Tasneem is a professional photographer who grew up in Saudi Arabia thinking she would one day become an airline pilot. She discovered the world of photography while a college student in San Jose, California: “Right away, I knew photography was absolutely my passion, my talent, and my greatest ambition.” As a Saudi Arabian woman attending a predominantly Latino university, her love for photography grew alongside her love for Latino culture. She was struck by the many similarities between Latino families and Saudi families: love of family, food, ritual, and celebration.
After graduating from college, Tasneem pursued a career in photography. In 2008 she opened her own photo studio, Foto Clara, and quickly developed a client base within the Latino community she had connected with as a student. “A lot of photographers miss the point of taking family pictures. They work too much with Photoshop and lose what it is that’s special about the family.”
While Tasneem’s portfolio of work continues to grow, she still runs her business out of her apartment, relying on her trusty old camera and a temperamental computer. In need of a loan, Tasneem approached her own bank but was turned down because she only began a credit history when she came to the U.S. for college. A $6,000 loan will allow Tasneem to purchase a new camera, a new laptop computer, and new photo editing and business accounting software. “I see so much potential to grow a business here, especially as a woman, that I couldn’t experience in Saudi Arabia.”
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