Thursday, August 25, 2016

Meet This Week's Guest Judge: Hayley Hay

This week, Haley of Hayley Hay Photography has asked you to share how you make contact with nature. We're glad to have her here - enjoy her photos and thoughts on photography! 

1. Tell us about yourself... 

Hi, I'm Hayley, a Brit, married to New Zealander, together we have been living as expats for 3 and a half years in the beautiful French speaking part of Switzerland, watching our two little boys grow up in the great outdoors, swimming in the lake, skiing in the mountains and speaking French every day to their buddies! Our boys are our life and my passion is to document as much of their lives as possible.  I love exploring new places, running in the idilic Swiss countryside, discovering anything new that presents a challenge and that ultimately results in a sense of achievement.  I love life, laughter, and happiness. That's me in a nutshell. 

2. What ignited your passion for photography, and what fuels it now? 

My story is  a typical cliché, it was the birth of our first son that ignited my passion and it has continued to grow with the birth of his younger brother. Together they have a magical synergy - they grow up so rapidly and change so quickly that I feel the need to freeze small moments in time to create  memories through images!

Other than my own children, I love to capture happy memories for others, there is nothing better than the feeling that you have made someone's day by cementing a memory of their child in exactly the way they had hoped! 

3. What’s in your camera bag right now, what do use the most? the least? 

I'm a Canon girl, I have a 5D mark III, which I love and several lenses that I go between depending on how i feel.  I probably use my 70-200mm the most and more recently my wide angle lens 16-35mm which has brought a whole new feel to my images. Then I have a heap of memory cards, batteries and flash! I also have a few little props for trying out tricks such as my little copper pipe which I shoot through to get a beautiful ring of sun rays around my subject, it's tricky but fun! 

4. What’s your dream project or shoot?

I don't think I really have a pre-conceived idea of a dream shoot or project, for me my dream shoots are when I've captured the perfect moment between two people or if I get an epic shot.  I used to think that having a totally styled shoot set up would be awesome but now I realise that some of my favourite images are taken in the most boring places rather than against stunning scenery or with beautifully styled models.  I guess my dream shoot would be for the stars to align and everything to go swimmingly during a shoot.  I love it when I come home so excited to get the images on my computer to edit them.  

5. What is the biggest challenge you face as a photographer?

My greatest challenge has been managing my time as a photographer, I never quite feel on top of my work and constantly have a pile of editing to get through.  Also running your own business is hard at times, I'm not very good at switching off, I should allocate times and hours for working but I tend to be answering emails at all hours and editing until late.  Most definitely my biggest challenge is finding a better balance between work and life! 

6. If you had $500 to spend on photography... 

How should you spend it?

I should probably spend it on investing back in to my business, marketing and advertising, updating my website etc.  All the stuff that doesn't massively excite me!

How do you wish you could spend it?

All on props and kit, lenses in particular, I have too many already but I could go on and on!

How would you really spend it? 

I would probably spend it on some kind of course to improve my skills either with the camera or in post processing, I love learning and don't mind paying out for a good workshop or course as it pays off in the long run in my work!  There is always so much to learn with photography!

7. Is there any one thing you wish someone had told you at the very beginning of your photography journey? 

While I think it is really important to master the technical side of photography and understand the rules and various techniques, sometimes I think it is so easy to get hung up on getting everything technically perfect that you miss some of the art and important moments that don't necessarily matter if they are slightly out of focus. In fact some of my favourite images that I have nearly binned, are those that would probably be considered as photographic errors.  I wish someone had pointed this out to me in the beginning, to enjoy my art, take in the moment rather than trying too hard to accurately present what is in front of the camera but rather to feel the emotion.

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