video on July 5, 2011. In 2021, Aysha received support from the YouTubeBlack Voices Fund, enabling her to hire a video editor.
With over a decade of experience creating beauty and lifestyle videos for her viewers, Aysha now has 481,000 subscribers. She acts as a voice for a largely underrepresented audience of women by not only being a hijabi, but also a woman of color.
I photographed Aysha in her apartment in Los Angeles. Since this was a campaign for Canadian YouTube creators, all of the talent was being photographed in Canada. Originally, she was going to travel back to Canada and her apartment was going to be recreated on set. Due to the pandemic, production decided to keep Aysha local, which is how I got the honor of being involved!
Bright and natural lighting was the focus of the campaign, and because it was a gloomy day, Tiffany came prepared with her giant V-flats. Since the shoot took place at Aysha’s home office, which was a 250-square-foot intimate setting, Tiffany’s assistant Vivian had to work every angle of the small space by squeezing into corners to hold the reflector.
Being in an intimate space together was actually really fun because we all got to get to know each other.
The YouTube Canada team worked with creative agency Mosaic to spotlight 16 creators who have been thriving on YouTube through both their creative outlets and financial livelihoods. It was a joy for Tiffany to see her photo of Asyha displayed in subway stations and on a billboard in the Canadian version of Times Square, honoring these creators and their content as integral parts of Canadian culture.
My favorite part was that I got to work with Aysha in her home and learn a little bit about her Ethiopian heritage. I learned that even lean productions can end up on billboards, and I so appreciated the trust of Narine (producer) and Kareem (art director) to photograph Aysha in her element in a low-pressure setting.
See more of Tiffany’s images on Instagram.