Inspired, A Very Special Project | Danielle Hatcher Photography
So excited for today’s edition of The Inspired Project!! If you are new to this series I scope out talent around the industry (whether they are film, digital, clean, vintage, wedding, child photographers etc etc etc.) and beg them to let me feature them. OR sometimes I will get an email from someone nominating someone they think would fit well and I can’t help myself! My goal for this series is to expose photographers for what they are. PEOPLE. Just like me and you. In this HUGE industry I think sometimes we assume that these talented photographers are born with a camera in their hand but that is So not the case (well most the time anyway and certainly not for me lol!) So I hope you enjoy this as much as I love putting it on.
This Tuesday I am featuring the wonderful Danielle Hatcher Photographer. Danielle has a stunning body of work with her rich processing and honest connection. Make sure if you hop to her blog you have a nice hot beverage and some time to kill because it is so easy to get lost in her beautiful portfolio!!
Lets get to know you! How would you describe yourself in three sentences?
I’m married to the best man ever and we have two children with one on the way + one pup. We love spending time together. If we can spend time together outdoors I consider it a bonus.
What sparked your passion for Photography?
I grew up using my mom’s camera (film, obviously). She supported me taking photos whenever I wanted. I also took the “standard” photography course in High School. But it wasn’t until my oldest child was born in 2008 that I really immersed myself into everything photography related. I learned how to shoot manual on my point and shoot, and when the right time came I bought my first DSLR. Since then I haven’t really looked back.
Whats in your camera bag?
Nikon D700, Nikon D7000, Nikon 24-70 2.8G, Nikon 50mm 1.8G, and SB 910.
What Camera/Equipment did you start out with?
I started with a Nikon D5000 and two kit lenses.
If you could only use one lens an entire session which one would you choose and why?
It really depends on what I’m shooting. If I’m shooting a family with young children, hands down I’ll go with the 24-70. But if I’m shooting subjects that stay where I place them (i.e. seniors or newborns) I will use my 50mm.
What advice would go give to someone just beginning in photography and hoping to have a business of their own?
Learning the ins and outs of photography + running a business is extremely daunting. Write out goals, specific things you’d like to work on, and just start plugging away. This time last year I was working on my marketing + branding, and also my black and white conversions. Then I moved on to other items as the year progressed. Learning this craft is a never-ending process – it’s a constant evolution. But by focusing on a few things at a time, you will likely help avoid burnout and/or feeling overwhelmed.
What was your first official Photographer crush if you had one?
GOSH. So many. Tara Whitney was probably my earliest and biggest photographer crush. Still follow her to this day.
What kind of photos do you like to take for just yourself when not working with clients?
My personal photos tend to be darker + moodier. I love contrast between dark and light and play with that a lot in my own personal work.
If you could photograph absolutely anyone who would it be dead or alive?
My father passed away when I was very young and I would love to have more photos of him. He’d be my top pick for sure.
Describe your style in 3 words.
Fun, easy-going, light-filled
Most embarrassing moment on a session would be?
One time I laid in a field of stickers (you know those things that get caught up in dog’s fur?). I was plucking them out of my wardrobe the entire session. And they HURT. I was wearing sweater boots, and to this day I still don’t have all the stickers out of my boots. It’s nearly impossible to get those things out!
Any challenges you have had to overcome to be where you are today?
There is a great video making it’s way around the internet referencing Ira Glass on the creative process (found here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbC4gqZGPSY). I struggled with this a LOT at first. Oftentimes, my work didn’t match my vision. And it frustrated me SO MUCH. What I envisioned wasn’t what I ended up capturing with my camera. And it’s still something I work on, but it happens less and when it does I try not to let it bother me so much.
Favorite time of day to shoot is?
Any time I can get out and shoot is great. For clients I like the hour just before the sun goes down.
If you had to stop taking photos right now, what would you do instead?
I don’t even want to think about stopping… but I guess if I had to I would just spend more time on my “chores.” I imagine my house would be a LOT cleaner without all that time at the computer editing. 😉
Have you attended college or had any formal education in Photography?
