Weekly Inspiration Interview - Sonja Hammad Photography - ShopJeanPhotography.com

Weekly Inspiration Interview - Sonja Hammad Photography

I'm excited to share with you, Sonja Hammad Photography! Her work is dreamy, filled with light, and I am always excited when work shows up in my fb feed!



How long have you been shooting and what inspired you to begin with? 

While I've loved photography for much of my life, I got my first DSLR and became obsessed with photography about three and a half years ago. I had wanted to get something beyond my point and shoot for a very long time, and I wish I would have taken the leap long before I actually did because it's fulfilled me in so many ways. Like many photographers, my children were the driving force behind learning how to get off of auto and create something more beautiful.

What is your current favorite image and why?

From the images I sent you, the one of my daughter in white {image 1-10}

This photo of my daughter was taken over a year ago, but it remains one of my very favorites because I loved the whole session, and it was sort of a turning point in how I shoot my own kids. The session was very last minute, as I wanted to try out a location for an upcoming senior shoot, so my daughter and I quickly went through her closet and chose what to wear and headed out, while my husband took my boys to the beach. I was surprised my daughter actually chose to come with me instead of going to the beach, because my kids were all a bit exhausted of being in front of the camera. But, this time — instead of constantly asking her to look at me  —  I just let her play and explore while I shot away, paying more attention to the light than whether she was giving me eye contact or the perfect expression. She's introspective and loves to dream, so I was thrilled to pieces that I captured her in a moment of daydreaming. This session changed the way I shoot my own kids, as it made me realize what a huge difference it made when they got to have fun when we'd go out on a shoot together, and while I still do ask them to look at me now and then, I also try to let them have their space and to explore and be in their element. Honestly, I usually love the photos where they're not paying attention to me more than the "smiling and looking at the camera" images because those are often the images that really show who they are. It's the same when I shoot a family; it's so fulfilling and beautiful to capture them interacting and loving on one another.

Describe your work in three or four words.

This was really hard for me! I'd like think of my work as dreamy, fresh and maybe sometimes ethereal. 

What is in your camera bag and favorite lens to shoot with? 

I shoot with a Nikon D600 and also have a Nikon 50mm 1.4, Nikon 85 1.4, the Sigma 35 1.4 as well as a Lensbaby sweet 35. My hands-down favorite lens is my 85 1.4, and for my outdoor shoots it remains on my camera most of the time. I feel like the images shot with my 85 have this extra creamy buttery feel to them, if that makes sense. 

How/Where do you find your inspiration and creativity? 

I'm a huge pinterest fan and definitely live vicariously through pinterest. In terms of photography, my children are also a big source of inspiration as well as just paying attention to my surroundings. I have a few favorite places to shoot where there are pockets of light that are extra delicious and dreamy, and when I'm there I get all sorts of ideas. I also usually go out of my way to take the long road home, because I love studying the landscape and how the light acts at different times of the day along this particular road. Right now the hills in southern California are covered in the most amazing whimsical beautiful green grass, and that has been a huge inspiration for me. A lot of days there is also this magical quality to the air; it has this misty, dewey quality, probably because of the ocean a few miles away. I just want to park my car and wander.....unfortunately I haven't been shooting as much as I normally do as we're days away from having our 4th baby, and I'm exhausted! 


What are your current goals? 

I'd love to learn to shoot and edit video. I intentionally purchased the D600 knowing it had video capabilities, and not only do I want to do more video with client sessions, but I desperately want to capture my own kids on video using something other than my iPhone. 

One word of wisdom that you would like to offer or encouragement to fellow photographers?

Patience. I think this journey can be very overwhelming, especially when one is new to photography. There is so much to think about when trying to master this art, and it's easy to feel frustrated, especially when we experience failures. But, with every failure you need to remember that you are likely one step closer to being where you want to be and where you should be. I firmly believe that we learn just as much from our failures as we do from our successes. Photography, like any art form, is a never-ending journey of learning and getting better at the craft, so regardless of how long we have been shooting, most of us are striving to be better than we are now. I hope I'll always challenge myself so that I'll never stop growing as an artist and a photographer. And, I definitely still need to remind myself every now and then to be patient and simply enjoy the journey.


Website : sonjahammadphotography.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SonjaHammadPhotography
GooglePlus:https://plus.google.com/116225591481073229957/posts (I'm not active on google+ and am not even sure if this is the right link!)
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/sonjahammad
   Instagram: http://instagram.com/sonjahammad 

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