Monday, November 1, 2010

Meet Hannah

A while back I did a post about Vivien, a Flickr friend who takes incredible photographs. You can read her interview here. There was a lot of positive response to that, so I decided to interview another amazing photographer on Flickr, Hannah Martin. All the following pictures are hers. (View her photostream here.)

My heart beat is the only thing telling me I'm alive
Me: Where do you live? Does location influence any of your photos?

Hannah: I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere in good ol' Canada. Honestly, my location really doesn't influence me. I'm extremely grateful for some of the beautiful locations I have around here but I know if I were to live somewhere like England I'd be on a frenzy with photography. Ha.

Me: How old are you?

Hannah: I just turned fifteen in September :)

Me: How did you get into photography?

Hannah: Oh my, it was the summer before high school and I had this crappy little Kodak point and shoot which hated me yet I still took pictures. I loved doing portraits because I loved when someone saw a picture I took of them and they felt beautiful if even for a second...with that I caught the eye of an interesting older boy who happened to be an actual photographer himself. We happened to get involed with each other and really it was the type of romance you find in books ha and he inspired me and encouraged me and taught me a lot which [led] to me buying my Nikon d60.

Me: Have you taken any photography classes, or are you self-taught?

Hannah: I haven't taken any classes. Like I mentioned that boy did teach me a few things but I wasn't much interested enough to listen at the time. So I'm very much so self taught.

Me: What inspires you to take pictures?

Hannah: People. People inspire me to take pictures. The way they act, who they are, who they will be five days after a photograph is taken. All those characteristics inspire me to take photos, but even more so, I'd say old pictures. I love going through them and wondering what it was like and what happened at the moment it was taken. Or when I see a picture I have taken and I can remember things said, smells, and the overall feeling just from looking at one photograph. There's something in that honesty and nostalgia that I just can't get enough of.

Me: Where do you like to take your pictures?

Hannah: I like to take pictures outside (mostly because I can only manipulate natural light and am a fail with any other kind). Especially in fields or somewhere with a gorgeous background landscape.

fall back, fall down, fall into

Me: I've really enjoyed your Seven Truths Project. Can you explain how you started that, why you started it, what it's all about?

Hannah: Wow, my seven truths project...hmm. There are multiple inspirations that came into one big idea. Mostly though, it started with my best friend and my sister, two people I look up to more than anyone else. My sister had gone through awful sexual abuse from a family friend and never spoke a word about it. When she told me I was devestated because this incident led her to anorexia and to her lack of self value which led to teen pregnancy. Meanwhile my best friend almost lost her life to an eating disorder also.

Those are two secrets that almost destroyed them. Then I found Brighten's stream. She does a secret project and I was ridiculously inspired and I fell in love with it. Then this summer at camp there was a service (it was a church camp) and there was an altar call and I remember just breaking down and sobbing like a crazy person. I hadn't cried in ages but I couldn't stop. Everything was wrong. And I realized all that I was hiding from myself. With all these factors I came to the point where I saw how devestating lies can be...The most honest truth Icould give anyone would be people are hiding so much more than you could ever IMAGINE and when you say something or do something to hurt them you have no idea what they go home to or what their lives really are like.

A Letter...

Me: Could you see yourself going into photograpy as a career?

Hannah: To be honest, not really. I don't feel that's where I'm talented or where God wants me. But I do use it for income to pay for missions trips and to put towards university.

Me: Any tips for beginning photographers?

-Don't discourage yourself by comparing your work to all those famous fany photographers. Chances are they have about 90 years of experience on you and they have a bajillion dollar camera.
-Have self confidence. Being proud of your work is so important because chances are not everyone will like it but the fact is so many others will absolutely looove it.
-Express yourself. As much as I sound like Dr. Phil, photography is a way to take a horrible day and make it beautiful. Don't lose sight of that. I really don't have any legit, technical tips because as you can see I'm not a technical photographer, I'm just an over emotional teenager with a fancy camera and a mind on over drive.
Give Me Your Eyes

Thanks so much to Hannah for letting me interview her. Once again, all the pictures in this post belong to her.