Nope. No formal education in Photography (aside from the High School class mentioned above). I am self-taught aside from one online workshop I took (from Clickin’ Moms) along with a LOT of studying, reading, absorbing, etc. I do have my degree in Exercise Biology (completely unrelated to photography, of course).
What do you do to get your clients to relax with you?
I talk a lot. I make fun of myself. And if it’s a family session, I really work on getting the kids happy. If the kids are happy and laughing (either at me or with me), the parents will loosen up too. Then everyone has genuine smiles and it shows in the photos.
What are your photography related goals for 2012?
One of my biggest goals is to achieve more balance between my personal and professional life. I would also love to take a few more workshops. Maybe attend an in-person workshop or conference.
How do you push yourself to keep growing and learning? Any Big Aha! Moments?
I know there is still so much for me to learn, that in and of itself pushes me to keep growing. My biggest AHA! moment was this past year… I learned there is no such thing as bad light, only poor use of light. Learn how to use the light that is available to you and you will find your work grow exponentially.
Biggest Photography related insecurity?
I always fear that my clients won’t like or appreciate the finished product. I’m constantly wanting feedback from them, even if it’s negative, so that I can fix anything that may be wrong.
Digital or Prints?
Digital. I’m flat rate, all inclusive, meaning my fees include the digital files. I do offer boutique items and print packages to my clients and I’d say about half of them buy more than just the digitals.
How do you set yourself apart from other local photographers?
I don’t know much about what other local photographers offer, but I’d like to think I set myself apart by just being me. I am easy to work with, and I love establishing that personal connection with all my clients. I send them all an extensive questionnaire about themselves, their spouse and their family. I also include a hand written thank you note in all my packages. More often than not, my clients become my friends and I love that.
What do you think your next photography related investment will be?
I have a LONG list of things I’d like to add to my bag… I’d love another speedlight so I can set up multi-light OCF. As for lenses, I am looking to add an 85mm 1.4, 105 2.8 micro, and some sort of tilt shift (haven’t decided if I’d go the lensbaby route or not). I’d also love to acquire a film camera this year.
If you had to recommend ONE thing that a photographer needs in their camera bag what would that be?
A cheap prime lens. Kit lenses are SO hard to learn manual with because as you change the aperture your aperture will most likely change with it (assuming you’re trying to shoot “wide open”) and then your exposure will be off.
What would you say your biggest muse is?
My kids. And light.
Favorite Color: Blue
Favorite Season: Summer
Biggest Guilty Pleasure: Food. I love food!
Pet Peeve: People who complain about something but aren’t willing to do anything to change it.
Favorite Pandora Station: I made my own… started with the Decemberists, added in Jack Johnson, Mumford and Sons, and Adele. Love!
Studio or On location: On location.
What did you want to be when you grew up? A pediatrician.
One thing no one knows about you is: I was the last female with my maiden name in the country when I got married (aside from my grandmother who has since passed away). It’s a Norwegian name and sounded like “turtle” in English, so I got a tattoo of a turtle on my ankle before I got married.
Pc or Mac: Mac
Lightroom Or Photoshop: Lightroom (98% of the time)
Film or Digital: Digital (as I mentioned, I’m hoping to start on some film work this year).
Props or No Props: Aside from a blanket, no props.
If you could travel anywhere it would be: Somewhere tropical. I’m in desperate need of the beach right about now.
Glass Half Empty or Half Full: Half full.
Raw or Jpeg: RAW
Favorite Music to Edit to: I actually prefer to edit in silence. It is pretty great for me to be alone with my thoughts and my photos after the kids are in bed.
Favorite Quote: “Bloom where you are planted.” (I have no idea where this quote originally came from… some say the bible, some say a song, some say Mary Engelbreit. Regardless, I love it)
Most valued material possession: My cameras, for sure.
Processing Style: Clean matte
Coffee or Tea: Diet Dr. Pepper. HA!
If you could photograph a Celebrity who would it be?
What kind of Camera bag do you rock? I have the Kelly Moore Mimi bag in Grey and the Epiphanie Lyric bag in Plum. I love both equally and switch them out often.