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Women and Business: Skye Hardwick

Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 06:16AM by Registered CommenterDavina in | Comments4 Comments | References6 References

**All images in this post are copyright Skye Hardwick.***

{To nominate women you'd like to see in this series please list them in the comments-or if you have a question you'd like to see in the interviews--make sure to include your info in the comment fields so that I can get in touch with you- or write to me at: davina at davinafear.com }

As always make sure to leave comments for the women who are featured. They like comments as much as i do I'm sure...let them know if you have questions or just to say thanks! for their insight and wisdom...

You can check out the rest of the series by clicking here. Tell a friend!

Skye,  I have yet to meet you in person but in every interaction I've had with you I've been impressed by your professionalism and commitment to your family.  I love that although your workshops were extremely popular and successful you were able to pull back and see what you really wanted your life to look like.  Thank you so much for your inspired words about giving grace to women in the industry and your thoughts on keeping it real with family and business. I'm so glad you're on Women and Business today!

How long have you been photographing professionally?  What drew you to photography?

I have been in business for over six years. Like many photographers, I have always loved photography, but it was never something I thought I could do as a career. As a matter of fact, I was in my second year of college pursuing a degree in professional writing, when I finally had my wake up moment of “this is what I am supposed to be doing”. I’ve never looked back.


Are you in a retail space or home studio?  What made you make this choice? 

I am a 100% on location photographer. I think of the world as my studio.

Would I ever want a studio in the future? From time to time I dream of having an urban loft, complete with large windows that bathe the entire room in natural light, however, I also fear I'd be rather bored after some time and would feel the itch to be outdoors. Studio space in Southern California comes with a hefty price tag; I’m not sure I would want the overhead that would come with such a commitment. But, a girl can dream.

I cannot complain about the pricey location of Southern California as on the other hand, due to the weather climate I am able to shoot outdoors all year long. I love that. I moved to the Los Angeles area two years ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Although I miss my home state and would love to move back eventually -- getting through the dreary cold was never something I looked forward to working through.


What do you do to help your clients be so comfortable with you during a photo shoot?

First things first, I connect with the parents. Children pick up on the cues and feelings of their parents, and if their parents are comfortable and feeling good about our session, that plays a role in how the children may feel. Plus, I feel it is important to give a child room to size me up and see I’m there for fun. 

If I rush a child into anything but a basic introduction, I will have to work harder to connect with them. When I chat with their parents first, the child and I can exchange smiles and glances; then I’ll stoop down on their level, introduce them to my camera, and ask questions about themselves. 

Kids love to talk about themselves. Ask them what their hobbies and favorite things are, what they watch on television, and create further conversation off their answers. A child can always sense when you are talking at them, rather than to them, so don’t be afraid to put the camera down and talk, face to face.

You have recently written the Workshop Workbook that has been getting rave reviews.  Tell me a little bit about it.   

The Workshop Workbook shares my personal process and shows readers how I have made a successful career as a child photographer. I share my secrets and strategies, in both business and creative inspiration. In the workbook you'll learn what to expect in photography sessions, from the moment the phone rings and you book a client to the moment when you're sending prints off to a happy customer; how to market yourself; as well as how-tos on working with, posing and styling children. 

Talent is absolutely necessary, but it can only take you so far. The Workshop Workbook will help you turn that talent into a sustainable and enjoyable career by arming you with the knowledge you need to become the amazing, successful photographer you know you can be.




Where can we purchase your book?

You can purchase through the website at http://www.theworkshopworkbook.com 

In a few weeks I will be launching a new custom blogsite - very excited for the debut!


How long does it take you to edit a session?

Typically, I edit my sessions in an hour's time. There are exceptions to the rule, perhaps a session with more than one young child, but I try to be as efficient with my post processing as possible. Otherwise, I find all aspects of my business are held up, and this can lead to frustration, stress, and other things I wish to avoid.

Do you still travel quite a bit?  If you don't travel as often, why did you stop and how did you make that transition?

I used to travel quite often during the three years I taught my live Soulographer Workshops around the country. I knew it was time to retire when I would be homesick while I was pulling out of the driveway to go. There is a season for everything in life, when a season has passed; God has His ways of letting me in on it. If I fight against it, I'll lose what makes me powerful in what I do -- that heart-connection. Even though I still receive numerous requests to teach future Workshops, nothing excites me more than being a mom and a wife to my family.


What do you do to keep from feeling overwhelmed?

Write out weekly goals. This is where I can stumble, but I have found if I at least write out monthly business goals, I am more likely to meet those goals (and then some). I love the feeling of accomplishment and as if I am moving forward in a set direction rather than just floating along. 


What is something that you think women in the industry should not do?

Put down other women. I have seen, as well as been on the receiving end, of some pretty nasty attacks by other women in this industry. It's not a "photographer on photographer" issue, it's a woman issue. My frustration lies mostly in the truth that in destroying (or attempting to destroy) other women, we are essentially destroying a part of ourselves. We are made to relate, and the men in our lives can only give us so much. Who else knows more about our struggles with balancing family life and business than other women photographers?

If the energy we put into gossip was turned towards our businesses, think of how far ahead we would be!



What is something that you think women in the industry should do?

Keep tabs on late-night editing. No throwing stones please. Believe me, I’ve been there! At first it sounds like you solve a problem by editing only after your kids go to sleep, right?  If you can edit for an hour or two max, fine, but what good is it staying up all hours if you are useless to your family and miserable come morning? Doesn’t do wonders for your marriage if your nights are often spent in front of the computer. 

Something to consider as I know many of you are bleeding time profusely on the altar of editing. It truly is a sacrifice alright – but what are you sacrificing? Think on that.


How will you keep your marriage safe from the stresses of your business?
Put my marriage first. Similar to the raising of children -- if you put all of your focus on your kids while they are growing up, ignoring your husband along the way, what happens when they grow up and have lives of their own. (And they do grow up; rather quickly!) You'll find a stranger in your spouse because of your lack of time spent.

I love photography, but at the end of my life I won't say, "I wish I would have taken on more clients..." No, I would have wanted more time with those I love.
I never want my preserving of other people's memories to supersede the preserving of my own.




Workshop Workbook

 **All images in this post are copyright Skye Hardwick.***




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Reader Comments (4)

Wise words on the balancing act of family and photography... thank you, Skye!

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerilyn Brown

Thanks so much for sharing!
Love your work! You're such an inspiration.

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarla

Such wise advise! Very inspiring. Thank you.

September 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShannon M

I love that last sentence. Really really perfectly put! Thank you Skye for sharing! Thank you Davina, for having Skye on your blog!

September 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

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