Why I Snap {Feat Hayley from Shutterflies}

This weeks Why I Snap interviewee is none other than Hayley from Shutterflies. Hayley is married and has two children, who are utterly gorgeous and have the most amazing hair!
I met Hayley at Britmums and totally fell in love with her. She is one of the funniest people I have ever ever met, and is a fellow Alan Partridge fan. AHA!
She is also a very talented photographer living in Bedfordshire. You can see more about her photography at her blog and business site www.shutterflies.co.uk.

Why do you like photography?

You know how they say a picture says a thousand words? Well I've always been a chatterbox. I think of it almost as a letter to the future. Hey, I was alive once and these people were really precious to me. Aren't they beautiful?

What do you like taking photos of?

Life. Love. Family. I love that through photography I can show people themselves as I see them.

My absolute favourite thing to photograph is my own children. Not only are they amazingly good looking (shhh, they are…), I don't think anyone can photograph them like I can because what I'm capturing is the interaction and love between us. They aren't just looking at a camera, they're looking at their mother.

Do you have a particular style?

I don't know…do I? I feel like I'm still finding it. I worked for another photographer for a while and she tried to mold me into what she wanted me to be and it didn't work. It felt unnatural and wrong and for a while I lost my way and only feel like I've found it again recently. I like photos to be natural and real. Real people living real lives. When I take a photo, I have an idea in my head how I want the finished article to look. I went crazy for a while with editing and filters (my son rocked some creamy yellow cross-processed skin for a while) but I'm over that now and I've found what I like. I like real moments, people connecting. I like the pictures to be colourful and bright and I love a good catchlight. And I just love film, there's something really special to me about the whole process.

When did you first get into photography?

It's something that's always been in me, my parents have home videos of me at age 7 taking photos at my little brothers party! In my teens I was always taking photos of my friends and had various funky cameras that took panoramic pictures or Polaroids (I still love my Polaroids). I've always loved looking through family albums and at photographs on people's walls so I suppose it was always there but I just didn't realise at the time.

When my husband and I first started going out, he tried to persuade me to buy one of those new digital cameras but I wasn't convinced. When I got pregnant, he insisted we got one and I went crazy taking photos. You don't have to pay to develop these? Awesome. I photographed our gorgeous new baby all the time and gradually improved and became more interested in photography. I went back to work when he turned 2 and went to work at Jessops which was the best job ever, my colleagues were amazing and so knowledgeable. I learnt so much from them and it really became a huge passion for me. I dream I'm taking photos and I find myself mentally taking photos all the time. That's normal though….right?

What kind of photos do you like looking at?

I like photojournalism and looking at the kind of photos I like to take myself but much better! I love Linda McCartney, her family photos and portraits of Paul are perfection to me. I think she's terribly underrated as a photographer which I think is a huge shame. I guess marrying a Beatle will do that to you.

I'm a fan of Jose Villa, Tyler Branch and I like Andreamful on Instagram.

What are your 3 favourite photographs you have ever taken?

I'm afraid I can't show you my all time favourite photo of my son because he's naked in it. It's embarrassing enough having me as your mother without me putting your bum on the Internet.

1. This is one of my best friends, Gemma, with her 3 day old baby. I love how new he is, his little wrinkled forehead and she is just stunning, as always. I think she looks so happy, she was so thrilled to have a son. Gemma's blog is http://gemma-toddlerkitchen.blogspot.com

2. I love using film. This was a cheap roll from Poundland and an eBay camera. It turned out that my lens wasn't *really* compatible so it was a bit of guesswork and a bit of luck that these came out. I also took them to a supermarket so the processing isn't great but I still love them. I actually cried when I saw them for the first time because I thought she looked so beautiful.

3. My darling boy. This is a little session I do with him every year on the last day of August (just after his birthday). I've done it his whole life (I do it for her too) and I love comparing the photos from year to year. This was 2011, the week before he started school. Four was such a big year for him - school, a new sister and he handled it all wonderfully.

I have a favourites gallery on my site if you'd like to see more *shameless blog plug*.

Thanks so much for having me, Lauren!

'Why I Snap' is going to become a weekly series on my blog. If you want to be featured/join in please email me realhousewifeofsuffolk@gmail.com 
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