The first picture is a result of my request to “not smile”. I think that’s really all you need to know about Amy, here.
And here’s a fun fact. Amy is the first one of all the 30 Strangers to have also been photographed by my father. See, somehow (I can’t remember how, exactly) Amy’s mother and my father are related. So Amy has been to my parent’s house in St. George, where my dad took the opportunity to take some pictures of Amy. I mean, who can blame him. She’s adorable.
Jennifer’s first concert – Elton John
Melissa’s first concert – New Kids On the Block
That fun fact is just one of the things we talked about when Melissa and her mother came to be photographed for the 30 Strangers project. We talked about Jennifer’s cancer. She’s been battling for 16 years and is still here, positive and fighting. And we talked about when Melissa lived in this town. In fact, we walked over to the house where she first lived as a newlywed. (She’s now in Mesa).
Jennifer: What is that smell?
Meet please Jennifer and Melissa.
My first concert? Oh, thanks for asking. It was Journey.
When you listen to Mindy’s music, you get this impression that she’s probably one of the most creative, hilarious, fun, and sincere people that you’d ever meet. Well, if you get that impression, you’re right on.
When Parade Magazine called to say they wanted me to photograph the Nielson’s for the cover, I was excited, of course, but I figured things change quickly in the magazine world, and perhaps by the time this issue was scheduled to come out, some world event or celebrity scandal would take its place instead. I imagined it would be discovered that Whitney Houston faked her death and she was alive and now living happily in Des Moines, and Parade would put that story on the cover instead of Nie Nie.
So, I was pleased as punch when, on April 8, 2012, my neighbor called me at 8am Sunday morning to ask me if I wanted to come get his Parade Magazine because a picture I took was on the cover.
The cover shot shot turned out great. I like the one that Parade selected from all the options I sent them. This was taken at Stephanie’s home. Earlier in the day, I went to Pictureline to get a seamless background and I took a picture of that sofa with me so I could coordinate the colors a bit. Before photographing just the two of them, I photographed the whole family together. They are a delight.
The article contains excerpts from Stephanie’s new book Heaven is Here, which I recommend to anyone that knows how to read. It’s so good.
Interested in seeing what things looked like behind the scenes? Thanks to Mango Films for putting this video together. I’ve probably watched it about 40 times now.
Looking back on 2011 has made me feel overwhelmingly grateful for the year I’ve had. I feel so lucky to be able to do what I love for a living. I want to say thanks to Amy for being so supportive. I couldn’t do this job without her belief that I’m doing the right thing. When I leave the house to go to a photoshoot, after we kiss and hug, and just before that door closes, I always hear her call out, “Take great pictures!”
What follows are some of my favorite images I shot in 2011. It’s been a busy year. Some of these pictures have already been posted on the blog, but there are quite a few that haven’t been seen until now. Also, this doesn’t represent everything I shot (there’s a few weddings, portrait sessions, a fancy party at Sundance, and some of the 30 Strangers that aren’t in here).
Maybe this should also be said. I care deeply about the work I’m creating. My aim is to make pictures that will have meaning many years down the road for the people for whom I take them. I care about what I do. I keep working at this craft day after day and I’m finding a great sense of pleasure in where this road is taking me. I hope 2012 is the year that I can make something beautiful for you and the people you love.
And now, a review of 2011. Do you have a favorite here? Do tell.
Why yes, I am available to photograph your wedding. Let’s talk.
FINE ART PRINT SALE – Right now, a number of these non-portrait and non-wedding prints are available for sale. And from now until January 18th, if you use the code FREESHIPPING you will get (you guessed it) free shipping. See the selection and purchase prints here.
Sadey got married earlier this year and then had this really good idea to give her new husband some pictures of herself as a Christmas gift. Very thoughtful, I’d say. Way better than some socks. And I was flattered she asked me to photograph her.
I’m trying to take the week off from Christmas until New Years. It’s harder than I thought. I’ve turned down about eight photo sessions (maybe more) and a wedding. But on the flip side, I’ve only put on pants twice. (A slight exaggeration). Here are the photographs from my last photography session of the year, taken a couple days before Christmas, a spicy couple from Brazil, meet Otavio and Morena.
Justin Hackworth photographs Brazilians, Germans, Americans, anyone really, and he wants to photograph you. In love and looking for authentic engagement pictures like this? We should talk. 801.916.6993.
Megan’s the oldest in a family of awesome. She and her sisters are all funny, friendly, and have great style. If you get one of her sisters on the phone, it’s impossible to tell them apart. They sound the exact same. Same giggle, same voice inflections, same exact sound.
Megan told me that her two year old daughter wouldn’t like me and would most likely cry the whole time I was there. I’m happy to say that didn’t happen at all, and in fact, when I was walking out the door after taking these pictures, her daughter called out “Goodbye Justin. I love you.” And that’s a lot better than crying.
Megan is a writer, a great writer, and keeps a blog here.
There are some people that I am always secretly hoping they’ll ask me to photograph their family. Lucy has been on that list for a while, so that made my day when she emailed and said she wanted family pictures. Meet Lucy and Andrew, photographed at their home in Provo, UT.
Interested in family pictures like this for yourself? We should talk.
There are five boys in the McKay family. The girls would have come along, too, but they don’t have any girls. When people ask me how I like living in Provo, the one thing I always say is, “We love our neighbors.” Well, you’re looking at the reason Amy and I love living where we do. An example of how great they are. My family and I were in Idaho all last week and when we came home, our lawn had been mowed. Now, nobody left an invoice or a note that said, “If you want to know who you should thank for this, it’s…”. But I’m pretty sure the McKays did it. Just one example out of many. By the way, if you ever run out of eggs, I know from experience they’ve got some.
A couple days ago I moved to my brand new space. Well, brand new to me. The building is over 100 years old. It’s the same building and same 2nd floor where I’ve been for nearly four years. I just moved a couple doors down to a bigger, more versatile space. I do hope you’ll come by and let me photograph you with the one you love, or you can even just drop by to say hi some time. Don’t forget to ask for a mint truffle. The new address: 1 East Center Street, SUITE 207, Provo, UT.
Goodbye suite 214. Many good things happened here.
The previous occupant to the new studio, suite 207, was the very charming Diana Palmer with Yan Photography. She let me use the studio once before and I took some maternity pictures of Stephmodo. She also let me use it as a little lounge area for Mindy Gledhill last winter when Mindy played a private house concert for our clients from 2010. And, I used it on another occasion when I photographed Diana and her family.
Diana Palmer from Yan Photography
Diana and Martin
So just hold on to your hats, and I’ll have plenty of pictures in the coming months to show what kinds of images I’ll make in here. I’ve already had a couple of portrait sessions and am in love with what the light does in this place. It used to be all white and I’ve painted the walls light gray on three sides and dark gray on one wall to make the light more directional and dramatic.
Note to photographers: Diana used to rent the studio to other photographers and I’m going to do the same. If you’re looking for a beautiful shooting space at a very affordable rate, let me know.
Once I realized I wanted to get serious about photography, I knew there was one person that could teach me what I needed to know. I knew it had to be Kent Miles. That was in 1996 and I’m still learning. Here’s a handful of things that I’ve learned from Kent, among the many, many lessons he’s taught over the years.
To make a great picture, use great light. (my favorite)
It’s not what you see, it’s how you see.
You can never see what’s behind you by looking twice as hard at what’s in front of you.
The line around the edge of the frame is the most important line you draw anywhere in the picture.
To make the kind of pictures no one else can, you have to do the kinds of things no one else will do.
If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough. (I know this comes from Robert Capa, but I heard it first from Kent).
Garity currently lives in the house where she grew up. She makes and sells jewelry (like that very cool necklace she’s wearing) and she told me she doesn’t like anything traditional. And I told her, thanks so much for coming.
30 Strangers info is here.
Justin’s contact info is here.
People come to the studio and we shoot for a bit and if I remember, I turn on some music and ask them all to dance and I’ll take pictures of the good times. Oh, sure, most people are hesitant at first, but for the most part, get into after a minute or two as long as I’ve picked the right song. When I mentioned to Stacey’s grandmother that I wanted her to dance, she said, “I’m not going to dance. Not for free!”
Interested in pictures like this for you and the people you love? I know just the guy you should call.
On day two, Stacey bounded in to the studio. She’s into good health, herbs, and exercise, so she brought all kinds of good energy to our studio. She and her daughter were so much fun and now I’m glad we’re no longer strangers. Thanks for coming, ladies.
We’re not just making pictures, we’re making history.
Girls that came to our Blushing Event left with a gift bag stuffed with great offers, good deals, and lots of free stuff. Justin Hackworth Photography gave away mini portrait sessions to everyone. You’re reading that right. It wasn’t a give-away to a couple people. We offered it to every person that came to Blushing. So, that’s what Sara was doing at my studio.
When I asked her what we could do to make Blushing a better event next time, she thought for a long time and said she couldn’t think of anything to change. She LOVED it. In these pictures she’s wearing the pearl earrings that were in every girl’s gift bag from John Beesley Goldsmith. Again, not a giveaway to just a couple people. Every girl who came to our party got pearl earrings. We capped our guest list at 50 brides, and now I’m starting to feel bad for the girls that didn’t get to come. I guess we better do it again.
By the way, I love getting nice emails from nice people. Here’s what Sara had to say about her pictures. “I love them!!! Thank you so much, you are an incredible photographer, I absolutely love your work and I am so lucky to have known the right people to go to Blushing, to be photographed by you and to have you photograph bridals for me. I can’t wait! Thank you again!!!!”