Interview #3: Anna Hatzakis


CUS: First of all, the most standard question in the book: how did you get into photography?

Anna Hatzakis: The main reason would have to be that growing up, my mother was always taking pictures of my siblings and I. She's not a photographer, she just always knew how to capture the little moments of our life. She would let us take pictures too. One day I thought "hey, I should get my own camera" I was about twelve and I wasn't very good. it took me a while. up until about 2 months ago until the pictures came out good in both editing and quality.


CUS: Do you take photography in school?

AH: Actually, no.


CUS: What themes do you explore through your photographs? Is there any one in particular in which you try to convey often?

AH: I like to keep my photos timely looking. Lately, I've become obsessed with using water in my photos. It's a resource that's been around almost since the earth began.


CUS: Do you always have preconceived concepts of what you want to shoot?

AH: Usually, I go out to take a picture and come up with one better then the one I would have wanted. I bring props with me and experiment with lighting and composition. I think up ideas better when I'm out with my camera then when I'm sitting at home trying to think of them.


CUS: If every photograph should contain one key element, what would it be in your opinion?

AH: That's a hard one. I'd have to say, at least one prop or piece of interest. Photos are slightly boring when it's just a person against a white backdrop with a blank expression on their face.


CUS: Do you have a favorite subject you like to shoot? And why? 

AH: I adore shooting my sister Lexi. She always seems to catch the right light. She has perfect facial expressions and hair that I'm insanely jealous of.


CUS: What kind of camera do you enjoy using the most?

AH: My film camera. I got it at a thrift store for $2.50. Film excites me. You never know how it will turn out. Also, when you take a film picture, it can stay in your camera for months until you finish a roll and develop it. Looking through the photos you took brings back the emotions you felt when you took that picture and fond memories of the time you had.


CUS: If you could photograph any person (past or present) who would you choose?

AH: Audrey Hepburn. She was so gorgeous and inspiring.


CUS: Do you feel that your mood affects the type of photographs you produce on a particular day?

AH: Yes. If I'm happy, I'm more likely to run around and take a crazy photo. If I'm sad, it's more lonely looking. when I'm feeling nostalgic, I'll usually have a childhood toy or book along with me.


CUS: Do you encounter many people at your photo locations? 

AH: Not really. It's a very secluded, quiet area where I live. It's a small town and we live in a tract house. I've met all the neighbors and they think I'm absolutely nuts.


CUS: If you could go anywhere in the world to take photographs where would you go?

AH: I've heard the weather is perfect in Oregon. It's always cloudy and rainy, which is perfect in my mind.


CUS: What is the thing you like the least about photography? The most?

AH: The least: It's always really disappointing to me when I have a certain idea in my head but I can never seem to carry it out.

The most: photography portrays a certain emotion. In one second, a picture can inspire someone, and make them dream dreams.


CUS: How much time do you generally spend on a shoot? 

AH: Well, walking to the place where I mostly shoot takes about ten minutes. If I take just photos, a shoot will normally take me about an hour. Sometimes, I like to read or draw or just think by the lake. It's a very peaceful place.


CUS: Do you ever have people help you on your shoots?

AH: For the most part, no.


CUS: What is your favorite photograph that you’ve taken?

AH: At the moment, I love the picture I took of my sister as a flock of birds flew behind her. It was a onetime chance thing and I'm very proud of it.


CUS: Do you believe that with the rise of digital photography the phrase “everyone can be a photographer” is true?

AH: Not everyone can be a true photographer, but people can learn and get better. To me, a true photographer is someone who can capture beauty in anything they shoot.


CUS: Do all your photographs go through some sort of post-processing treatment? 

AH: I used to use a vintage action I got for free, but now I just edit them myself. I learned a lot from watching the action get used on my photos and started trying to do that sort of processing on my own.


CUS: Do you have a favorite photographer?

AH: Eleanor Hardwick. She amazes me with every single photograph she takes.


CUS: What advice would you give to your fellow up-and-coming photographers? 

AH: Don't be afraid to get dirty. Your mom might get mad, but clothes can always be washed.


CUS: Where do you see yourself in 20 years? Do you think that photography will still be a big part of your life?

AH: Honestly, I'm not quite sure. The world is open to me right now. I have so many aspirations and hopes and dreams. I feel like I could do anything at the moment. Except be a scientist. Science bores me to death.


CUS: Our last interviewee, Erica Segovia, wants to know: When you feel you don’t have inspiration, what do you usually do to get your creativity flowing?

AH: I listen to music. Music plays a huge part in my inspiration. I look at old photos, old moments in time. I read fashion magazines and old books. Anything really.


CUS: Last but not least, what would you like to ask our next Interviewee?

AH: Who is your biggest inspiration?

Anna Hatzakis, b. 1995 from California.


Images provided by Anna Hatzakis. All rights reserved.