Today we’d like to introduce you to Hannah Arida.
Hi Hannah, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always had an interest in the arts, but my passion for the arts actually began as a way to escape my own reality. I honestly don’t remember how old I was when I first picked up a camera, but I was in middle school when I got my very first digital camera. I took it everywhere with me. That camera took photos of my pets, my vacations, and everything in between. At that time, I used photography as a way to escape my own mind. I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety since I was 12, but I was always told I was a “natural” behind the camera by my family members. Many of the photos I took of various plant life, animals, landscapes, portraits, etc. was met with praise, and that made me happy! I truly enjoyed the process of setting up the “perfect shot” and thinking of what I’d get to photograph next. If anything, it took my mind off of the depression/anxiety I was feeling so deeply at the time. As I grew, my passion for photography continued to grow as well. In high school, I took my first photography class – a film photography class – which I loved because I got to learn the whole technical process of shooting. I even got to develop my own film, which was very exciting! Additionally, I took digital photography classes in high school and college, which deepened my passion even more. In 2010, I got my first digital DSLR camera along with my first paid job! Initially, my business started by word of mouth, and that landed me into the indie film industry in Orlando, taking behind the scenes photos on different sets around town. That prompted me to truly jumpstart my own photography business online via Facebook and my website. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of working with local and noted actors, models, and clients via referral in the Orlando area.
We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
The road to expanding my business hasn’t been a completely smooth ride. Business ebbs and flows as photography is my part-time career.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize in portrait photography, in natural, outdoor settings, with one-on-one clients, couples, families, etc. I’m most proud of my ability to create a genuine relationship with my clients that results in “natural” photos rather than appearing staged. I love the candid look!
Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
My advice for someone starting in the portrait photography business would be to create a relationship with your client – get to know them prior to and at the photoshoot, the best you can. This will allow them to feel more relaxed and open to the camera. I would also like to help future photographers understand that the business requires hard work and time in building clientele. But don’t give up in the slower season – follow your passion!