Thursday, July 7, 2011

Hayley Johnson Photography

Name: Hayley Johnson       
Business Name: Hayley Johnson Photography
Location: Wagga Wagga NSW Australia

I just have to give a quick little intro to Hayley Johnson's interview. I just LOVE her work. I love the way she composes her shots, I love the way she processes her images...I love love love her! lol. Anyway, I am super-d-duper excited to share her inspiring point of view. She's got it together and we can all learn a thing or two from her! Enjoy! 

Hayley Johnson
Questions for you...You Fabulous Photographer, You! 
What gear is in your camera bag? 
Canon 5D Mk II, Canon 7D, 24-70mm 2.8, 50 mm 1.4, Lensbaby Muse + Macro Kit

What is your favorite lens to use and why? 
50mm 1.4. It’s just a fab lens, I love it’s perfect focus, clarity, softness and DOF
Give us one sentence to describe the style of your photography. 
 Inspired – It is inspired by everything real and natural around me every day!

What caused your interest in photography?  
 It’s a long story really, but I will try to keep it short.  I was just going through a lot of things in my personal life and feeling very lost and void of any inspiration in my every day life.  My older brother was in town for a visit and he handed me his camera and said “Take photos” and my passion was born in that very second!
What is your favorite thing to shoot and why?  
 I love to shoot fine art florals, it just brings me a sense of peace, and inspires the rest of my work.

How long did it take before you felt that you established a solid portfolio? 
I feel as though I am constantly building my portfolio, always wanting to grow more, do more, BE more.  So I suppose I may never feel like I have quite accomplished an established portfolio.  
 How long did it take you to discover your style of photography?   
At first, I thought I had to find something that fitted me just right. I looked at the work of others and I wondered if my work should be crisper, brighter, more modern, but nothing felt right.  It wasn’t until I realized that what comes from my heart IS my style that I was able to feel confident and just shoot for what comes naturally.  That said, as I have grown over the past two years, my style has developed and changed somewhat. 

What inspires you most?  
 Light.  Light would have to be my number one inspiration.  I remember the first time I realized this, I was cooking dinner and this warm glow came through the window.  I just turned the oven off and grabbed my camera and took a drive until I found something amazing to shoot in the stunning warm light.  I still feel that way every time I catch a glimpse of a warm hazy glow. 
 How long does it typically take you to edit a portrait shoot? Weddings?   
I edit each and every photo individually, so it usually takes 2-3 weeks to finish a session.  I can spend anywhere from 6-30 hours on the whole process from editing, blogging, sneak peeks etc. which is a long time, but it’s worth it to ensure every single photo is exactly as it should be!
Do you use studio equipment? If so, what would you say is the most crucial piece in your studio and why? 
I don’t actually, it’s just my bag and I!

What are you looking most forward to this year...Both professionally, and personally? 
My business is steadily growing which is a really wonderful feeling.  I have recently been listed as a “Wedding Chicks” preferred vendor, so I am hoping this will bring me the opportunity to travel to some amazing places for weddings.  I am busy {slowly} refurbishing vintage pieces of furniture for my new office space, so I am looking forward to having a beautiful office over the next few months.  Personally, I am hoping to find that perfect balance of business owner and Mum/partner which is a little more hectic than I ever imagined, and just enjoy more time with my little family and my gorgeous friends who support me and my crazy work hours!
 Do you ever get "bored" with your work? If so, what do you do to shake things up?   
Yes, sometimes I feel completely uninspired and somewhat bored.  I am still learning what it takes to really shake things up, but I have learned not to push myself or I will just burn out creatively.  I browse Pinterest for inspiration, it’s AMAZING the small things that can inspire an entire session and give me the motivation to get planning!

What's the one thing about your work that you feel sets you apart from the big sea of photogs?  
 I like to think my work is just really unique.  I don’t spend time checking out other photogs to see what they are doing, I just shoot the way I shoot and I think this is the real key.  I am always told that I see the world differently than others, and I think this is what makes my work different.
 Do you have an idea for a shoot, but have no clue how you are going to make it happen?   
ABSOLUTELY!  I have ideas all the time that just seem impossible to fulfil or I get a “vision” for a shot that just doesn’t quite come through for me, I often wonder how some photogs can produce something epic and profound with every single session!

