Looking for a fantastic documentary photographer who knows what she wants and how to get it through clever marketing and effective branding? Who ya gonna call? Hannah Hall!
Oh and she’s also one of our badass Facebook group moderators and in charge of the new PKIR lounge group!!! Let’s get to know her a little better!
What made you become a part of the PKIR team (apart from the promise of stickers from Steve)?
There wasn’t a promise of stickers initially actually; there had been some disagreement on a photograph in the group and I just posted my tuppence worth on the picture. Andy got in touch pretty swiftly asking me to be the first moderator of the group; girl power represent. Then Steve mentioned stickers, I got really excited but haven’t actually stuck any of them on anything yet.
Tell us a little about your work, what’s your style of photography?
All my photography is really honest and emotion driven. In real life I’m a no bullshit kind of girl, I say it how it is, a spoon’s a spoon and all that and I like that to come through in my photographs. At weddings I’m basically looking for the emotional people… that includes furious flower girls, weepy grooms and five-chin belly laughs from your best mate, and I wont remove your nephews chicken pox because he’ll be spotty in everyone else’s photos! I’m only interested in photographs of people, so my wedding photography isn’t really detail heavy; my favourite detail shots are details in action rather than still-lives of shoes… The same attitude goes for my family work, grazed knees, sibling arguments and hug-you-so-tight-I-squished-your-face-beyond-recognition are all keepers in my book.
How long have you been a wedding photographer for and how did you get in to this game?
2018 will be my third full year of weddings; I shot my first wedding in July 2014, kind of by accident, and I left my job as Head of Music in a secondary school in April 2015 with a crazy idea of being a photographer and doing some supply to help ends meet… I’ve shot 108 weddings of my own, I’ve lost count of how many I’ve second shot, and I’m pleased to report that the closest I’ve come to teaching is taking my daughter to school… Zero days of supply banked.
I know from our chats you manage to book your ideal couples mostly, how do you go about this?
I rebranded this time last year and the whole process was about putting people off booking me. People that know me will tell you I’m a right old chatterbox with a weird sense of humour and poor style, so my website and social media are a real reflection of that. Brash bright colours, ALL THE MUSTARD YELLOW, weird stories from my early twenties and a really informal conversational style in the way I write. Couple that with showing exactly what I love shooting; fun candids, hits you in the stomach emotions, natural but often pretty intimate portraits, and your auntie slut dropping on the dance floor, my potential couples know pretty much what they’re getting before I’ve appeared on Skype or tripped over on the way into the bar to meet them.
Did you always attract the right couples or was there a period of adjustment to find out what they were?
No. My old branding was pretty generic and in the early days I just wanted bookings to build my portfolio so I took almost anything that came my way… Not that any of my early weddings were “bad” weddings, some were just a bit more traditional or wanted a lot (LOADS) of group photos. Late 2016 / early 2017 was an absolute game changer and every wedding on the planner for this year sounds like the kind of party that I’ll still be dancing at until late.
I know you’re very good at your marketing, do you have a plan of action or a schedule you stick to each week?
This year, yes, I’ve tried to plan a little bit better about what I’m going to do, and what I’m going to blog in advance to hit the right people for the right stuff at the right time, but I’ve been winging a lot of it and still am if I’m honest. I think my online presence markets itself really now and my couples do a lot of my marketing for me… I’m building lots of passive marketing strategies into my client relationship and although it’s hard to measure that I guess, I can see those working well for me.
What would be your top marketing tip for our readers?
Make sure your personality is really evident in everything you do for your business and for your clients. For example, I adore handwritten post so I send my clients multiple handwritten notes across the time between them booking and way beyond delivering their photographs, because that stuff is good for the soul.
You’ve recently been shooting ‘a day in the life of’ family shoots, how much of a challenge is this? Also how long are you typically there for?
All day is all day! I plan to arrive for roughly then the kids wake up and I leave when the kids are down… in a house of early risers that can make for a 15 hour day. The biggest challenge is shooting in the same spaces multiple times during a day and still trying to make the images exciting and varied… meal times for example, or shooting in small spaces… that can be tough too.
We recently launched the PKIR Lounge, which you’re the boss of, what kind of things are you looking to be posted in the new Facebook group?
ALL OF THE THINGS! The PKIR Community is really rich and diverse but obviously in the original group we don’t allow posting of anything other than documentary images, so the Lounge is a great place for us to share our wealth of knowledge and experience; so it would be great to see people asking for advice, sharing stuff they’ve found useful and just some fun friendly banter, maybe a bit more like the staff canteen. I’ve also shared a couple of referrals in there, the more the merrier!
Big thanks to Hannah for taking time out from her glamorous life as a group moderator to answer our questions.
Check our more of Hannah’s work here: