I moved to Los Angeles California from Kansas a week after I graduated college and have never looked back! To thrive in my passion, I always knew I didn't fit in the Midwest as a photographer. I started my career working for a photography company and eventually grew out of it and branched out on my own. I can be creative and collaborate with MUA, models and clothing companies etc. I am obsessed with what I do and creating unique art.
Hilary, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Photographer?
I am passionate about fashion photography. I aspire to shoot for several publications and be recognised for my work to continue working and succeeding doing what I love the most. I started as a photographer when I was in high school with a cheerleader teammate (photographer as well) asked to shoot me. We got to talking, and one thing leads to another and the next week I was hired at Flash Portrait Studios where I worked for two years and on holiday breaks when I would come home from college. Eventually, I broke off on my own outside the studio and started working with models and seniors for senior photos, (those are huge in the midwest) and that paid all my bills in college so win-win for me! I was able to work with amazing models and mua. I moved to Los Angeles, California after college and had continued my career as a photographer... Thanks, Britney for my first photoshoot :)
Who is your inspiration in life Hilary? How do you keep inspired?
Photography wise, Annie Leibovitz would be at the top of the list. I watched her documentary at a young age and became obsessed. I wanted to be just like her- only girlier. I'm also inspired by models. When I work with an amazing model, it makes my job that much better. I am an amazing director don't get me wrong, but when a model can work the camera, it's magic. As cliche as this may sound, I follow SEVERAL photography/magazine/model Instagram accounts. I keep inspiration around me at all times. I am constantly screenshotting inspo. I also surround myself with creatives, even not in the photography biz.
We all make mistakes Hilary; 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.
There are a few times I have worked as a second shooter photographer, and I wish I'd had taken more of a lead. I felt my role as a second shooter was not as important that that is not the truth. I kick myself for not stepping forward when I should have.
Hilary, 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?
As a photographer, I think of the overall picture. Of course, I'd love to chose the client and shoot of my choice or whatever client pays more (honestly), but I stick to the script most of the time. First come first serve. But everyone is equally important.
Please tell us, Hilary, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Photographer?
I have to keep a checklist of wardrobe, makeup, hair, camera gear and shot list. If I do not, I can become easily sidetracked. As long as I have my shot list and all my ducks in a row, I am good!
Hilary, please give us an example of a time when you were able to persuade someone to see things your way at work successfully.
I don't usually have to persuade someone to see things my way. I think my work speaks for itself. I make sure we are on the same page before even beginning to shoot. I also let the clients see images as we are shooting to make sure they are happy with the results before we get too far into it!
Hilary, 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 proudest moment would be when the client and myself are both ecstatic with the outcome. I am honestly more proud when a client raves about the work I have shot for them. I get high off of them loving my work. When I shot for an agency shoot with new and experienced models while styling would probably be one of my proudest moments. Knowing the photos, I was taking would be on comp cards and book the talent jobs!
Hilary, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
Oh, every time I shoot! I am always able to be creative with my work because I am the photographer. I am behind the lens, and I can see what looks good. Sometimes it can be difficult with location/model/mum/lighting etc. But generally, it is very fun exciting and creative.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Photographer?
Shoot ALL the time. Take your camera everywhere. The more you shoot, the more you learn. Watch youtube, read books, be HANDS ON. Work with several models, makeup artists, different cameras. Let your creativity flow freely.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
Yes, always. I love to shoot and collab on 70's raw style. It is what I'm into right now. I like edgy, funky a lot. A well thought out planned shoot is always great but off the cuff can be fun too and that's honestly where the best images can come from! I'd love to collaborate with Filthy Mouth Creative, The Dead Of Film, Good American denim, Urban Outfitters, Stussy, GUESS, Another Filthy Magazine, Naked Magazine, Lovers and Drifters Club.
Hilary Dahlquist Photography