My style is very minimal and often geometric. I love working with collages of different kinds that combine different elements of art with photography, so a lot of my work is physical as opposed to strictly digital. As many photographers do recently, I am also turning back to analogue photography and experimenting with grain and contrasts while developing my films. I love trying unique approaches and finding a so far unknown side to my sitters and objects.
Hannah, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
As cliche as it might sound - I have loved Photography from an early age an. Right after graduating from an art oriented high school where I was already taught the basics and completing extracurricular training in fine art, sculptures and illustrations I went on to London to study Photography at the SpÃ¨os Photographic Institute in 2016. I started out wanting to do photojournalism solely but quickly fell in love with working in the studio. The year of training at this school has made me focus my energy on Photography, and I've been working as a freelance commercial and portrait photographer ever since. Different photographers inspire my work throughout time, but mostly Seamus A. Ryan, Irving Penn and Richard Avedon have influenced my style and approach to photography. I am also passionate about fine art printing. My whole physical portfolio has been printed by myself by hand over the last year, and exhibitions prints have mostly been handmade by myself as well.
Who is your inspiration in life Hannah? How do you keep inspired?
My father has sparked my love for Photography and my boyfriend - also a videographer and photographer keeps me motivated to continuously improve my work and not be afraid to try new things. This past year I've had the pleasure of meeting and working with incredible people in the industry, and all of them have inspired me to try new things. I have started walking around with a different set of eyes. Even minor details in street scenes spark new ideas for shoots and approaches now.
We all make mistakes Hannah; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Photographer; you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
On a busy day shooting for an event, I was working with a senior photographer and felt like my work wasn't as good as it could have been due to my lack of experience in event Photography at the time. The lighting was quite bad on that particular shoot, and my colleague asked me to shoot in the program instead of manual, and I didn't listen to him at first because I was too stubborn. I wish I would have listened to him from the beginning since some of my photos turned out way too dark.
Hannah, when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Photographer, how do you go about prioritising your clients’ needs?
I always make sure to clarify when the work is due. I try not to take on too many jobs so I cannot stay on top of them all anymore. I deliver the files by the due date even if it means working night shifts (to a reasonable extent). and
Please tell us, Hannah, about a time you had to be very strategic in order to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
At the end of my education I've had to manage my time very wisely as we had to prepare an exhibition, multiple exams and I also took on three different client jobs at the same time one of which was photographing a whole collection of clothes for a fashion design graduate which turned out to be quite a challenging studio as well which in turn meant hours of post-production to produce still the clean lookbook style my client desired. I worked long hours and had to ask for half a week of additional time to complete the task. In order to finish work, I will sacrifice most of my free time and dedicate my whole energy to work and my education.
Hannah, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
When beginning as a photographer, most clients did not like my style of quite a dark lighting and strong shadows as opposed to soft contrasts and light pictures. I could persuade my teachers and portraiture clients of my moody style after all and am now quite happy with it.
Hannah, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Photographer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
My school had an exhibition at the Rencontres d'Arles this summer. Seeing my work and name at this massive festival must have been the proudest moment so far.
Hannah, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I work a lot with collages. My first series of Photographic collages explored the creative process in different artists, musicians and poets for example. I took portraits of different artistic people with similar lighting in front of uni-coloured backdrops of a colour of their choice (but no two colours are the same) and tore out the face and mind of the sitter, leaving the ears for the musician, the hands for the sculptor etc because those execute or determine the artists work. In the middle part of each portrait, I used a different medium underneath the photograph to visualise the creative process of each individual artist. Working with all these interesting people was really eye-opening because their mental processes were drastically different. Finding the sitters was quite challenging at first, but it worked well in the end.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
It's mostly about networking. You have to be quiet, but people have told me they quite like my quiet and peaceful nature in the studio. Sitters never like realising that you're nervous or confused yourself, so it's important always to have a competent and confident demeanour while not being cocky or arrogant. I think it's also important to never forget what an honour it is to work as a photographer. You get to meet amazing people and work on the most interesting projects. Never forget what an amazing job you get to do!
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state below what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I am open to working with anyone who likes my style. I love working for alternative and smaller brands that have a very distinct and unique style they would like to portray in their photography as well For me Photography is about capturing the essence of a brand or model so I'd love to work with anyone interesting and new!
Photographer: Hannah Alexa Geller @conqoct