Our students in ECE continue to surprise and inspire us. From design teams and sports, to student organizations and even podcasts, many of our students are involved in several extracurricular activities.

Hunain Shamsi, a senior computer engineering student is taking extracurricular to a whole new level–the entrepreneurial level. Hunain started his own photography and videography business in 2021 and his client base has grown rapidly since then.

Get to know more about Hunain and his experience as an entrepreneur and engineering student from our Q&A:

What is the name of your business? Tell us a little about its history.

The name of my business is HS Studios. It is named after my initials. (Hunain Shamsi). I launched it in the Summer of 2021, and booked about three weddings that year. Since then, I have already done about 20+ weddings in 2022, and about 50+ graduation shoots! 

When did you first become interested in photography and videography?

My dad has always been into photography. I first picked up his film camera and started taking pictures on family trips. My dad then got me my first digital camera on a trip and that's what really sparked my interest!

What about wedding photography/videography specifically appeals to you?

I love capturing weddings because each one is unique in its own way. In this industry, you get to see so many different cultures and traditions, and you learn a lot about these! I also like the fast-paced environment of working a wedding. Nothing can be repeated or done again and you have to get the perfect shot every time. There is no redoing the 'first kiss'! Moreover, wedding photography is a good source of income especially for a student!

If you could give a piece of advice to an aspiring artist or someone wanting to go into this industry, what would you say?

Second shoot ss much as you can. This helps you build your portfolio and allows you to make connections. So many of my leads come from referrals and word of mouth, and making connections in the industry is very important for this! Once you have your portfolio built, advertise and market yourself as much as you can. You start off low, but never undercharge yourself. Know your value--clients will always come!

How does your background in computer engineering contribute to this business venture? Has it helped you in any way?

Having a background in computer engineering helps me understand a lot of technicalities when it comes to photography--especially when I am trying to play with light. It also helps me make decisions when it comes to buying equipment, as I can better understand the technical specs of the products. Overall, Virginia Tech's well-rounded engineering program has even helped me with things like client communication and keeping track of finances for my business.

How do you balance classes as an ECE student while running your own business?

Balance is very important to me. I generally dedicate weekends and at least 1-2 hours everyday to editing to stay on track. Sometimes it is very rough being a full-time engineering student and running a business, but my clients are generally very understanding of turn around times for their pictures/videos when I tell them I am a full time student.

Where are you from and why did you choose Virginia Tech?

I am originally from Pakistan but grew up in Oman, a beautiful country in the Middle East. I chose Virginia Tech for its prestigious engineering program, which is pretty well known everywhere! I could not have chosen a better program.

Check out some of Hunain's photography below:

Bride and groom holding hands
A wedding photo from Hunain Shamsi's portfolio.
VT graduate sitting on steps at war memorial
VT grad photo from Hunain Shamsi's portfolio.
VT graduate posing at VT pylons
VT grad photo from Hunain Shamsi's portfolio.
Vt grad throwing cap at the camera in Lane Stadium
VT grad photo from Hunain Shamsi's portfolio.

To view more of Hunain's work visit his website: hs-studios.com