Imran Nuri is the founder of Really Good Headshots, a startup that provides, you guessed it, really good headshots.
A member of the 2021 Future Founders Fellowship, Imran previously founded The 52 Million Project, a nonprofit democratizing philanthropy by having people donate just $1 for each week of the year to automatically support nonprofits fighting poverty. We caught up with Imran to see how things were going, and to learn a little more about his journey as a young entrepreneur.
I’ve always loved photography. I’ve done the senior photos at the end of the year, event photography, as well as headshots. And what I found the most joy in was headshots, because people display that single photo more than any other photo anywhere. You’ll post a nice instagram photo from your dinner with your family and people will see it once, but your headshot is everywhere. It’s people’s first impression of you, whether it’s on LinkedIn or somewhere else.
What I started to realize is that people hate getting their headshot taken. The more I did them, the more I noticed that people get so nervous when they walk in the door. I am really good at making people feel comfortable, so I was naturally able to help people relax in front of the camera. I started to recognize that this skill helped me take really good headshots for people. It also made me feel really good when I could turn the camera around and show people their photographs and they’d be like “oh, wow…I actually like that photo of myself!”. And the key word was “actually,” because it meant that they weren’t expecting to like it.
Everyone needs a good headshot, but nobody likes to have it taken. I want to make it easy, make it comfortable, and make sure it doesn’t cost a fortune.
I think that the biggest thing I learned about myself, especially running The 52 Million Project, was that I did way better when I had a variety of things on my plate at any given time. I think that comes naturally when running a startup. It’s a total variety.
I was kind of doing everything at 52 Million Project, yet some of my most productive weeks were when I felt like I had a lot of things going on in addition to the business. I remember at the start of the year, some of those weeks I was going to networking events, going on dates, creating art…all while working on 52 Million. If someone were to look at my calendar, I was by all means still working 60 to 80 hours a week, maybe more, but it didn’t feel like work at that time because it was a variety. And this variety made the time spent on the 52 Million Project way more effective.
That was a surprise to me…that I needed to really diversify what I was working on.
This kind of ties into the previous question. I found many people were like, “if you want to be successful in the world of startups or entrepreneurship, you have to be entirely 100% focused on your business.”
If I think back to times when I thought to myself that I should limit the variety and start working on 52 Million Project more, that’s when I would start to get less done and the quality of my work would dip. So now as I’m doing the head shots, I’m also trying to figure out how I do all of the other things at once, like running my Youtube channel and creating art and even potentially working a full time job for someone else. That variety is what keeps me going and what keeps me at my best I think.
You know, the biggest thing that gets me excited right now is making videos. I’ve always loved to make videos. That’s been true even when I was a kid. When I get up and feel super excited about the day, it’s usually because it’s a day where I am planning on going and taking photos and videos of strangers and talking to them and getting them to tell their stories.
I started working on this series where I’ve been asking totally random people to give advice to their younger selves and I’ll record them, and then I take a photo of them at the end. It’s really fascinating because people open up to me a lot, which gives me so much energy. I’m like, okay, here’s somebody who totally didn’t expect this to be a part of their day, and for me, I’m able to tell their story to someone else and someone else is gonna watch that or listen to that and you never know when you’re gonna need to hear what that person is going to say. So I think what gets me out of bed in the morning is creating and telling people’s stories. At this point right now everything else is kind of secondary, right?
For me, success is just balance. I’ve never I’ve never wanted to be someone that just does one thing, you know what I mean? I don’t want to be 50 years old and people are like, “Imran is just good at marketing…he’s a marketing genius.” I want to be a marketing genius and be an artist and I want to be a dad and I want to be an amazing husband. I really want to hold a lot of different identities close to me. I think that people look down on being a jack of all trades but I want to be a very good jack of all trades. That’s what success is for me.
Ready to get involved?
Join our newsletter for updates