Hannah Anderson Media
Our next interview is with Hannah Anderson - a finalist in our 2019 photo comp. Hannah is a huge talent who shoots both video and photo mediums. Hannah grew up in Bondi and studied journalism at Uni, before securing an internship at Tracks Mag. It was here, her passion for photography was born. We were lucky enough to ask Hannah a few questions about her recent travels and female inspirations, while also touching on a recent professional highlight trip to Nazare.
Hey Hannah! Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer a few questions for us. Firstly tell me – where abouts are you originally from and how did you get into taking photos and video?
Thanks guys! I grew up at Bondi beach. It never stops moving there. I’ve been going to the beach, surfing and just enjoying the ocean for as long as I can remember. I always had cameras and being at the beach all the time my gaze was on beach culture, lifestyle and surfing from the get go. But, I started taking it seriously when I was at University studying Journalism and ran into the editor of Tracks at my local who gave me an internship with the Mag.
Do you have a preference in either shooting photo or video?
They’re two very different disciplines that require two very different technical mind sets, I love really good still photography the kind of image that has so much precise information that it tells the whole story in one frame. That being said its incredibly hard to achieve such an image. Video is great because in my mind you get to explore the emotions of it all in much more depth. I guess I don’t have a preference though I love them both.
I feel videography requires a lot more detailed planning and preparation compared to photography. When you start a new project, how does this process differ and do you get a say in most briefs, or do you stick strictly to what the client is asking?
Um, I think conceptually the preparation is really similar but technically there is a different set of rules you need to follow in film. You really need to have at least an idea of the story and how you want to portray it. I think video can be harder to get right, the slip of your hand in the water is the difference between nailing the shot or having a massive wobble in an otherwise epic shot making it unusable. I try to work with clients, understand what they want to say and try and give some creative input where I can for sure, I think it’s important in the process.
We notice you’ve been working in some pretty exotic locations around the world - including Maldives, Sri Lanka, Morocco and Indo. Do you have a favourite place you’ve visited? Why?
That’s a really tough question, I just did a pretty mind blowing trip to Nazare Portugal that was a real professional highlight for me, it also just made me want get prepared to shoot from the water on the big days. But in terms of lifestyle and surfing man I do love that warm water!
Do you find time to surf and/or relax when you’re in such a paradise? Or is the work schedule too hectic?
I try to surf every day, It’s a big part of my life and always has been. I’ve found that these days I need less from my surfing. I’m more than happy to shoot a 3 hour session then paddle and get 3 waves. That’s my time to relax those 3 waves are all I need then I’m happy to jump back on the tools.
What are you shooting with at the moment? (Photo and video).
At the moment I’m shooting with a bunch of fun cameras, I primarily shoot Sony, the A9 and A7r3. But I love film, I just picked up an underwater Super 8 that I’m frothing on testing in the water and I shoot a bunch of 35mm stuff. I love the little Olympus XA range they’re super versatile and compact, great for doco stuff.
Have you got any favourite female surfers or photographers that you draw inspiration from?
Oh man how can you not look at Steph and just want to bottle her style, it’s breathtaking! I think I really admire style, I shot Jaleesa Vincent and Sofia Mulanovich last year and whilst they have really different styles. The way they both use really beautiful small details in their surfing I love it, its captivating! In terms of photogs, I met Sarah Lee out on a job when I was just starting out and I was in awe of her ability, she had no fear. Jumped off on a SOLID day at an unnamed Indo reef that doesn’t really have a channel and got the most incredible results. She inspires me for sure. If you haven’t seen her work you’ve got to check her out.
I recently spoke to a friend who said she felt intimidated to get out into the surf in a male dominated line-up. What’s your advice to others who may feel the same way?
Growing up in Bondi I learnt young, you’ve got to give it to the boys to get waves. Paddle with confidence, and it doesn’t matter if you fall but if you don’t paddle like you want it they’ll just keep paddling around you. A key in growing in confidence I think is surfing with people and specifically people who are better than you. The boys will be your mates, just chat to them. They’re usually stoked to have girls in the water. A local at Anchor Point paddled me up the point when I was in Morocco and told the crowd I was the only chick in the water and the next set wave I wanted was mine. Generally I think the boys want to help you out.
What advice would you give to women starting out in the photography industry?
Keep at it, shoot a bit of everything. You’ll make mistakes but the mistakes will teach you more than the shots you nail. And If you need help ask, the surf photography community is more than happy to help where they can.
Plans for 2020?
Back to the Maldives then wherever the emails take me! I’d really like to do a trip home this year so I’ll try squeeze that In If I can, get down to some of those rights near you guys!