Creative Photography Workshop in Islamabad, Pakistan

After getting requests about it for a while, last summer I finally brought my love of photography to my beloved hometown, Islamabad. This was a unique kind of workshop I hosted at my mom’s studio (more info on that at the end) to share about the fundamental aspects of photography, but also to talk about the creative / self-expression side of it, which personally for me is my absolute favorite part about it.

It has been my dream these past few years to do something like this , a session to teach the basics of using your DSLR but also to inspire. To share why I believe photos have so much power and how they can help us find meaning in our lives.


We started with talking about what makes a good photo & got deeper into making better use of your DSLR. I shared about the exposure triangle ( aperture, shutter speed, ISO), depth of field & getting that ‘background blur’, composition tips to make beautiful photos, fundamentals of using natural light, getting sharp focus, white balance & more. Also shared some gear recommendations and ended this section with the importance of organizing and backing up photos as well including tools I use!

Everyone got a printout of all of this to refer back to and to make notes on as needed as well!


And moved on to sharing about creativity, how to develop your own style, about using Instagram as a journal and a sharing tool. How to use hashtags to organize your feed and more! I shared about how taking photos can be a form of expression & healing in difficult times & how it can help find meaning in life! My sister Waliya shared her own journey with that as well!


At the end shared a quick little behind-the-scenes of my process from using window light to taking a portrait and then sharing how I edit a photo on Lightroom to give a vibrant, cozy feel!

And then we ended the evening with chai + snacks, giving us all a chance to chat & for me to answer any more questions.

With my mom, my sister & Anya around, the vibe was cozy, relaxed and seriously so fun, unlike what you might expect a learning workshop to feel like! I loved it and think everyone else did too from the messages I received afterwards:):)

Honestly, because it was my first time, leading up to it I was VERY nervous but once it began & I was talking about one of my most favorite things ever, I forgot all of the nervous feels! Big thanks to all the AMAZING people who made it, shared their own personal journeys and stories and gave back so much love♥️⠀

Also the huge-est thank you to my mom @shireengheba for her studio space (more info at end of this post) and support – my sister @waliyanajib for all kinds of behind-the-scenes help & support incl taking these photos.

Thank you Islamabad for the loving response, inshAllah will be back another time! Special thanks to for helping us pretty up the space and @1o3bakershouse for the yummy treats. . 

Lots of love, Nataliya

Shireen’s Studio is my mom’s art gallery + self-enrichment center in Islamabad. You offers private viewing of her artwork for purchase and also offers art classes for all ages. If you are local to Islamabad, follow her to stay up to date on the events she hosts with inspiring, motivational speakers including herself!