Interview#43 Hana Haley
How old are you?
Where are you from?
My answer for this grows more doubtful as I am not sure which town I feel I like I have really lived in – a small forest town in northern Oregon state or my current San Francisco.
What kind of photographic equipment do you use?
A basic film camera (I am forever advocating my Canon Ae-1) and occasionally its flash counterpart.
What do you do when you are not shooting?
My life (outside of photography) is a carnival of endeavors. I have been studying acting technique for 4 years, work part time for a fashion start up, and recently signed to a production company in LA as a young commercial director. I have a mangled attention span but try to read a new book once a month, go to the movies with my boyfriend, or go for long walks through the wavy streets with coffee in hand. Lately I have been feeling rather romantic about cooking— I’m making Spanish rice tomorrow for the first time.
What was the first photograph you were proud of?
This was maybe from the third roll of film I shot. Every photo was terrible, blurry, overexposed except for this one. Reminds me of that sweet time I was always nervous to shoot and my face was always blushing.
How much preparation is there behind your photographs?
It depends on the nature of the photograph — If I am shooting for a brand, designer, or individual I am going to do a hefty amount of research on their vision and mend it with my own with sketches, collages, ect. Most of my own personal photoshoots will have a storyline already mapped out in my mind but I don’t usually write it down. I work moment to moment in my personal shoots.
Have you ever done sacrifices or compromises as a photographer?
A few times - I would create images that I knew were very “trendy” but I did not feel proud about. I don’t post these photos but still can appreciate their existence.
What is your safe place?
Wherever there is rain, moss, a fireplace, homemade soup and old people who don’t know how to turn on computers.
Do you have any obsessions?
Buying candles I cannot rightfully afford. Googling ‘animals doing human things’. Documenting my visual experience on earth.
Is there an artist you’ll gladly collaborate with or that you regard with esteem?
I would love to photograph Ellen Rogers, Miranda July’s big blue eyes or Lea Seydoux. I much prefer to shoot musicians, photographers or other artists than baby-faced models. They have a much stronger presence and intention.
▶You managed to portray very different styles when it comes to fashion photography, from bon-ton to eccentric, bohemian etc How do you do? Do you follow some method? Do you find it difficult? A challenge?
Boredom comes too soon if I stick to the same old style over and over again. Same thing goes for locations, types of models, and lighting. I love variety and newness. It’s not difficult at all— the difficult thing would be to photograph the same style day after day after day.
[If you want to see more, find her on hanahaley.com]