Q + A : part 2

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[pc: Cheyenne Schultz]

If you missed part 1, you can look back at it here.

I am excited to answer the rest of your questions today!
Thank you again to everyone that submitted. :)

Do you have tips for scoring thrifty treasures
Go straight to the sale racks at stores...I could live among sales racks/clearance sections I think. ;)
If you're shopping at garage sales don't be afraid to ask people if they will take less for something--
the worst they can say is no! 
Look through things slowly at a garage sale, or come back to it later.
Sometimes you find amazing things returning to the same place a second time.
Pray and ask God to bring you amazing finds. :)

What is one of your current photography dreams/goals?
To keep improving my work and really push myself creatively...to make each of my sessions better than the last.
As far as a dream, in my area there are some super gorgeous hills that I would totally die of happiness if I got to shoot on...someday, hopefully. :)

Is there a special shoot you have been envisioning for a long time that you'd love to shoot someday?

I've mentioned it in the past, but I am planning to do a children's Indian/Aztec themed shoot at some point in the future...excited about that!!

How did you make the transition from an aspiring photographer to a professional photographer?

Umm, well I don't really consider myself to be a professional photographer yet,
as I'm not totally sure where that dividing line is between a photographer and a professional and where I would fit in that spectrum! :)
I guess I did feel more 'official,' if you would call it that, when I started my actual business.
Previously I had just done photoshoots for fun with friends, and in the fall of 2011 I came up with a price list 
for those that wanted to hire me to take their pictures, and my business grew from there.

How much editing/culling do you do after a session?

Quite a bit. 
Culling takes me a ton of time, but I have gotten faster over the years--I think! :)
Once I cull down the session to the final photos I will give to the client, I go through and do facial touchup and editing.
I usually cull through a session multiple times before I have it whittled down to the final shots, 
and once that is done I do the actual editing of the photos.

What kind of editing program do you use?
I pretty much never use Photoshop except for graphics projects, or for adding text to photos.

Who/what inspires you the most?
the queen of family sessions, seriously..her work never ceases to blow me away!
I also highly recommend her family posing guide.

the creativity and amazing images she produces is beyond epic.

love her heart, shooting style, beautiful and authentic photos.

Dana of MADE
yes, that is a sewing blog--and I don't sew.
go ahead and judge me. :P
I totally love Dana's style and fun colors/projects/gifts though...
and she was one of my biggest inspirations to even get into photography from the beginning.

other inspiration: the cliche Pinterest, instagram, watching people...
sometimes I'll get an awesome posing idea just from watching how a child stands or crouches.

What is a typical/normal day like for you?

is there such a thing as normal?! haha.
honestly, my weeks can be so different, and my months according to the time of year and if I am traveling or not!
a rough example of a day, (not everything in perfect order) might be:
get up
Bible time
(annnd sometimes this happens way late in the day, depending if I ditch the shower idea 
and opt to work for awhile instead. keeping it real, folks.)
help Mom
work on a blog post
teach piano lessons
other randomness--pinterest/instagram/read blogs/more e-mails/social media/ etc, etc.

Some days I have a photo session, or am gone the whole day volunteering at a ministry office, so each day is different and various things come up each day/week so this is by no means a fixed list, just a few highlighted things from my daily routine. 

What are your favorite frozen yogurt toppings? 
well, it probably depends on what mood I'm in! :P
But, I love sprinkles, chopped up reese's cups, andes mints, whoppers, chopped snickers.
I don't know that I would put all these together at the same time, but those are some of my favorites.  :)

What is your favorite session/person you've done? 

I honestly love every single session I do...I feel so blessed and privileged to have this job, 
and it is really kind of impossible to pick just one session/person as my favorite.
I also get so excited thinking about all the shoots in the future that will become my new favorites..and I haven't even shot them yet! 

I guess if I had to pick a few, some of my top ones from the last few years would be:
[added to this list would be some sessions I just did within the last few months that I haven't blogged yet--can't wait to share them!]

What are some tips/suggestions for aspiring photographers?
My biggest piece of advice to anyone just starting is to really make your business as professional as possible from the beginning.
I am by no means a perfect example of this!!
I do feel strongly though, that just because you are getting your business going doesn't mean that you can start out by having lousy packaging 
or a cheesy logo and think "I'll make it look better in the future."
Do the very best you can right from the start to present yourself well, and go the extra mile...
with packaging, communication with clients, social media, etc.

I always encourage people about marketing as well--
get yourself a facebook page so you can tag clients in photos, print little photo cards for clients to hand out,
send out e-mails to a bunch of people if you decide to do a special for fall photo sessions, etc.
Look for creative ways to get people talking about your business.

It is also really important to realize that what you look at, is what your work will look like.
If you look at pictures that are all taken during golden hour--that's when you will want to shoot.
If you follow photographers that shoot raw/authentic moments all the time--you will desire that for your own pictures.
If you look at pictures that aren't very good, well, your pictures probably won't be very good either.

Follow the work of the true professionals in the industry, and study their photos.
What did they do to get this reaction between the couple?
How did they pose the child?
Where is the light coming from in this shot?
The more you look at amazing, creative photographers, the more you will feel inspired and grow to be better yourself.

I hope these answers are helpful to someone--happy Friday!
I have several shoots this weekend, so be checking my facebook page for previews--
see you Monday!

~H. Elise
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  1. Hannah - Seriously.... I love reading your blog. It's a huge highlight in my day. You are a blessing, God's using you in a big way... all over the "country" with FB & blog followers. thanks for being such a shining example of humility, grace and hilarious transparency. I love you & your sweet spirit. Miss you terribly! W

    1. Wendy..I love you, friend. so blessed to know you and your family and thanks for always believing in me from the start.
      miss you!!

  2. Great post Hannah! You are such an encouragement. Loved the tips you gave, they made so much sense. I pray that you remain encouraged and continue in the Lord's good work.

  3. LOVED reading this post, Hannah! Especially the part on your advice to aspiring photographers! I would love to get more into photography, so it was really nice reading that! My sister and I share a Canon Rebal t3i. I really like it! Thanks for sharing this post!! Look forward to the rest!! :) ~Tashia

  4. wonderful post girlie. love the B+W look. :)

  5. Hey Hannah!

    I came across this http://www.howdoesshe.com/oh-snap-build-your-own-photography-prop-tent/ and thought you might be interested in it someday for your kids Aztec shoot?! :)

    Just thought I'd share!

    Love your blog. . .great job!!!

    1. That is so cute!! Thanks so much for sharing, Maddie! :)

  6. Loved this post, Hannah! (I know, lamest comment ever :P)

  7. Thank you so much, Hannah! Love these Q+A posts...heyyy, you could make it a monthly thing. *hint, hint* Just an idea. =) Ah, sad to see the end of boho blogtober around the corner. :P But I shall simply savor each of these last posts as they come! :)

  8. If people are hiring you, you ARE a professional photographer. :-)


please leave a comment -- I would love to hear your thoughts on this post!! :)