Hayley Anne is a weddings photographer living in beautiful Santa Cruz, California.
She is a very relaxed, down to earth photographer and looks for the same in her clients. She loves doing beach weddings, rustic, bohemian, hippie weddings, vintage, themed…
Tell us a little about yourself and your photography.
I’m a wedding photographer based in Santa Cruz, California. I travel all over the Bay Area for weddings and also do destination weddings. Last year I had a couple weddings in Hawaii – it’s so beautiful there! I was actually born in Hawaii and it was my first time going back, I’d really love to own some land and a yurt there. I’m also offering a free international wedding anywhere in the world – I’d love to do a wedding somewhere like New Zealand, Scotland, Costa Rica, India, Thailand, Bali, or even Iceland 😉
Why did you start taking photos?
I think I inherited my love of photography. I was given my first camera at age 4 or so, it was one of those automatic toy cameras. Many rolls of film later, I had prints of mostly small specks in the distance, birds, flags, pets, very tiny ant-like people. I already wanted a more complex camera at that point.
What is your secret when photographing weddings?
My secret? I zone in a lot during weddings, but I don’t think that’s really a secret. Being entirely focused and committed to capturing what is happening in front of me is pretty much what I do. I also have a very relaxed style, joking around with people and getting really awesome candids. Being real with people and not stressing out creates very good results.
How do you capture the love and feeling of a wedding?
I watch everyone like a hawk, for about 10 hours. I blend in as much as possible, a lot of the time people don’t even realize I’m taking a photo of them. Having an ability to understand human beings at their core is extremely useful. Being able to tell when people will do something and why is excellent knowledge for being in the right place for a photo. Being stealthy with cat-like reflexes is also a good thing here 🙂
Living in beautiful Santa Cruz must be an adventure! What makes it special for weddings?
Santa Cruz is a really special place to live, it’s the complete opposite of where I grew up. Being here I can easily travel through the entire Bay Area – SF, Napa, Berkeley, San Jose and all the great spots around Monterey and Big Sur, it’s kind of a half way point. There’s forest, beach, mountains, grassland, and cities close by. I have to be mobile, my ancestors were nomads.
You have a unique Philosophy on Life. How is that reflected in your wedding photography?
A lot of my clients say they are contacting me because they feel similarly about life. This is totally good news because that means we will work together fantastically and have fun doing it. My work and philosophy also seem to attract a lot of down-to-earth bohemian types, it’s my ideal match and I’d love to do these weddings exclusively.
What are some other photographic projects you enjoy working on?
Film was my first love, so I’ve started a little collection of darkroom supplies. I think I have most of it gathered together now, I just need an actual ‘room’. This way I can produce symbolic ‘human in nature’ based work entirely in house. Don’t want to get into specifics quite yet, but I just must address our global issues through photography. I guess I will have to make another website for it. I have a lot of analogue cameras that I’d like to use regularly, and eventually incorporate my favorites into weddings. It’s all very exciting 🙂
What kind of a camera and lenses do you primarily use and how do you select your equipment?
Canon. All Canon. Right now I’m working with the very excellent 5D MarkIII and the 24-70mmL . This is my usual go-to for weddings, I find the focal length works nicely. Since I run around a lot and never stay in one place, it’s easier than having one of those huge spy length lenses on there and accidentally bonking people with it. And no, I haven’t actually smashed into anyone with the camera, though I have had my fair share of drunken wedding guests crash into me haha! Hint: move out of the way or brace for impact…
Can you name some tips for those who want to start a photography business?
Make sure you have some kind of startup cash, then double it, or even triple it. Photography is insanely expensive. I’d also recommend keeping some kind of work until you can really go full time. Most importantly – take pictures! Constantly! You will become that slightly annoying person who always has a camera, yes, but your photos will grow so much this way AND you will know how to gracefully interact with people in all situations. There’s no reason *not* to be torturing your friends, because hey! it’s your art 😀
Thanks Hayley Anne for sharing your lovely wedding photography and some valuable tips!
If you enjoy Hayley Anne’s work please check out her website: