The Sassiest Mama Awards 2015
By the age of 17 there wasn’t a place this mama would go without her camera. She’s gone on to work with some of the most influential and inspiring people in the world, to having a must-have book ‘the women of the UAE’ published and to being mama to 2 very lovely kiddos.
Who’s The Mama?
Full Name: Charney Magri
Children: Eleira (6) and Dashael (4)
How long have you lived in Dubai? I moved to Dubai in 2008.
1) Tell us about your business/businesses and why you started them.
I have been shooting since I can remember. My first own camera was a long, yellow Hanimex 110 at the age of 13. By 17 there wasn’t a place I would go without my camera. By the age of 20 I simultaneously received my first commission while studying at university. But it wasn’t until a family wedding that my friends and family encouraged me to follow my dream of photography after noticing my images were far better than the professional photographer hired. This was one of my biggest turning points in my life and one that assisted me in the direction to where I am today.
After completing a BA in Arts, majoring in Photography I moved to the UK. I worked 2 jobs; one in the day to pay the rent. In the evenings and weekends I would shoot as much as I could, one job supporting the other whilst I built up my portfolio, equipment etc. I worked with the best in my industry: British Vogue as a Designer and then later to assist Nick Knight, all of which was extremely tough but I truly loved every breathing minute of it all.
In 2005 I began my own career. It was scary, exciting, intimidating, creative, overwhelming yet so rewarding. I have never looked back.
2) What do you feel have been your biggest achievements both in your personal life and career so far?
This list is endless….In the first initial stages it was learning to listen to my intuition which lead me to leave my family and home town Perth, Western Australia, as hard as it was, to travel the world.
To learn to believe in myself, follow my dream to become a photographer, challenge myself by aiming to work with some of the most influential people within the world, giving birth to two of the most beautiful children, publishing my first book titled Women of the UAE, perfecting the work / life balance, learning about grief and the loss of a loved one when my mum suddenly passed last year, growing as a person, realising what and who are important in my life… These are just a few of my strongest achievements but there are so many more.
3) As a child what did you dream of being when you ‘grew up’?!
When I was very young I dreamed of being an astronaut and an artist! But I always loved animals and at 18 was volunteering my time at Sea World Australia to feed the penguins, dolphins and the seals.
4) If you had 3 wishes, what would they be?
I only have one (or two!): to be the best I can and to be satisfied with who that is.
5) What does being a Sassy Mama mean to you?
It’s super amazing to be recognized as a Sassy Mama and it really helps to encourage me as a person to keep going. But I believe in passing it forward and hopefully my story will give other women the strength they need to keep going whilst remaining true to themselves.
6) What’s a typical day in your life like?
My days vary so much – which is what I love. I travel a lot which means no two days are the same. But in general I try to keep a regular weekly routine which includes exercise, meditation, yoga and preparing / eating super healthy foods. In between all of this I am usually at the beach swimming.
During the week I get up early to catch the morning sunrise – it is my favourite time of the day. I prepare breakfast for the family, take the kids to school and start my day either at my desk, in the studio or on location. By the afternoon I am picking the kids up again, doing homework, night time routines and then back to my desk to finish what I haven’t been able to do during the day.
7) What’s your guilty pleasure?
Original flavoured crisps, a cold glass of sancerre and an episode of ‘Lie to me’ (can’t believe they stopped filming this).
8) What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given in your personal life and career?
Just recently; to get out of my head and back into my heart.
9) What do you most enjoy doing as a family in Dubai?
Home is where the beach is so definitely spending the day at the beach.
10) What is the ‘best-kept’ secret in Dubai, something fellow mamas should know about?
That my book ‘Women of the UAE’ is now being sold at Kinokunyia, Jashanmal & McGrudy’s and as a fantastic time capsule of life in the UAE. It is also the best present for both international and local friends or even as a souvenir for your own coffee table.
11) Which three words best describe your personality?
Creative, energetic, inspiring.
12) What advice would you have for a new mama?
Stay true to who you are, no matter what other mummies are doing. If you want to keep working, then do. If you want to stay at home, then do. A happy mummy and wife equals a happy home and life!
13) What advice would you give to a mama who wants to go back to work or start her own business but is worried about juggling family and career?
Be gentle on yourself as it is tiring work. Set your goals but make them realistic to achieve. Keep a track on yourself and make sure you have some ‘me’ time. Have plenty of friends / people around you that you can talk to and bounce ideas around about everything. And just keep going.
14) If you were on an island and could bring only 3 things (family not included) what would they be?
A helicopter (I am going to learn to fly one day), plenty of fuel and my toothbrush!
15) Top 3 books?
I am curious by nature so anything that gets you thinking. I especially love the Bill Bryson series as I have a similar dry sense of humour. I also loved Mitch Albom’s Tuesday’s with Morrie and Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss.
16) Describe your style
I’m quite an eclectic person but I can best be described as bohemian, chic with a touch of designer and vintage all mixed into one. Somehow I also manage to be organised and contemporary. Music wise I am known (loved and hated) for my 80’s remixes and (probably) dance moves! And I have recently been described by a friend as a nice mix of cool and crazy, correction, style and crazy. I think this was a compliment!
17) If there was a movie produced about your life, who would you choose to play you and why?
Angelina Jolie or Olivia Wilde.
18) Tell us something funny that your kids have said or done
My kids playing hide and seek in the back of the car to kill some time on a long journey. My daughter then decided to get upset with me when I revealed her location to my son!
Thanks to The Studio for the gorgeous pics! Book your photography experience on (+971) (0)4 347 1745.
Special thanks also to Sassy Mama Dani for coordinating mamas and photographers while juggling 3 little ones too!