How do you balance your personal life with your work life?  
 As I stated above, it can be a real challenge, I never thought it would be quite so difficult to keep the balance.  I have only recently started only corresponding to business related calls/emails in normal office hours, after finding myself replying to emails at 2am, answering calls during dinner etc.  I have recently moved my business from home into an office space which has helped define the line of work and home much more clearly – I am no longer working every time I get a chance to sit down, or hanging laundry every time I need a 5 minute break from work.  It also makes home feel like HOME again. 
If you could live anywhere, where would it be? 
Paris or London!  I have never been but both are just calling my name!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?   
Travelling the world shooting amazing weddings in amazing places and hopefully still loving every minute of my work!  

What are you most proud of? Both professionally and personally?  
 Personally I am most proud of my gorgeous son who is almost 9 years old and the light of my life.  He fills my day with joy and love and lots and lots of laughter.  I am proud because I know as a mother I am raising a wonderful, kind, compassionate little guy who will do amazing things as he grows.  Professionally I am proud of so many things, but most of all it would have to be the fact that I have busted into this industry and not looked back.  There are times when being self taught made me feel incompetent or “less” of a photographer, but I quickly learned that those of us who are self taught can stand proud that we have achieved our success on our own, as opposed to feeling less worthy.  Through my work and passion for photography I have learned sooo much and gained true self worth, and I am incredibly proud of that!

Describe in one paragraph what a perfect day for you would look like.   
Oh, there are just soooo many ways a perfect day could go for me, but I will be totally boring and tell you that a day that begins with a giant sleep in, is spent with my family and ends with a beautiful session at sunset would have to just take the cake!

What turns you on the most creatively and what turns you off?    
What turns me on creatively?  BEAUTIFUL LIGHT, the beautiful work of others {not necessarily photos, I can get inspired by colour palettes or anything at all I see on Pinterest or Etsy!}, music – Music really plays a huge part in my moods and the way I work and see things.  I have to to play fun, upbeat or folky music before a session and while I am editing! What turns me off creatively? It HAS to be days and days of rain and bad light… It just leaves me feeling void of all creativity.
 As far as marketing your business goes, what would you say are the most important and beneficial things to do when you want to get your name out there?  
 First of all, being really ready is the main thing, marketing too early, ie. Before your work is all it can be, could be a massive mistake that is hard to recover from.  Once you’re ready, it’s important to know your target market, what type of shooting you want to do, and even how MUCH work you need/want and then you can put your marketing ideas together.  Making sure you market to the right audience means you will get the customers you want and need!  I don’t advertise at all, my business has grown through word of mouth and social networking alone which I am ever grateful for.  A Facebook business page/fan page is the single most beneficial form of marketing I have used thus far!  It’s important to update and post frequently to keep people interested – every time someone comments on a photo, they are potentially sharing your page with their own friends list, and so the list goes on…

What's the one piece of advice that you feel a person just starting a photography business would benefit from?
BE. A. BUSINESS. MANAGER!  That’s the best advice I can share – don’t just be a photographer, also be the best business manager you can be!  Learn all it takes to run your business, from client communications, filing, record keeping to taxes and marketing and business plans.  Being a great photographer is not enough if you can not run an efficient and viable business!  Work with someone who has experience running a business, do one on one mentoring specifically in the area of the photog business or do a short course at your local community college, it will be worth it to know all that hard work you put in as a photographer will benefit you as a business owner! 
 Hayley, Thank you so much for giving us so much GREAT, inspiring information...I agree with you 100% that being self-taught is really an extraordinary accomplishment! None of us self-taught photogs should ever feel that we are less than we are. If you have a great product, it will sell. Regardless of the degree that came with it! And I can attest first hand to learning how to run a BUSINESS and it's importance. It is SO important. If you don't know anyone that knows about managing a photog business, it will be worth it to you to hire a good accountant who has worked FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS. Save yourself the tax headaches and time that you could be putting into what you do! Thank you Hayley! We loved getting to know you!


  1. Fabulous! I LOVE Hayley's work, everything from her portraits to the still life and florals.
    Very inspired photography!!

  2. So, if you’re considering a change in your photography business or taking it to another level, why not open your own full body 3D scanner ? It will give you a whole new audience for your work