Interview with Sarah Hadi

Sarah Hadi is a portrait photographer from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

You can find more of Sarah's work on Instagram

What is your most favorite photo that you’ve taken and why?

I have two favorite photos. Both are quite personal for me.


This is my good friend. Her name is Aunger and she is a refugee from Myanmar. We were in the same program in university and we happened to sort of click together after several months in that program. I found out she wanted to become a model and she was a looking for a photographer to build up her portfolio. So we did several shoots. This picture represents the start of my photography career and modeling career for Aunger.


And another one. This is my long-time best friend back in high school. Her name is Nadine. When I first started photography, she was always up for shoots. From taking photos at the parking lot to the side of the road. She kept me motivated in doing photography and is very, very supportive. We bought four flowers for this shoot and each of us kept two of it when the shoot ended.

What inspires you in doing your photography?

My family inspired me in doing photography at first. My brother was a school photographer back in high school so I got to play around with his DSLR camera and from there, I felt inspired to do photography but it went on and off. Not long after that, I was on Instagram and I came across this feature account - @dark.daisies. I was stunned with the photos they featured and at that moment, I thought “You know what, I’m gonna do it.” I picked up my camera and shoot.

How do you prepare yourself before shooting or doing any assignments?

I usually go to Instagram and look through some of my favorite photographers’ work. That makes me feel positive and fully prepared.


What is your one tip/tool/mantra when you’re shooting or creating work?

Challenge yourself. Sometimes when I take photos, they don’t turn out the way I want it to be. I challenge myself to try to make things work. 

Is there an element that you incorporate in your photos?

I’m not sure because whatever feels and looks right to me, I’ll go for it.


What are your go-to songs when you’re shooting?

Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home", Selena Quintanilla's "Bidi Bidi Bom Bom", Coldplay's "Hymn for the Weekend" & Westlife's "Uptown Girl"

What is ultimate goal in your photography?

My ultimate goal in my photography is to capture people that I love and places that I travel to with a film camera.

What is your advice to other photographers?

This one is for the new photographers out there. Get out of your comfort zone. Try taking photos in different situations and give yourself some assignments for you to improve.