Meet Mia Haggi: Former Model Turned Multi-Talented International Photographer

Mia, from Tallinn, Estonia, had a driving passion for the visual arts and international travel from a very early age. She attended art school, and studied fashion design and photography. After graduating, her interest explore other countries, combined with a fascination for how we express ourselves through what we wear, prompted Mia to take up a career in modeling. This was her ticket out of Estonia, allowing her to see the world and live across Europe and Asia.

MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi

Mia always saw modeling as a springboard for other things, and as soon as she could, Mia made the jump to full-time photo and videography. Over the past decade, her images have appeared in print and online magazines such as Champfest, Frank151, 2-Magazine, MissBish, Vogue.com, MaeKan, WestEast, Virtuogenix and Hypebeast.

Her clients include Adidas, Lane Crawford, Chow Tai Fook, MCM and streetwear brands such as Hood By Air, SSUR, Clot Inc and Nike. She has photographed personalities such as Virgil Abloh, Eliot Sumner, Edison Chen, Boy Child, Pharrell, and Tommy Ca$h.

Mia is currently based between Hong Kong and London and is working on a number of both professional and personal projects.

MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi
MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi

How do you define your womanhood?

I don’t think about it when living in a somewhat gender-fluid bubble. But time to time it’s nice when guys help me with things that are physically tough for me, like lifting heavy things.

What is your profession?

Visual Artist. I make videos, take photos, and create art (in as broad a sense possible).

Who do you look up to?

I look up to the great, talented, and good people who came before me. In the creative world, I would say Tim Walker & Paolo Roversi for their dreamy captures. Also Sofia Coppola for her storytelling.

Which do you value more: love or work?

I think there must be a balance for both. Hard work comes from loving what you do and vice versa. Love also needs work, it doesn’t just sit around and be there. Both are equally valuable.

Image: Mia Haggi
MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi

How would you define your lifestyle? Choose any of the following:

Ambitious
Adventurous
Unpredictable

What inspires you?

In general, film, music, art… but also my dreams. As weird as it sounds, I love sleeping because I dream a lot. Sometimes they’re quite dark. Dark fantasies.

Image: Mia Haggi
MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi

What is your dream holiday getaway?

I hop on an airplane quite frequently to change scenery, but I don’t remember going on an actual HOLIDAY. I do love penguins. I guess I would love to go see the penguins in the Antarctic, is that considered a holiday?

What are your favorite beauty tips?

The first thing I do when I wake up is drink a glass of unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar water to balance the probiotics in my body, and then I don’t leave home without eating a big healthy breakfast. I drink a lot of water throughout the day and try to keep my sugar intake low. After showering, I oil up my body with coconut oil. Then, I brush my teeth, floss, water-floss. You don’t want to ever have bad breath. Beautiful teeth/smile do the trick.

Image: Mia Haggi

If everyone in the world was comprised of 2 elements, which would yours be?

Sparkles and water

What makes you feel empowered, and when do you feel most empowered?

The fact that I am working for myself, getting things done. I feel most empowered when I feel good after a good shoot.

MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi

Using any kind of descriptor (from people to adjectives/nouns), how would you describe your look?

Fifth Element, Pulp Fiction, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the “HBA” girl. Personally, I just like to keep it changing.

MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi
MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi

Do you feel that it’s important to stay up to date with technology? How do you interact with technology around you?

I’ve had this fascination with technology since I was a small girl, my parents had to hide screwdrivers or anything I could use to open up TV’s or radios at home. Technology is here to help and makes our lives easier. I only own a
bare minimum of technology as one in photo/video field could. Technology indeed is important, but also we shouldn’t forget skills/craftsmanship, creativity and the power of nature.

Are you someone who considers future trends, today? If so, how do you stay ahead of the trends?

I usually don’t look for what is trendy because it comes and goes. Style is what I admire most, so I just go with my own flow.

MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi
MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi

What message do you want to convey through your work to your audience?

Life can be magical.

Why did you choose to be a photographer?

I like capturing moments and keeping those moments as a visual diary. I come from an art background and it seemed right to express myself through photography.

If you have to pick one photograph you took that you’re most proud of what is it and why?

There are many photographs that I love. Work and love have been put into them. But from recent images I love this image with my friend Nathan, it was challenging getting milk and smoke coming out at the same time.

MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi

17. What was the most fun photo shoot you have done?

It is difficult to say. Most of my shoots are fun. This shot with Nathan was hilarious. I love shooting him, it is always fun. Shooting Lila with my friend Georgie was fun. I shot a story in the fields and forest in Estonia with some ballerinas, which was also fun. I don’t think I would do what I do if it wasn’t enjoyable 🙂

18. What is your favorite subject and why? What’s your favorite time and place to shoot?

I love shooting people and dancers. You get to know a person, and it can be tricky, but if it wasn’t, what is the point? Dancers have the ability to morph their body in a beautiful way, which I like. Location wise, I tend to prefer shooting outdoors, usually in daylight.

MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi
MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi
MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi

What was your first memory of photography and using a camera?

Perhaps in middle school, when I borrowed my friend’s camera for a trip to Stockholm to perform with the ballet group I was a part of.

What does Christmas mean to you?

Bright lights, people stressing out prior to that, food and family time.

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Image: Mia Haggi
MIA-HAGGI
Image: Mia Haggi

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