Spotlight Interview … Fashion Photographer Hannah Bacalla

In this episode we are pleased to have Hannah Bacalla share her photography and insights with James Robinson Photography Blog. Thank you Hannah for taking a few moments with JRP Blog.

Hannah Bacalla: Thank you for the opportunity.

JRP: Where do you call home Hannah?

Hannah Bacalla: Cebu, Philippines. I have lived here all my life. Although I want to travel more now, this place will always be special to me.

JRP: What led you to photography? Do you have any formal training or assisting in your background?

Hannah Bacalla: I will forever be a big fan of art. I have always looked at pictures in magazines and books for inspiration, then one day I decided to pick up a camera and just shoot. I am self-taught. I think experience is the greatest teacher.

JRP: Who are some of the photographers that have inspired you and your approach to your craft?

Hannah Bacalla: It’s a long list, but I have always admired Paolo Roversi’s work and Mert and Marcus.

JRP: In your opinion how important are personal projects in the development of your photographic growth?

Hannah Bacalla: From time to time, artists do get burned out from doing commercial / commissioned work all the time. I think that personal projects serve as a balance, a refresher of some sort.

I also think that it is important because it motivates you to try new things and concepts, be more adventurous with your work. It’s like a personal goal that you give to yourself. Every now and then there is an opportunity that opens up and you can do the kind of work that you really dream about doing.

JRP: What would we find in your equipment bag for a typical shoot?

Hannah Bacalla: I use a Canon 40d, 28mm, 28-135mm, and, 50mm.

JRP: What is your approach to lighting? Do you prefer artificial or available light?

Hannah Bacalla: If I have to describe my work in one word it has to be “moody” and that goes with my lighting. It depends on what kind of mood I am going for. I always set the mood first then work on my lighting, I like a bit of spontaneity too.

I have to say that nothing is more beautiful than natural light. But sometimes I use artificial light too.

JRP: Do you spend a lot of time processing images? Please describe your digital work flow and the software you use?

Hannah Bacalla: I usually shoot on card, then use Adobe Lightroom for basic adjustments and Adobe Photoshop for more complex retouching.

JRP: Do you make use of custom white balances and color checks when you shoot?

Hannah Bacalla: Yes.

J RP: Image printing, how do you handle that?

Hannah Bacalla: I usually just send my pictures to a photo lab.

JRP: When you look through the viewfinder what would you say is the most critical moment in the capture of an image?

Hannah Bacalla: The moment I hold my breath and press the shutter button.

JRP: With today’s economy what changes are driving the photography market place and how have you adjusted?

Hannah Bacalla: Being based in Cebu is quite hard already since the market is very small. Bringing something new and having an edge is always an advantage.

JRP: What seems to be your biggest obstacle to over-come in building a client base?

Hannah Bacalla: I am extremely shy. I learned early on that in this industry it is more than talent and that networking is as important as talent.

JRP: If not photography what would Hannah Bacalla be doing with her time?

Hannah Bacalla: Maybe I’ll pursue painting or graphic design.

JRP: What has been the best advice given to you by another photographer?

Hannah Bacalla: Take risks. Only shoot what you love.

JRP: What advice would you like to share with photographers who are starting out?

Hannah Bacalla: Experiment and shoot more. Believe in yourself, but be humble enough to learn and grow.

JRP: Thank you Hannah for sharing your thoughts and images with us. It has been a real pleasure. We wish you continued success.

Hannah Bacalla: Thank you so much!

JRP: To view more of Hannah Bacalla’s photography please follow these links:


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