If you don't know Heather Nan yet, you are missing out. Her picture are incredible. Her style is fun and flirty. Her wisdom far surpasses her age. I love her work and her work ethic.
Get ready to be blown away!
You live in Utah. What 3 words would you use to describe your state?
Where else can you ski in the morning and drive a couple hours and rock climb in the red rock desert that afternoon? The Wasatch Mountains, Zion’s National Park & The Salt Flats… a pretty diverse combination in one state.
Have you seen any of the above-mentioned sites? Enough said.
This is the state of recreation. Many people move here based on what the can do in their off time and take full advantage of that.
When did you first pick up a camera and just know this was something you had to pursue?
I took a film class my last semester in college at Utah State University, and fell deeply in love the origins of photography, the history of film and all it’s processes. I continued to shoot film for a few years, but put the camera down for a while until my daughter was born. Classic.
Was your husband supportive or was he a little shocked by the price of cameras and equipment?
Lucky for me, he does understand quality, so my first digital camera was relatively nice a Nikon D200. Little did he know with in a year I would start a company, buy another new camera and spend lots, lots more on equipment… at least it’s a write off now :)
What has been one of your favorite shoots within the last year?
I had the honor to conceive and shoot the fashion editorial for the most recent issue of Utah Bride & Groom Magazine… that was a good one, for sure.
In addition, I shot for a new child’s clothing company, Culdesac Kid and some of the images, (including one of my daughter), ended up on the New York Times fashion blog, woo hoo! (check it out here.)
Not always, but I would say about 90% of the time. All of my wedding packages include a second shooting except for my smallest.
Are you good at networking?
I have been told I am really good at networking, but I think it just comes down to the fact I really enjoy people and making a connection with them.
How do you promote your photography and your services?
My biggest strength in promoting my photography has been my personal relationships with colleagues, clients and vendors. Referrals have gotten me most of my business. I was recently accepted as a preferred vendor for a local popular wedding blog and did pay money for an ad space. This is the first time I conceded to pay for advertising… we will see if it pays off.
I am fairly confident it will.
Your Circus Wedding Chic Inspirational shoot was astounding.
Have you done many events like that?
Thank you! That was the genius of two local Utah vendors that I had the opportunity to participate in, so all the kudos go to them. That was definitely the most theatrical of any collaboration I have participated in.
Oh that varies from day to day, but these three are always on my list.
Rodney Smith (his work can be found here)
Annie Lebowitz (unbelievably, I don't think she has a website. More info on Annie can be found here.)
Jonas Peterson (his work can be found here)
You love fashion, don't you? If you got a $5,000 gift card in the mail today and you could pick which store it was for, what would you pick?
Probably J Crew, as non-hip as you could be, right? I am sure I could find $5000 worth of clothing and shoes for everyone in the family.
I recently received the Visual Supply Co. film presets. Since I commonly have to process Canon files along side with my Nikon files, (second shooters are often Canon kids), it’s been totally lifesaving to get them to match up visually.
I have one daughter, Liv who just turned 5 yesterday… crazy that she’s five! She is incredibly smart and so, so sweet. I believe most of the time she doesn’t mind being in front of the camera, but just like every child, she has her limits.
Watching a life I was a part of creating unfold, there are so many surprises around every corner… and the unconditional love and endless hugs and kisses aren’t so bad either.
If you could go on a fun vacation this year with all expenses paid AND you would get to take a few pictures while you were there and be featured in a magazine...where would you want to go?
I was an anthropology major in college, and still have quite a yearning to live among some native folk somewhere and document their lives. Since that won’t happen, at least not for a while, Bali or India perhaps? Definitely I would visit a country a bit less commercial.
What magazine do you dream of your pictures being in? Glamour? Good Housekeeping? Vogue?
Some fabulous portrait I shot of someone famous in Vanity Fair would be fantastic or a photojournalistic spread in National Geographic.
Birth stories are the least contrived of any shooting situation I am a part of. Next from being present of the birth of a new life, the photojournalistic approach is the best thing.
What was the most difficult part?
The most difficult part of shooting birth stories is the scheduling, most the time there isn’t any schedule. It seems most of my births recently have been in the middle of the night, not so conducive to sleep :)
There are definitely those moments.
You had a gallery this year! The Kids are Alright. Tell us every detail!
I was asked to display a small showing of my choice for a gallery stroll in the town I attended college in.
The idea was inspired by some of my favorite images of children and the recognition of their brutal honesty in front of the camera.
Yes, I was quite nervous, but that was soon trumped by the excitement to see others reaction to my work in person.
How many images did you display?
Can you tell us your image printer or is that top secret?
When I look at your sessions each one is STUNNING! Could you share with us how many images you would typically present for a family session?
I have an issue editing down my images that I present to clients. I feel like my sessions are best showcased in an album, instead of one image on the wall. I tend to want to tell the story of the relationships with a family, not just take a pretty portrait. I usually deliver between 100-150 images.
I just saw your wedding day questionnaire for brides and grooms. I LOVE that. Does that help you organize your day a great deal better?
Oh yes! I am a visual person, so it gives me a head start in memorizing names for the day. It also reiterates the schedule for the day, provides a shoot list (family groupings), and lets me know of any uncomfortable family situations I should be aware of so I don’t embarrass anyone, especially myself. I also use it as a vendor reference when I submit weddings to blogs and magazines.
How was transitioning from a blogger blog to a new system? Are you tech savvy? A lot of people have no idea how long blog writing takes.
I am not super tech savvy, but have learned a lot along the way in running a blog and a website. Transferring to Wordpress was fairly easy once I actually decided to do it. The commitment to do the work was the hardest part.
I struggle with blogging. It’s a love/hate relationship. I treat it as a journal of my journey, so I spend a lot of time getting each just right.
1 hour or so depending on the day, they are a great part of my business, my education and are really enjoyable too.
Would you say that keeping up with all of the media outlets photographers need to keep up with is one of the hardest parts of being a photographer?
If someone came to you tomorrow and said "Guess what Heather! I just bought a Canon Rebel! I don't need you to shoot my family any more because now I am a professional!" What would you say?
More power to you… and then wait for them to ask me for a mentor session ;)
I definitely believe what Henri Cartier-Bresson said, “Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst”. Metaphorically speaking, your true voice generally will not show through until you have at least 10,000 images under your belt.
What would you tell someone that is just starting out in this business not to do that you did when you first started?
Don’t compare your journey to another’s. It’s your inner voice shared in each click and that is why your images shouldn’t look like another’s.
Read this advice.
And then wisdom.
And listen to this.
When you have free time, what do you like to do? Do you have a favorite show you watch on TV? Have you read any good books recently?
I love food. I really enjoy cooking and even more so, love to dine at the best eats I can find.
I also really love going to the movie theater. I find lots of inspiration in cinema.
Can you tell us where you see yourself in five years in regards to photography? What are some of your dreams for your photography future?
In five years, I hope to have better time management program, still pulling that one together. I also hope to shoot a wedding internationally, that would be grand.