Today we’d like to introduce you to Hannah Hix.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I could tell you the typical story of being artsy since I was a kid, and all the things I did to get to this point in my skill, but honestly, that’s not the real kicker for me in my journey. A super snap-decision in 2014 is really what changed my career & my life!
I have been a graphic designer now for almost 6 years and honestly, it’s tough to be a full time employed artist. I had always been a competitively driven sort of individual with my skills & hobbies, and it wore on me wanting more from my station and the results from my work. It’s a different kind of stress from owning a business/being your own boss, you know? Searching for something more for myself, I purchased a used camera & a cheap lens, after not really being active in photography for some years. I thought “if I don’t make this money back in 6 months, I’ll sell it and call it a day.” I think God takes these moments to show us we need to dream a little bigger!
Much to my own disbelief, in less than those 6 months, I made enough to upgrade my original equipment to the latest professional gear, and invest in some extra education for my craft. Low and behold I was actually kind of good at this and man did I love it! I mean really love it. The kind of hard work and investment that seems to GIVE you energy, not drain it! And the best part is that it also directly invests in the lives of my clients, something I had been missing for many years. I didn’t just want to make people stuff, I wanted to help others see their value.
Certainly, I would not have experienced the success I have without my incredible husband Colby who has supported my dream every bit of the way, often believing in me much more than I did haha…. whatever I needed to do for my passion, he was right there doing everything he could to help me see it through.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Smooth road? Oh farts, no. Running a business is way hard and it really slapped me in the face multiple times along the way with how terribly inadequate I was in the boss-lady area. My biggest struggle was time management for sure, and learning how to balance a full-time job + being a wife + getting orders done on time + not dying from lack of sleep. I still struggle with this. Secondly, though, I had a rough time traversing the technical aspects of business like taxes, legality and such. Ew. I am thankful for a lot of business owner friends & legal professionals who probably sighed with relief once I stopped emailing them with my questions and panic moments. These are not strong points for most artsy folk, and it’s certainly true for me. What saves me is having connections with more capable professionals and using those ties effectively. You can’t know too many fellow professionals in your area! Fuel those relationships with all the respect, care and sincerity you can. You will find a great many new friends this way, too.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
As a photographer, most people think I just take photos of anything, but that’s absolutely not the case. Some photographers can be decent with the jack-of-all-trades thing, but most of us specialize in only a few categories, mine being family sessions and wedding. For almost everything else I refer out to other amazing photographers.
Being that I have found and leveraged what I am personally best at in this industry, I quickly became known for both my relaxed/editorial type style of imagery and also for my ability to put people at ease during our sessions. Families with young kids can be hard to photograph, but I make it my priority to turn photoshoots into something parents & kids alike look forward to! I am most proud of that, honestly. I want my brides, grooms, moms, dads, kids, etc to look at their images and feel the emotion captured, not merely a visual moment (if that makes sense).
For me, if portraiture is stressful and exhausting for my clients, I’ve failed at my job even if the photo turned out okay. I believe this approach not only sets up every session & wedding up for success, but it sets me apart from many photographers who are more focused on the image perfection.
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am looking forward to next year’s change in focus. For me, every year in my life seems to have a very resonant theme that I feel even spiritually before the year starts. I promise I’m not cooky though! I knew 2017 would be very self-focused in that I did a lot of creative projects for my own learning exercise and promotion, and I hit a lot of “fun” goals like getting published and teaching other aspiring photographers. I will hit the ground running in 2018 in a very business-focused way, with a launch of studio work and some other changes to my business model. I have the most weddings booked next year since I started, and I am so excited for the things I will learn and accomplish!
- Weddings starting at $1,800.00
- Family & other sessions starting at $350.00/hr
- Website: www.hannahhix.com
- Phone: 5803803403
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/hannahhixphoto
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/hannahhixphoto