We hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year, and you’re starting to recover and get back to normality! One of our resolutions this year is to share more of our favourite creatives with you, so to kick start it, we did a little interview with the fabulous Hana Laurie.
Hana left full-time employment in 2012 to embark on a life of photoboothing, photography and teaching, and it’s been amazing watching her business grow. A regular photography choice for Betty Blue’s, she always manages to capture the glamour and luxury of our designs (and shot our most recent accessories collection). We spoke to Hana to find out more about her business, photography, and of course – her favourite loungewear.
What is your name and how would you describe your job title?
Hello! I’m Hana and I’m a self-employed photographer and photobooth puppeteer.
Where are you based?
I’m based in my dining room in Alton, or in my car…
How long have you been running your business?
I’ve been photographing weddings since I was at Uni, around 2011… when I graduated I spent a year gathering some money before the bank of Dad and I bought Prints Charming Photobooth in November 2012.
How did you get from an aspiring photographer to actually do it full time as a career?
I’ve been lucky enough to work part time alongside getting the photography and photobooth businesses going… Anything from pub work to photography and art lecturing in two different colleges. It’s kept me out of trouble certainly. This year was finally the year where I stopped working for anyone but meeeee!
What type of technology/camera/software do you use so that you can concentrate on doing what you do best – capturing that image?
I use canon cameras of varying models for both my photography and photobooth adventures. I got a Canon 400d many moons ago as my first DSLR and I’ve not been able to work a Nikon since 😉
Which is your favourite – Film? Or Digital?
Ooh they’re such different beasts… I still get SO excited getting into a wet processing black and white darkroom, it’s like real magic watching images appear, and the smell is just wonderful. Having said that, I shoot almost exclusively digitally these days, it suits my needs that bit more, and the quality of lens glass is so exciting!
What inspires your photography projects?
Colour a lot of the time gets me excited – I’ve headed out a lot with the camera this autumn/winter with some fresh bursts of inspiration. It doesn’t come to me as easily as some, but a good tree tunnel with some fog is enough to tickle my fancy!
How do you get the person or object in front of your lens to translate in your images just the way you want it?
I think I changed my expectations and wants in the end… I started to love and appreciate the “real” in my wedding photography, the belly laughs and the ugly faces make up so much more of the vibe than being technically correct does. I try to recreate an atmosphere presented to me, whether that be uproar or class…!
Which photographers inspire you and have they influenced your career or thought process in taking images in any way?
There’s a wedding photographer called Anna who I met years ago at a wedding fair, she’s quirky and weird and was being outgoing with it in her photography. She inspired me to start being more “me” professionally. On a day to day basis, I have lots of photographer friends and we get together to shoot or hash out business ideas – without these people it’d be really difficult!
What are you trying to say with your photographs and how do you actually get your photographs to say that to your audience?
I’m trying to get people to be more… them. To be more relaxed and celebrate all of the moments of their lives, not the posed and considered ones! I’ve started blogging people with their stupid faces, or doing something silly and embarrassing, as well as never deleting a tagged photo of me either!
What motivates you to keep taking images?
Every day when we wake up, we get up for the dog and for nothing else. There’s no alarm going, no time we need to leave the house by and no-one to answer to. Both my partner and I are self employed working from home, and it’s such an amazing, supportive environment for us to feel encouraged and creative. I am loving being my own boss and that freedom has really got me taking more and more photographs!
Any advice for budding young photographers out there?
Photograph all the time. Everything. Photograph the dinner your Mum made. Photograph your dog. Photograph the weather and cookies and people. Everything! Practise makes perfect, and you’ll also get known as the person who loves photography – people will get you to do things for them and then you’ll say “£20 please!”.
Now onto the fashiony part, describe your style.
Ooh well. I don’t always get things right you know… I have a very… eclectic style. I have a rubber chicken handbag and some suspicious leggings in the collection. I love swing dresses and vintage style jumpsuits… but then, I’m very happy in joggers and a band t-shirt with a totally non-matching hoodie, Christmas socks and ballet shoes. So. My Mother often refuses to walk around Waitress with me. 🙂
Who inspires you style wise (past or present)?
I love people who get the combo of tailored style and comfort right. Like, how can you be so comfortable and look SO fierce?
What is your go to loungewear piece or item of clothing when you are relaxing at home? (we are a lounge wear company after all!)
I’ve got two answers for this. As soon as the nippy weather comes in, the white and silver fur onesie comes out – I didn’t think I wanted a onesie until I got this one. I call it a furry jumpsuit. There’s also “my” 1990s original New Jersey Devils Ice Hockey sweater. I stole it from Mum who stole it from Dad. It’s big, and grey, and SO comfortable.
What’s next? Any exciting projects or events that you are planning?
Well, I’m halfway through a months’ worth of photobooth parties at a local hotel, so when I’ve scraped myself off the floor I’ll have to have a think! We’re in the middle of decorating our first home, so as a break from that perhaps I’ll get together a nice vintage styled shoot in the spring. I’ve been thinking about a 60s/Mod theme for a while… So might see how that goes!
Finally give us all your website and social media links so we can all find you!
Thanks so much to Hana for taking the time to speak to us and share her story! Are there any photographers, models or other creatives you’d like to see us interview? Let us know in the comments below.
Lots of Love
Betty and Team Blues xxx