Hannah Quintana is the owner of Hannah Q Photography specialising in engagements, weddings and lifestyle photography in Centennial, Colorado. She took time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about her life and work.
Tell us a bit about who you are and your background. Also, coming from the military, how did this affect your photography?
My name is Hannah Quintana and I’m the owner and creative behind Hannah Q Photography. I specialize in wedding, engagement, and lifestyle photography but also really love to get creative with all genre’s of photography.
I first picked up a DSLR in 2009 when I joined the military. I knew I’d be travelling the world and I wanted to educate myself in photography so that I could document my journey. I quickly learned that I enjoyed photographing people more – the emotions and mystery of them intrigued me.
I began focusing more on wedding photography when my friends and friends of friends began asking me to take their engagement and wedding photos. Of course, this made me want to familiarize myself with the craft even more so I continued to self-teach by watching YouTube DSLR tutorial videos, by reading blogs, magazines, basically anything I could find to help me become better. Very quickly, I discovered this was my gift and passion in life and that I had to find a way to use it and bring good to the world.
After five years in the military, I finally parted ways and established my photography business in 2016. It’s been such a crazy rollercoaster ever since but since then, I find myself improving more and more by the day.
How do you balance being a mother, wife and business owner?
It’s very tough! My priority in life is my husband and daughter. These priorities are my boundaries in life and when I’m with them, all my work stops right in its tracks. But when I do have time to fit my passion into the margins of these boundaries, I pour all my heart and soul into them to accomplish everything it is that I know needs to be done. Because it’s so busy, sometimes I find that pouring my heart and hard work into these tiny margins brings out more creativity, energy, and efficiency because I know it’s fleeting. It also helps to plan my schedule out and stay organized.
Why did you choose weddings as your main focus for photography?
I love weddings because I love documenting the raw, genuine, authentic emotions on a wedding day. Love is a magical feeling and to be able to capture everyone’s own love means one thing, but sharing it with the world is another. We’re all inspired by love.
You have lived in Hawaii, California and now Colorado – have these different locations influenced your photos and the way you see/do things?
Absolutely. I’m definitely inspired by my environment and surroundings. What I love most is that these locations are able to tell the story of my clients – where they met, how they met, the colours they associate to the time when they met, the sounds, the visions, etc. That’s why I am very involved and nosey about my client’s relationship and where it all started. I want to be able to tell their story and I’m always using my location to do that.
Do you have any advice for aspiring wedding photographers?
The best advice I could give is never stop learning. If you get to a point where you think you’re good and don’t need any more education on photography, you’re wrong! There is always so much to learn and to become better at your craft.
What do you have to have in your camera bag when shooting a wedding?
I have two Camera 5D Mark III bodies, a 24mm, 35mm, 50mm, 80mm, 100mm macro lens, 70-200mm lens, Canon 580x flash, Canon 600 flash, 3 speed lights, 2 MagMod diffusers, a prism (for special effects), tons of batteries, 3 energy bars, a chapstick and a lipstick.
If you happen to have any free time, what do you enjoy doing?
When I have free time I love spending it with my family. I enjoy any kind of physical activity – hiking, surfing, snowboarding, running, going to the gym, etc. I also really love playing music on the piano and singing tunes when I can.
Who are some of the most talented individuals you have had the chance to work with?
I’ve worked with so many talented individuals in the wedding industry. Everyone I know is talented and there would be too many to name off the top of my head.
Do you have any upcoming books, workshops, or any other projects?
I had a styled wedding photoshoot in December 2018 that I put together with other very talented creatives in the industry! Once I edit these, I plan to submit them to publish for blogs, magazines, and other articles. I’m possibly thinking of hosting a workshop as well!
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