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An Interview with Photographer Hannah Lee Terry

Hannah Lee Terry – Documenting Real Life, One Day At a Time

Hannah Lee Terry is an exceedingly talented photographer whose work revolves around nature and families. I had the honor of talking with her about her children, her working process, and the advice she’d give to aspiring photographers. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!

What inspired you to start taking photographs?

I’ve always loved photography. My kids are my biggest inspiration. I got my first DSLR when my son was about eighteen months old. The rest is history (hopefully, well-documented history)!

You take photos in such breathtaking locations. What’s your favorite place to shoot in and why?

Thank you so much! My family and I are from Arkansas and have recently moved to Colorado. We have been blessed with beautiful surroundings! We love to hike, and I rarely go without my camera. I typically don’t get to photograph the same place twice, so it’s really hard to pinpoint a favorite place. I get excited when I can make a not so great-looking place look more pleasing! We live on an army base so it can be quite a challenge sometimes.

What does a typical shoot with your children consist of?

I try to shoot something at least once a day. (I won’t do a 365 Project because it’s too much of a commitment!) Because I’m always shooting something, my kids don’t hold back. Anything is possible!

What advice would you give to aspiring family photographers?

Don’t compare yourself to other photographers. Document something today that you will want to remember one day when everything is different.

Is there anything in particular (specific lighting, emotions, etc.,) you look for when taking photos?

I love shadows, window light, fog, and the blue hour. Real tears, rim lit hair, laughing, and… there is no way to narrow this list down. Ha. I love capturing life.

All of your images are graceful and spontaneous. They perfectly reflect the joys of childhood. What tip would you give to someone who’s trying to document such moments successfully?

Wow! That’s probably the nicest thing I’ve ever been told about my photography. My ultimate goal is for my kids to be able to look back and reflect on what a beautiful, joyful childhood they had. My advice… Sit back (in pretty light if possible) and enjoy the show. My kids are always putting on a show!

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What do you find most challenging in the photography world and how would you like to overcome that?

A big challenge for me has been finding clients who appreciate a more candid approach to family sessions. I’m hoping that the trend catches on soon. For now, I’m focused on capturing my own family memories.

Is there a photography genre you’d like to experiment more with?

I’d love to learn more off-camera flash, but not because I’d really ever use it much. I’m stuck on documentary and lifestyle photography.

What do you do when you’re faced with a creative block?

Some days you don’t create “awesome” and some days you do, and that’s OK. I don’t have any certain ritual, but knowing it’s OK to have an off day helps.

What’s the most valuable creative lesson your children have taught you?

They have taught me not to care what people think and to live in the moment! Kids are so free from all the anxiety and worldly fears adults face. Viewing life from their perspective is refreshing.

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