This week Verge got to chat one of the worlds top tech-reviewers – Safwan Ahmedmia aka Super Saf. Not only did we get to find out how he managed to gain over 1.5 million subscribers and over 292 million total video views, but also the story behind those iconic shades…
How did you first get into tech?
I’ve always been into tech as far as I can remember, I saved up for over a year to buy my first phone, the Nokia 3210 and naturally became ‘Tech Support’ for the family over time. If any of my friends/family wanted to buy a new smartphone, camera, laptop etc, they’d always come to me for advice.
What was the process of you starting your own channel? Any advice for a budding YouTuber?
In 2011 I bought my first ever DSLR camera and with 0 training or experience, I taught myself how to use it through trial and error and watching YouTube videos and started posting a lot of my images and videos online. Following that, I’d get lots of people asking me for advice on which camera to buy and sending long email replies wasn’t the most effective use of my time so I decided to film short videos covering the cameras I used and why I used them and YouTube was, of course, the best place to publish videos to get the widest reach.
My advice has always been,
Don’t try to make people watch your videos, make videos people want to watch.
You’re likely to be your own target audience so always ask yourself, is the video I am making something I would have liked to have seen myself? And what value am I bringing by making this video compared to what’s already out there? Remember, if there are a 100 others making a similar video, then you need to have a unique and original twist to yours to make it stand out.
You are known for your signature shades, how did that come about?
Ha, so I normally wear contact lenses when out, so my eyes dry up very quickly. To counter this, I would wear sunglasses and over time it just became a thing and now if I don’t have them on, people ask “Who is this guy?”. Plus I don’t sleep much so the sunglasses do a good job of covering the eyes lol.
You take some amazing pictures, what are your top tips for taking photographs and selfies?
Thank you. I think it’s just a matter of trial and error, experimenting with different techniques and eventually finding your own style. We live in a time of unlimited cloud storage, so don’t be afraid to take lots of shots until you find the one that is right.
If you’re shooting on a pro camera (DSLR/Mirrorless) then I always recommend shooting in RAW format and having a play around in something like Adobe Lightroom. There is so much potential to be creative with a RAW image in editing.
Remember, if there are a 100 others making a similar video, then you need to have a unique and original twist to yours to make it stand out.
What is your go-to phone for taking photos at the moment?
Tough question! I am fortunate enough to be able to change phones often and I like different smartphones for different things but currently, my favourite ‘all-rounder’ would have to be the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Consistency is very important to me and I feel that currently, the iPhone is the most consistent across all cameras (Primary, Ultrawide, Telephoto, Selfies) both for images and video.
Do you still get the same feeling when opening tech now
It’s always exciting when you get a new package and I always appreciate that I am able to unbox so many cool products but that ‘feeling’ does really depend on the product. For instance, when I got the Samsung Galaxy Fold, that was a special moment as it was one of the most unique products I had unboxed in a long time.
You’re a part of the most influential Youtuber tech squad (with Marquees Brownlee, iJustine etc). What is it like being in this elite group?
Very blessed! I am so fortunate to be part of such a great community and am always inspired by how down to earth and humble everybody is. It’s not about how many followers you have, it’s the joint passion we all have for Tech and how we can all move forward together.
The Galaxy Fold really got me excited last year and I see a lot of potential in this area.
What do you expect from the new phones due to come out later this year? Any huge surprises?
I think in this day and age there aren’t many huge surprises as everything leaks. We can expect a lot of the usual, improved displays, cameras and performance etc, but I am very interested to see the progression of the folding form factor. The Galaxy Fold really got me excited last year and I see a lot of potential in this area.
When you are allowed out (of quarantine), what’s the first thing you are going to do?
Get a haircut! I am sure all my brothers feel the pain of not being able to get that fresh trim for such a long time lol.
What are your future plans?
I generally just take things as they come and try not to plan too far ahead as things change so fast in this space. But generally speaking, I just want to continue creating content that I enjoy making and my audience enjoys watching.
Make sure to watch Super Saf here.