Who's That Gal: Hannah Cochran, Photographer
Name: Hannah Cochran
Occupation: App designer and freelance photographer
Hometown: Sacramento, California
Currently Reading: What Happened by Hillary Clinton
Favorite thing about the holiday season: Getting to see my family in California. Especially my young nephews!
Is photography your full-time gig? How are you making things work as a freelance artist?
For now, photography isn’t my main gig. I work full time designing the Bank of America mobile app here in Boston. I view photography as my creative outlet from the day-to-day pressure of my full-time job. Freelancing is definitely an extra level of commitment, so I make sure to only take on projects I truly love.
How did you first become interested in photography?
Like most “creatives” I’ve always been interested in photography among other forms of art. I went to school for design where I dabbled in painting, drawing, art history, graphic design and architecture. I ended up focusing on digital design and development. It wasn’t until the end of 2016 when I really became serious about photography. Over the past year, my boyfriend Jon and I had a bunch of traveling planned, and I didn’t like the quality of my iPhone pictures. Once I started shooting with a mirrorless camera, I was hooked.
We’re so lucky to have you as part of the JUGS team - you’ve photographed a few of our Ladies Lounge events. Is it hard to do event photography? What do you like about it?
I also love being apart of the JUGS team! Event photography is definitely a whole new world for me. The biggest struggles are shooting in such low light and trying not to get in anyone’s way! In terms of photography, I love the challenge of trying to capture that perfect moment when people are genuinely interacting with one another.
You’re really into photographing interiors - how do you hear about cool new spaces?
I absolutely love shooting spaces; they're by far my favorite thing to photograph. Before I was a digital design major, I studied interior architecture. When I was a kid, I remember reading Architectural Digest when all my friends were reading Teen Vogue. I used to rip out photographs and fill up numerous scrapbooks with photos of beautiful homes, restaurants, and hotels.
I hear about new spaces around Boston straight from social media. I follow a bunch of Boston-based news organizations on Twitter and I love checking out EaterBoston.com once in a while for cool new restaurants.
What is the first piece of advice you’d give to a budding photographer on how to take captivating pictures?
I love this question! Photography can definitely be intimidating at first. It’s a very saturated industry and there are so many different types of photography you can get into. I always tell people to take a class on the history of photography and to learn the fundamentals of composition and light before jumping into the technical aspects of your camera.
There are endless resources online, many of which are free like Harvard University’s ALISON program. Websites like Reddit, Creative Live and Youtube will become your best friend. I also think it’s so worth renting gear before buying. I love renting from lensrental.com. Once you’ve learned the basics and you’ve settled on a camera that fits your lifestyle, try honing in on your personal style. Pinterest is great for that.
Above all else the most important thing is practice! You can take it at your own speed, but photography is one of those things where you get what you put into it. Going to local meetups is a wonderful way to practice, to get you out of your comfort zone and to meet cool people.
You also do a lot of travel photography and enjoy wandering through a new city. What’s your next destination? How about your dream destination?
Absolutely. Traveling is my biggest inspiration. Experiencing different cultures gives me a new perspective on the world, and I love seeing how other cultures and cities express themselves through architecture and design. I was recently in Barcelona and it’s amazing how one architect, Antoni Gaudi, can have such a tremendous impact on a city. In 2018 I plan to go to Italy, Portugal, Croatia, Hawaii, Paris, Tulum Mexico and a California Coast road trip. My dream destination is literally anywhere in Greece! I can’t wait to go back one day.
What’s next for you?
In the short-term, I’m so insanely excited for my next big interior project here in Boston. I’m shooting Maison Vernon, a multimillion dollar condo in Beacon Hill that has been completely redesigned with the most beautiful aesthetic. In the long-term, I honestly don’t know (haha). I would love to continue to shoot more interiors - hotels, restaurants, and homes. It’s a dream of mine to have my photographs in an interior design magazine. I’m always looking to collaborate with other creatives (models, photographers, makeup artists, bloggers, business owners, etc.) on great projects, so please feel free to reach out!