Today we’d like to introduce you to Hayley Hom.
Hayley, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
During the summer of 2017, I took a study abroad opportunity at Oxford University. With the chance to travel to the United Kingdom and potentially more of Europe, I decided to take my family’s camera with me. While I was abroad, I ended up taking thousands of photos. In my house, I was known as the “girl with the camera”. My friends would often call upon me to take their photos to document the memories we were making while studying abroad. At the end of the summer, I ended up entering a photo competition for my study abroad semester. To my surprise, my photo ended up being top ten!
After that summer, I returned for my final year of undergrad at Azusa Pacific University. I had been so proud of my photo that I was showing a close friend of mine all my photos from my study abroad. That friend happened to be a starter on our football team and he encouraged me to get out on the football field and take some pictures.
From there, my sports photography journey began…
I ended up on the field for the rest of the football season for Azusa Pacific University. I spent the next semester dedicated to being at every football game that I could. I was determined to shoot as many games as possible. When I graduated from APU in the fall, I had made the decision to continue in a graduate program at the University of Southern California. This meant that I would continue living in Los Angeles county, so I returned to APU for another season of football.
During my time at USC, I began working in the athletics department as the team manager for the swim and dive team. My friends and co-workers in athletics started hearing the stories I had of being on the football field for APU. With encouragement from my friends at USC and my friends from APU, I began networking within the athletics department. Surely enough, I ended up on the field for USC during the 2019 football season. I also was given opportunities to shoot other sports such as soccer, waterloo, swimming and basketball.
Of course, my friends also noticed how much time I spent behind the camera. Surely enough, I began getting opportunities to do senior portraits as well as a few weddings.
For myself, there is nothing like being on a football field. I crave the adrenaline rush of sports photography. However, with all of the photo opportunities I had, what I love most about what I do is how I can make people feel with my photos. With every football photo, portrait, wedding photo, or travel photo, it brings me joy to hear the subject of my photography say “I can’t believe I look like that! You helped me look like that!” The beauty of photography is not just capturing a moment, but the memories and feelings that come with it.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Photography for me has not always been a smooth road. Sure, I am well connected and have been very blessed with my opportunities, but I have had to work hard to where I want to be. There have been a few times when I was shooting an event where I was notified less than 24 hours beforehand. The night before, I would be rushing to get everything together in time. Sometimes, it would be hard to get the right credentials that I needed to shoot a specific game.
Of course, it can be hard to be taken seriously. I am an Asian American woman working in a dominantly male profession. Sometimes it can be hard being out on the court or field when you’re trying to do the same job as everyone else, trying to create the same content and people laugh or state that you should not be there.
Please tell us about Hayley Hom Photography.
I am a photographer! My photography ranges from weddings, portraits and journal photography to sports photography.
I’m mainly known for sports photography.
What I’m the most proud of is the photos that I have been able to capture when I am on the football field.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would have gone through undergrad taking more photography classes. I did take photo I, but I mainly spent my time in the darkroom. If I had advanced more, I could have had more opportunities to shoot as well as learn from more professionals.
I also would have accepted and realized a lot sooner that photography is my passion. For a few years, I was in the mindset that photography was just a hobby. I compared myself to other photographers and was afraid to share my work. I used to think I was not talented enough or that the content I was producing was just mediocre. If I could go back, I defiantly would have more confidence in my work, especially because back then I never thought I would have the opportunities that I have been given now.
- I usually charge about $150 an hour for a session. This can be for portraits or weddings.
- Website: https://hhom13.myportfolio.com/work
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/haylz.photoz/?igshid=1kyvglxp9s1ul