"People who like what you do will find you and appreciate you for not being like someone else." ~ Hannah Puechmarin
Interior and lifestyle photographer & storyteller Hannah Puechmarin joins us for a conversation about the road to where she is now, the ingredients that make up a successful photoshoot & what she values at this point in her life.
Tell us a little bit about you & what roads led to where you are now.
I work as a full-time interior and lifestyle photographer and live an hour outside of Brisbane in a rainforest 700m above sea level. And as will be revealed in the questions below, the path that led me here is heavy with influence from my family and husband.
My family have played a large role in slowly directing me on my career path. My mother bought me a camera when I was 13 and I took it everywhere with me. I studied photography after high school for a year upon advice from my Aunt who is a teacher, who told me to follow my creativity first. My husband has also played a large role in encouraging me constantly.
I have worked part-time alongside my photography business until this year, which was a hard juggle. But it meant that I could really focus on doing projects I loved. I made the choice pretty early on to focus on interior and lifestyle photography and to not do work that wasn't within that realm.
Also, if it were not for my wonderful clients who recommend me and share the photos I take for them, I would not be where I am today.
What does creativity mean to you?
Having fun, not taking yourself too seriously and just do what feels right to you... People who like what you do will find you and appreciate you for not being like someone else.
What was it that drew you to the world of home interiors & their subjects do you think?
It probably began as I found a love of old homes, influenced by my mother and her knowledge and interest in them too. When I was younger, my parents would take us on a drive to Ipswich for a picnic and then drive the streets as mum would point out the homes of my late relatives or the ones that she dreamt of living in. And I always wondered what they might be like inside.
Sensing my interest in homes and op shopping, as well as interior magazines, in 2013 my great Aunt suggested that I photograph her neighbour's eclectic cottage and ever since I have been hooked.
I am such a homebody and like to have beautiful things in my home, so I love to see how other people live in theirs.
When you're in the midst of a project what part of the whole process energises you the most?
So many things... Collaborating with like minded creatives, working at a gorgeous location, working with beautiful light, or working with unique products. Better still when all these things are combined!
A tricky question but what's one project you hold close to your heart and why?
That is really hard... If I had to pick it would be the photographic print collection I captured during lockdown 1.0. It was a whole new thing for me but it happened so organically.
In my trail to find out more about you, I wondered what you think has contributed to your own photographic sensibility?
Certainly my experiences have contributed to this - places I have spent time in and people close to me. I love sunshine, nature, the comfort of home and old things. I think all of this can be seen in my work.
Having been published in so many iconic Australian publications like Country Style, House & Garden & the Design Files, what key ingredients do you think make a successful photoshoot?
Organisation is super helpful but also working with people that you get along with is so important to a good outcome. I enjoy working with the same people on a regular basis, because you just kind of know what each other are thinking and feeling about a shot and know how to nut out any problems.
How important has social media been in your business?
It has been a super powerful tool for me. As all good people do, my clients tag me in their posts as a photo credit and that has been invaluable to me growing a business.
It has allowed me and my clients to build a connection before they engage me for a photoshoot. And also to show that a real person is here behind the business, and I think that is valuable for people to see.
What does a slow day look like for you?
Slow days for me are rare, as I can be fairly hyperactive! When I get the chance to I love to have a slow morning start. Which for me means getting out of bed at 7 or 7.30am, making some plunger coffee and taking it outside into the garden with a blanket around my shoulders. While drinking my coffee I might wander around the garden to see what damage has occurred by the rummaging bandicoot, or I will just choose a spot to sit and watch the birds. When it is summer I will pick flowers for the house, which is always a lovely way to start the weekend.
What’s your intention at this moment in your life?
Putting family and myself first. Being separated from family in 2020 and 2021 has really demonstrated how much they mean to me. I am also valuing time for myself, and trying to commit to less things.
Photo credits: Header image @taylorkezia, second image at @bencluna_byronbay, third image by @taylorkezia_photography, fourth image by @gingingardenclub & styled by @albertandgrace, sixth image by @albertandgrace.