She’s got the California aesthetic we all wish to have and the eye for a great image we all crave. Hailey Hofer is this week’s featured photographer!
Hailing from Southern California, Hailey is a recent photojournalism graduate from the University of Missouri. She brings a versatility many of us wish we could have – the ability to not only create stunning editorial content, but also the storytelling that occurs in day-to-day life. Today, Hailey is sharing a little bit about how she came to love photography, tips for capturing candid, “journalistic” photos, and how we can all use what she’s learned for our own photos.
Feel free to introduce yourself/tell us a little about yourself!
Hi! My name is Hailey Hofer. I am a twenty-one-year-old photographer currently based in Southern California. I studied photojournalism at Mizzou for the past four years and graduated in the spring with my bachelors degree. I’m a huge believer in stories. I feel that everyone and everything around us has something to share with the world– and it’s my job to help those capture it.
How did you first get your start in photography?
I picked up an old camera of my dad’s when I was in middle school. However, I found my passion for photography after a trip to China and Tibet in 2014. Instead of coming home with goofy photos of friends, I came back with a handful of memory cards chalk full of portraits of the native people. After that, my camera became an extension of my body, and so it only made sense to study photojournalism in school.
What do you think the difference is between editorial photography and photojournalism?
I believe that the two are nearly synonymous, but with a few differences. Editorial photography is often making a moment happen; whether that be done through lighting, or modeling, or location choice. Photojournalism is waiting for a moment to happen. When I was working for a newspaper while at school, often times I was assigned stories that weren’t so interesting (think orchestra band rehearsal in an ugly Church), and it was my job to create something out of nothing. I couldn’t move the man on the saxophone next to the drummer with the amazing haircut. I couldn’t ask the Maestro to turn more lights on. I had to wait for moments that I found beautiful, or work to find new angles to make captivating shots. That being said– I love shooting both editorial and journalistic work almost equally.
So you graduated? What are you doing nowadays?
Ahh! This question used to give me so much anxiety but I’ve come to realize that there’s no reason for that! Since graduation I have been traveling, working on some personal projects and slowly starting to look for a job while doing some freelance photography work for San Diego Magazine. My dream would be to find a position as a staff photographer at a publication, but that’s still in the works. I’m all about the saying of “good things come to those who wait”.
Do you have any tips for those who want to do more photojournalistic work?
I would definitely say just get yourself out to some events and start shooting! This is the best way to learn. This is how I learned how to photograph college basketball. I had never shot basketball before this year and after a few games, was chosen to shoot the Missouri Men’s Basketball team at March Madness in Nashville, TN! Experience is your best teacher!!