We had the good fortune of connecting with Hannah Hix and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Hannah, how has your pespective on work-life balance evolved over time?
Just like most small business start-ups, you work a lot in your first years. I would watch other photographer friends burn out from it and even completely pull back on their business to rethink their goals for lack of personal/professional balance. I was lucky to have those friends- I learned from watching others on how to manage that tension in my business before it ever became an issue. Certainly, I still worked my tail off the first couple of years, giving up a personal time where I needed to move forward. Now that I am in my third year of full-time wedding photography & I own a studio, I have much more of a luxury to say “no”. It’s a powerful word, use it! Creating space in our personal lives and keeping it sacred is key. Spend time with your family, and put away the phone. Invest in your hobbies, and take vacations. You can’t properly help other people or enjoy your business if your personal life is choking.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Building a successful brand in a highly saturated industry is tough. You have to have a mixture of talent, luck, hard work, and excellent people skills to make headway and carve out space for yourself. As a wedding photographer competing in the Dallas market, I have to learn how to mature both my skill as well as my personality and character! I believe that even a highly competitive industry you can make waves, you just have to outlast the temporary people and continue to hone your skill. Clients who want the very best will take notice of that- so will other businesses, professionals and colleagues who can help you improve and snag new business. There will always be half-hearted people who don’t last very long, so keeping at it will tell the industry that you’re serious and you can grow quickly to exceed challenges. That said, I am also thankful for my unique approach to photography that inspires brides, professionals and other photographers. I am a laid back, fun type of creative- but I love experimenting with light and creating dramatic images that tell a story. Combining these two talents creates imagery that people feel truly connected to. We absolutely create authentic, candid work that trends on Instagram, haha- but at the same time, I have the certifications and experience to bring in lights, modifiers, and new ideas to a wedding or to the studio that most photographers lack. I have made my own market in weddings for that reason, both with brides & in teaching other photographers how to do this too!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Honestly, I am a total nature lover- so being in the city, I have to get creative. One stop that I absolutely love is the Dallas Arboretum, for a totally beautiful experience. The Dallas World Aquarium is also a place we visit at least once a year, it’s a little more expensive but there’s always something awesome to see and events you can put on your calendar. Finally, the art’s district has quite a variety of museums and exhibits that even locals frequent, if you want that cultured aspect of the city. As for food, gosh how do you even make a list lol?? We’ve got something for everybody. I personally love hitting the food trucks that travel around the parks and universities, and if you keep tabs on the Dallas event calender there are food truck events & themed cuisine festivals! My close second though is definitely a lineup of Asian restaurants. Malibu Poke, Teppo, & Vietnamese Mot Hai Ba are common stops for me.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My cheesy truth is that my husband Colby is absolutely my key supporter and teammate. He doesn’t do anything in the business, but he does something way more important- he believes in my skill and does everything he can to help me reach my goals and also still have a smooth-running home & family. He is the most patient person I know, and that ultimately is the reason I’m able to deal with the struggles and stress of running a more than full-time business.
@ Hannah Hix, Photographer