Interview: Photographer Delaney Hawley
The photographers we interview are truly awe-inspiring, remarkable, and just absolutely mind-blowing. They take such parallel approaches but they’re simultaneously so drastically diverse and completely of their own. We interviewed this amazing photographer, Ms. Delaney Hawley and we have to say, we thoroughly enjoyed what she shared. She articulated herself so well and we are honoured to have such an awesome person and visionary as a part of what we do at Histos!
What was it that got you going in photography? What started it all?
I always loved the idea of being a photographer, but I never really had any opportunities. When I was 12, I took a photo of my aunt at a river when we were spreading my grandfather’s ashes, and everyone loved it. That was one of the first times in my life that I had created something and people took to it in such a positive way. That didn’t really leave my mind, and I still have that photo. A few years later I ended up taking a photography class at my high school, and I didn’t get the same feedback, so I definitely kept it to myself. I started to get more confident and found a lot more opportunities about a year later and that’s really when I got super obsessed with it.
How would you describe your vision/style?
Simple and personal. I like real emotion. I don’t want a lot of things going on in my photography, I just want to keep it all simple.
What is something you wish to see more photographers do?
Stay in their lane? That’s a bit harsh, but what I mean by that is to let other people enjoy photography in their own way. I find it so frustrating when photographers tell others what settings to use, or to change something their doing because it’s “breaking the rules”. Breaking the rules is the only way I know how to keep my work my own. It’s the only way I can have a voice in photography. What works for you won’t always work for someone else, so I think it’s important that we don’t try and force our ways on other people when they’re doing just fine.
How would you say being a photographer has made an impact on you and your life?
I see everything differently. People are more beautiful to me. I also just notice a lot more things now. I pay more attention to my surroundings. If you’re in a car with me, you’ll see my pointing out spots with beautiful lighting, or the sunsets reflection on buildings with lots of windows. I’ll even find certain spots on the freeway and be frustrated because I can’t take photos there. I find that it’s the one thing in my life that is mine. I don’t have to ask questions about it, I don’t really need help with it, it’s my thing. I never felt like I had anything in my life that could just be mine, and I finally feel that way. People see me as a photographer first, it comes up first in almost every conversation. Random people will tell me that they loved the photos I took of their neighbor, and it just kind of defines me. I love that.
In what way do you hope to provoke and affect people with your work?
I’d hope that they would find beauty in the things that weren’t so obviously beautiful. That’s not to say that my models aren’t beautiful because they’re gorgeous. I just want people to be able to look at it and see layers of beauty within the simplicity of a portrait.
How would you describe your perspective of the world?
I actually asked my friend how I should answer this and he said ‘It’s scary and most people are dumb,’ I can’t say that he’s wrong
What keeps you going?
Actually, both of my best friends are only my best friends because of photography. I met one of them in my photography class, and I grew close to the other one because we were shooting together so often. Their support is one of the only things that keeps me going in general. Without them, I have no idea where I would be. If I ever feel lost or unsure of myself, they’re always right there to pick me back up and put me back together. I find that it’s really hard to keep going sometimes, but they make it easier.
What are your goals with photography?
I want to be completely in love with what I’m doing. That might sound a bit weird, but although I love photography more than anything in the world, I’m not completely in love with my work. I want to be creating something beautiful all the time, and that doesn’t always happen. It’s kind of a goal of mine to just fall in love with my own work, and let myself just go with it, instead of being so concerned about it being perfect.
What is your all time favourite quote?
“In minor ways we differ, in major we’re the same”.
It’s from the poem Human Family by Maya Angelou. The whole poem is really amazing, but I think that part stands out the most. It’s actually something I’ll go back and read if I start to lose my faith in this world.